Mars, Incorporated and Smithsonian Sponsor Chocolate History Symposium in Washington, D.C.
New Book Provides Insight into the World of Chocolate in the Americas as Far Back as the Colonial Era
Washington, D.C. (March 09, 2009) /PRNewswire/ — On Saturday, March 7, Mars, Incorporated, maker of some of the world's favorite brands, such as Dove Chocolate, M&M'S and Snickers, previewed the exciting new book, Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage, during the academic symposium, "Chocolate: The North American Experience."
The event, co-sponsored by Mars and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, included historical chocolate making demonstrations by Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada food historians and Mars chocolate makers. The public sampled historic-style chocolate and viewed a display of materials and advertisements reflecting 100 years of chocolate manufacturing. Museum scholars and other academic experts presented papers on the latest cultural, social and economic findings related to chocolate.
Mars has been leading the effort to identify and weave the threads of chocolate's history in the Americas. The findings shared at the symposium are presented in the book, Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage, authored by a team of scientists, historians and scholarly researchers, led by Howard Shapiro, global director of plant science and external research at Mars and Louis Grivetti, professor emeritus, department of nutrition, University of California, Davis.
Published February 20, the book delves into the culinary, cultural, economic and social implications of chocolate from the Colonial era through the early 20th century. While evidence of chocolate's use as a confectionery treat dates back to the mid-1830s, the research team identified a literary mention 60 years prior to that account where chocolate "bars" were prepared and consumed in France. The book also reveals dietary, medical, military and political uses of chocolate.
For nearly 100 years, Mars has a legacy of chocolate making excellence and the company's scholarly pursuit to understand everything related to the history of cocoa and chocolate is reflected in the Mars American Heritage Chocolate brand. To learn more about the history of chocolate making in America, visit www.americanheritagechocolate.com.
About Mars, Incorporated:
Mars, Incorporated, is a family-owned company that produces some of the world's leading confectionery, food, petcare and beverage products. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Mars employs more than 70,000 associates in 79 countries worldwide. The company's global sales exceed $30 billion annually. For more information, www.mars.com.
About the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. The museum's chocolate holdings range from manufacturing tools to furnishings from a circa 1895 Georgetown confectionary store. To learn more about the museum, visit http://americanhistory.si.edu.