Inside the new Irvine headquarters of Qzina Specialty Foods, a supplier and manufacturer of fine chocolate and professional pastry materials, you expect to find giant sacks of chocolate chips and massive chocolate bars. You anticipate sugar-transfer sheets and silicone molds in myriad variety—even the luscious aroma permeating the place is not surprising. But you probably would not expect a 6-foot solid-chocolate model of the largest Mayan temple at Chichen Itza.
Weighing more than 18,000 pounds, the chocolate sculpture is the creation of Qzina’s corporate pastry chef Francois Mellet, who with his staff spent more than 400 hours crafting the tribute to commemorate Qzina’s 30th anniversary. Guinness has certified the pyramid is the world’s largest chocolate sculpture–it surpasses the weight of the previous winning entry by 7,500 pounds, so it might keep its title a while. This homage to the Mayans, the world’s original chocolatiers, also embraces the end-of-days concern that’s been part of the 2012 Zeitgeist. Should we worry that the pyramid is scheduled to be on display through Dec.20—the supposed last day of the Mayan calendar? Whether or not you’re a believer, it couldn’t hurt, right? Viewing times are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.
Qzina Institute of Chocolate and Pastry, 9461 Irvine Center Drive, 949-208-8462