CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - One of the world's favorite treats hasn't always been sweet.
The cacao bean -- the plant from which chocolate is derived -- has a rich history from its divine quality as a Mayan drink to its current status as a guilty pleasure.
Visitors to the Cincinnati Museum Center can now follow the delicacy's history.
"Chocolate: The Exhibition" is now open at the museum.
Tickets to the exhibit are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors, $10 for children, $7 for member adults and free for member children.
The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The exhibit displays the history of chocolate culture and science from the 10th century rain forest to its place in modern shops. There are more than 100 objects to view, including a life-sized cacao tree, and yes -- the exhibit is enriched by the sweet scent of chocolate.
According to the museum's website, the cacao tree has an unusual anatomy, and many different products can be drawn from one of its beans.
Other highlights include a crash course on Mayan religious ceremonies centered around the frothy, bitter drink from ground cacao seeds; a lesson on the fall of Aztec god Quetzacoatl; chocolate's quest across the Atlantic Ocean to Spain; and the first time sugar was added to give chocolate its sweetness.
On July 7, the museum celebrates Member Appreciation on World Chocolate Day. Members can enjoy early access to "Chocolate: The Exhibition," Mission Aerospace and the Duke Energy Children's Museum beginning at 9 a.m.
There is a "Chocolate: The Exhibition" buy-one-get-one ticket deal from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 7 for member adult tickets.