Students are crazy for cocoa class
Students eat up info in chocolate course
Published: Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Updated: Saturday, June 16, 2012 02:06
For those who love chocolate, there is a two-credit class offered at Ohio State that teaches everything from the history of chocolate to how it is manufactured and marketed.
Chocolate Science 101, held at the Parker Food Science Building, has weekly chocolate tastings as part of the class instruction, and students are taught to use all their senses to evaluate what they are eating.
Students form groups to produce both an idea and a marketing strategy for a chocolate product, and they design packaging or labeling for their idea.
In addition, Anthony-Thomas Candy Co. donates 10-pound chocolate bars for a molding activity every quarter, and the class takes a tour of an Anthony-Thomas production facility.
Tasting the bacon chocolate is one of his favorite parts of the class, said Alex Suter, a second-year graduate student and teaching assistant.
Mary Kay Folk, a lecturer for Food Science and Technology, purchases a variety of chocolate with different amounts of cocoa and with all types of ingredients for the tastings.
A lot of the chocolate for the tastings comes from World Market, Folk said. She has been teaching the course since Autumn Quarter of 2008.
She said teaching the course has been a lot of fun.
"I really enjoy the history part of it," Folk said.
One of the course objectives is to understand how complex the process is from start to finish.
"The production, how you process it, really is an involved process," Folk said. "You don't think about that when you pick up a Hershey bar — you don't think about what goes into that."
There are typically 70 students enrolled in the class whenever it is offered, with a waiting list every quarter. Students taking the class are from a variety of majors.
As of Wednesday there were 21 students waiting to get into the class. Folk encouraged interested students to attend class the first day, even if it's full.
"If there's an empty desk, we'll fit you in," she said.