NYC's collection of niche museums grew by one this week with the opening of the Museum of Chocolate, spearheaded locally by French chocolatier Jacques Torres. The museum—fully titled "Choco-Story New York: The Chocolate Museum and Experience with Jacques Torres"—operates like a natural history exhibition, examining the origins of chocolate from Mayan and Aztec civilizations and looking into the process of transforming the cacao bean into chocolate.

On display are pottery and tools related to the cultivation of cacao alongside artifacts that show the bean's importance in many cultures across what's now Central America and later in Europe. Another section follows the cacao pod from an Amazonian rainforest through fermentation and into its final, edible state.

Also included in the tour are chocolate tastings, Mayan hot chocolate, and chocolate truffles; along with samples of dark, milk and white chocolates, both blends and single-origin. Classes in chocolate-making will also be offered.

Choco-Story New York is located at 350 Hudson Street. Open Wednesday - Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.