30 Years of Chocolate Celebrated

July 5th, 2012


Not often does a company celebrate an anniversary by creating both a Guinness World Record entry and establishing a state-of-the-art educational institute. Qzina Specialty Foods did just that. The anniversary celebrates not only 30 successful years in business, but something a bit older.

A thousand years ago, give or take a century, the magnificent Temple of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza was built by the Mayan people on Mexico's Yucatan peninsula. Temple architecture provided exact astronomical information about solstices, equinoxes, and the Mayan calendar. Symbolically, the pyramid's four faces each contain a stairway of 91 steps, with a platform on top, equaling 365 - the number of days on the Mayan calendar.

The Mayans were one of the earliest civilizations to cultivate cacao trees and realize the wonders of what we now call chocolate. They worshipped the cacao tree and its beans as food of the gods, and cocoa beans were used as currency among the Mayans and Aztecs. What's that about money not growing on trees?

Fast forward through the Mayan calendar to 2012. Qzina ("cuisine ah") Specialty Foods has honored the Mayan heritage of its most integral product in a very big way. The Miami, Florida-based importer and distributor of specialty chocolate, pastry and dessert ingredients has created an 18,239 pound replica of the Kukulkan Temple at its Irvine, CA location. The sculpture is six feet tall, and 10 feet square at its base. Qzina's Corporate Pastry Chef, Francois Mellet, was the principal architect of the recreation, with intricate design elements handled by Stephane Treand, MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France, or "Best Craftsman in France"). Mellet, Treand, and their elite team spent more than 400 hours creating the pyramid. It broke the previous Guinness World Record for largest chocolate sculpture by over 7500 pounds. See photos of the sculpture and its creation here...