Roanoke, Va. (November 16, 2012) - The Science Museum of Western Virginia will explore the science behind the allure of chocolate as part of its Second Saturday Science series on Saturday, December 8 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The program will be held at the Science Museum's temporary location on the second floor of Tanglewood Mall.

"There's more to chocolate than what meets the taste buds," says Science Museum Executive Director Jim Rollings. "We are inviting people to come in, taste some chocolate and to learn about the unique properties that make it so irresistible."

While most people associate chocolate with candy bars and extra calories, they don't know that the tasty treat also offers health benefits. It also has unique properties that target pleasure centers in the human brain.

Where does Chocolate come from and why do we like it so much? The Science Museum of Western Virginia will have experts on hand to demonstrate how food science has embraced the product since tribal populations discovered the cacao (pronounced kah-KOW) plant in the jungles of Central and South America more than 2000 years ago. Visitors will see and taste organic chocolate nibs, sample a variety of chocolate combinations, and participate in discussions about how America's favorite flavor is produced and refined.

"There really is a science to chocolate," says Rollings, "and we think people will enjoy
finding out about it. Where else can they enjoy such a delicious lesson?"

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About the Science Museum of Western Virginia: The Science Museum of Western Virginia is the oldest science museum in Virginia. It was founded in 1970 by a group of teachers and community volunteers. The Museum moved into Center in the Square in 1983, where it occupied the 4th and 5th floors. While Center in the Square completes its renovation project, the Science Museum can be found at Tanglewood Mall. The Science Museum of Western Virginia is among the fewer than 5-percent of science centers in the U.S. nationally accredited by the American Association of Museums. For more information, please call 540.342.5710. Visit the Museum's page on Facebook (, or follow us on Twitter (@scimuseum).