I write about all kinds of museums on my blog, with no exception. While art museums are specifically dedicated to arts, other kinds of museums talk about arts in a more subtle way. Chocolate industry is a kind of art, and I will tell you why.
What is Industry?
I don’t pretend to be an encyclopaedia and I’m not likely to search for definitions. To me, industry means some kind of production. It means that something is being produced, right? Therefore industry museums tell us stories about the art of production.
Not all the industry things are fun. There are lesser fun industries. However, I visited a museum of a very fun industry – a chocolate museum installed into a chocolate factory. I call it an industry museum, yup.
Where it was? In Switzerland, of course! The country of chocolate. Or the country of chocolate industry.
Regardless of what some curators, artists, “culture workers” may want, culture is not only about paintings, theatre, sculptures, dance, or music. Culture is in the way of being, in everyday life.
Switzerland is a small country, but most people in the world who ever went to school know about Switzerland. For that reason, clearly more people know about Switzerland than about Croatia.
But in this case, I visited something that describes a country in its wide, big picture context. Tell me honestly, what is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word “Switzerland”?
Apart from clocks, watches, mountains, banks, money, cheese, referendums, Nobel prize winners, artists, tennis players, skiers? Right, but all these particularities are kinda interest-specific and you’ll know about them if you follow some fields. But, but, chocolate is universal!! Okay, cheese as well.
What is a museum?
There are many definitions of museums. Some of them were given by ICOM, other were given by American Museum Association, other were said by particular scholars. This is what I wrote regarding a chocolate museum:
Sounds fine, right? This is just another kind of museum. Additionally, museums are considered to be institutions that provide education, and I will always agree with that. In this museum, you educate yourself about chocolate and chocolate manufacturing, right?
The Maestrani Chocolarium is an actual chocolate factory. The museum is installed into the factory, the way you visit the museum and observe the production processes and machinery. I was just not lucky enough to be there on a working day. Since I was there on Sunday, the machines were silent.
Pssst! The entrance ticket includes chocolate tasting! You would expect it, wouldn’t you?
While visiting the museum, you will learn that in order to work in the Swiss chocolate industry, you need to have a particular certificate that you know how to make chocolate.
So, visiting Alps is a part of visiting Switzerland but so is visiting at least one chocolate museum. And obviously, tasting chocolate is the culture experience. Every country has some guilty pleasures tourists have to try. In many countries these authentic thing to try are alcoholic drinks (Croatia and Portugal included hahaha), but Swiss chocolate gives us a different level of joy and experience.
To conclude this article, I would like to add the key fact about the Swiss Chocolate Industry. The founder of this company, Mr. Maestrani, was the one who traveled to countries where cocoa grows. He studied and researched ways to produce chocolate in order to be easier to make and more accessible than it used to be.
Guess what? Switzerland is a country of democracy. Furthermore, Switzerland made the chocolate more democratic.