The Chinese say it's the Year of the Horse, but in SLC it's the Year of Chocolate.

Natural History Museum of Utah's chocolate exhibit has trickled cocao-consciousness all through the city. 

Besides the exhibit itself, created by Chicago's Field Museum, which traces everyone's favorite flavor from bean to bar, rain forest to Pennsylvania, Mayan to modern cuisine, NHMU is partnering with local restaurants and business on topics of chocolate education, with emphasis on chocolate in the beehive. 

Like, did you know that research suggests Ancestral Puebloan people living in a village near Blanding, Utah were consuming chocolate as early as 750 AD? 

We have a thriving chocolate culture here now, with several truly great chocolate makers, several great chocolate stores and a number of chocolate experts. You can learn from these experts every second and fourth Friday at 1:30 p.m. and every Saturday at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.  Even better, experience different kinds of chocolate at one of the museum's tasting events. Buy your ticket (one dollar) at the Museum for Wednesday evenings or multiple times on Saturdays and Sundays. 

Tomorrow, Chef Logen Crew at Fresco (recently named Best Italian restaurant by this magazine 

will cook a three-course chocolate tasting menu, a preview of a dinner menu that will be available through the month of March. That doesn't mean sweets for every course. True to its original use, Chef Crew will use chocolate from local Mezzo Chocolate in savory dishes as well—there's more to cooking with chocolate than mole, it turns out. (Salt Lakers have an unusually high awareness of mole, of course, because of Red Iguana.) 

Here's the menu: 

1. House Made Piccante Sausage

Palos Blancos Chocolate Basil Pesto, Frisee, Ricotta Silata, Chocolate Vinaigrette 

2. Caneroros Nero Fettuccine 

Smoked Duck Ragu, Pecorino Ramano, Sage 

 3. Madagascar Hot Chocolate alla Italiano 

Cherry – Rhubarb Bomboloni, Whipped Mascarpone

 And next weekend, save time for the whole family to attend the Ultimate Chocolate Festival. Check this website for how you can win free tickets!