Sunday, June 10, 2012
HJ: On Thursday, we went to the charming town of Perugia to visit the Perugina Chocolate Factory and the Etruscan city underneath the modern-day city of Perugia. Being a chocolate fanatic myself, the chocolate factory definitely fascinated me and Perugia has probably been my favorite part of the trip so far. When we got to the factory, I was expecting to end up seeing the factory, trying some chocolate, and maybe learn a little about how it is made. However, I ended up learning a lot more about chocolate production than I was expecting to, and was surprised at the international roots of the chocolate trade. Chocolate is originally from South America, but with the expansion of world trade in the sixteenth century, it spread all over the world. The leader in chocolate production, with 47% of the chocolate produced worldwide, is the Ivory Coast, where chocolate was only introduced a few hundred years ago. We are studying international horticulture while here in Italy, and the information learned about chocolate more than anything else solidified in my mind just how much the world has had to gain through the expansion of plants from continent to continent. Our diets would be so much more limited had no one discovered the new world, and I'm glad that I've had so many eye-opening experience while here in Italy.