Unknown to most, chocolate has been an integral part of American history—in a way that it’s even more American than apple pie. Not only was the cocoa bean discovered in the Americas and brought to Europe by Columbus, but 17th and 18th-century Americans actually saw chocolate as an important part of their everyday diet.
America’s founding fathers were captivated by chocolate. Thomas Jefferson was a great advocate for the chocolate drink and is quoted as saying: "The superiority of chocolate, both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the preference over tea and coffee in America which it has in Spain."
On Saturday, September 15, Mars Chocolate History Research Director, Rodney Snyder, who has spent more than 25 years researching cocoa for Mars, Incorporated, will share his knowledge of chocolate history with the visitors of the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello. Throughout the day, Rodney will be demonstrating the colonial process of turning cocoa beans into the chocolate drink.
Additionally, 2–3 pm, Howard-Yana Shapiro, Ph.D., Global Director of the Plant Scienceand External Research at Mars, will do a special presentation on the state of the cocoa farming industry. His lecture will focus on the mythology of chocolate, describing the unique relationship that people have had with this tropical treasure and the remarkable role it has played in human culture through time.
Join us at the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello for an exciting journey through chocolate’s rich history and experience a true chocolate drink from American Heritage Chocolate, created by Mars Chocolate North America and inspired by an authentic colonial recipe.
For more interesting facts about chocolate history, visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheHistoricDivisionofMARS or at http://americanheritagechocolate.com.
- Cocoa Sustainability and the Cocoa Genome with Howard-Yana Shapiro (Saturday, 2:00–3:00 p.m.) Free Workshop
- Bean to Beverage Chocolate Demonstration with Rodney Snyder (Saturday, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.) Free Workshop
- Bean to Beverage Chocolate Demonstration with Rodney Snyder (Saturday, 3:15–4:15 p.m.) Free Workshop
- Festival Tickets