A new exhibition is due to open at Sewerby Hall and Gardens: the History of Chocolate is a touring exhibition, looking at the history of one of humanity's guilty pleasures, from the Incas and the Aztecs to the present day, how it's made, and some of its surprising properties.
The exhibition looks at how the Aztecs used chocolate as currency; how different civilisations believed that chocolate was a gift from the gods; and how the cacao tree is believed to have been cultivated as long as 3,000 years ago.
Chocolate has played an important role throughout history – when Columbus landed in South America in 1502, the Aztecs thought the invaders were gods and made them offerings of cocoa beans.
The Industrial Revolution meant that huge quantities of chocolate could be made available to the masses, and in 1848 the first chocolate bar was made. Milk chocolate was born in 1875.
Curator Janice Smith said: "This is a fascinating exhibition for anybody who likes chocolate, and has ever wondered just how it has become such an important part of our lives today."
The exhibition opens on Saturday September 14.
Sewerby Hall and Gardens, including the zoo, are open seven days a week until Tuesday October 1 . From that date, the house will only be open on Weekends and school holidays.
For full details of the house, the gardens, the Clock Tower Café, the zoo, events and opening hours and admission prices, visit www.sewerbyhall.co.uk and save 10 per cent on admission by booking in advance.