“We make chocolate.” That’s the mission of a new Princeton club, grandly named the Institute for Chocolate Studies. President Greg Owen ’15 presides over 16 students who spend weekends in the University’s bake shop in the basement of the Rockefeller/Mathey dining hall, transforming Venezuelan cacao beans into dark-chocolate bars, a 10-hour process.
“It’s something you don’t get to do often at Princeton — work with your hands,” said Owen, who chose the club’s name as a riff on the Institute for Advanced Study. The club attracts many chemistry and molecular biology majors, who enjoy experimenting with different roasting times for the beans. Eventually, Owen hopes to sell the chocolate bars — made with 75 percent cacao beans for a bittersweet taste — on campus.
Ming-Ming Tran ’15, who is studying chemical and biological engineering, joined because “it seemed like a unique experience, and isn’t that what college is all about?” She added: “All my other extracurriculars are a little more high-stress. This is just fun, and I get to smell chocolate all the time.”