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18,239-lb Chocolate Sculpture Made in Irvine Smashes Guinness World Record

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An Irvine-based company has smashed a Guinness World Record for building the largest chocolate sculpture. Qzina Specialty Foods have made it into the chocolatey-sweet annals of history with their 18,239-pound ancient Mayan temple, that beats the previous world record by over 7,500 pounds. Yeah: That's a LOT of chocolate.

Qzina tells us it took their team, led by their Corporate Pastry Chef, Francois Mellet and MOF Stephane Treand (Meilleur Ouvrier de France or Best Craftsman in France) over 400 hours to create the massive treat made of solid chocolate.

The record-breaking structure is made to scale and faithfully and accurately recreates all of the details of a Mayan temple, like how many steps there are and the panels that represent elements of the Mayan calendar. The sculpture is six feet tall with a 10 foot by 10 foot base.

Why a Mayan theme? Qzina says it's all because of the role the Mayans played in the origins of chocolate: "The Mayans were one of the first civilizations to cultivate Cacao trees and discover the true potential of the cocoa bean. Realizing the delicious possibilities of this powerful discovery, the Mayans worshipped the Cacao tree and praised its beans as the food of the Gods."

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If you want to see the sculpture in person, Qzina's Institute of Chocolate & Pastry in Irvine will have the temple on display starting June 4. But it won't be around long: Qzina plans to destroy the chocolate sculpture on December 21, 2012 when the Mayan calendar comes to an end. The method for destruction is yet to be determined, they tell us. (S'mores, anyone?) In the meantime, check out these photos.