Chocolate-Dipped History Celebrating Coffee, Tea, and American Heritage ChocolateTM


News media contact
Scott Carpenter
336.722.9660 or

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (FEBRUARY 16, 2016) – Old Salem Museums & Gardens in conjunction with Mars Chocolate North America is presenting its fourth annual weekend of fun events, tastings, hands-on activities, and social opportunities highlighting the history and importance of chocolate in Salem and colonial America. This year, there will be some new activities including a chance to experience and learn about tasting chocolates ranging from everyday chocolates to ones that have a unique flavor profile.

On Friday, March 4, from 7 to 9:30 p.m. join Old Salem for a fun and festive evening of chocolate treats, adult beverages, and live music at “250 Years of Chocolate-Dipped History: A Sensory Tasting Experience.” On Saturday, March 5, from 9:30 a.m. until 4: 30 p.m., enjoy “Chocolate-Dipped History: Celebrating Coffee, Tea and AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate,” a day of fun events, tastings, and activities at Old Salem.

 “250 Years of Chocolate-Dipped History: A Sensory Tasting Experience” is a chance to enjoy a night of unique, savory, and sweet chocolate samplings and desserts from select local restaurants and caterers including California Fresh Catering, Carolina Vineyards & Hops, Catering by Simple Elegance, Diamondback Grille, Five Loaves Catering, Holly Tate Fine Catering, Mozelles Fresh Southern Bistro, The Flour Box Tea Room & Cafe, The Tavern in Old Salem, Savory Spoon, and Willow’s Bistro. Adult beverages, coffee, and live music from The Paper Crowns will top off the evening. In addition, attendees at 250 Years of Chocolate-Dipped History will receive a free gift.

Mars Chocolate History Ambassadors will be on hand to offer unique insight into the world of chocolate. Dave Borghesani, Chocolate History Research Manager at Mars Chocolate North America, will present “The History of Chocolate,” the fascinating story of how chocolate became a part of our culture and everyday life. Astrid Kurnianta, Sensory & Insights Manager at Mars Chocolate North America, will present a special sensory tasting opportunity highlighting the world of chocolate from everyday varieties to those with unique profiles.

This event takes place in the Visitor Center at Old Salem at 900 Old Salem Road. Tickets are $50 per person and $40 for Friends of Old Salem and can be purchased online at Tickets at the door will be $60 per person and $50 for Friends of Old Salem.

Since the 18th century, chocolate, tea, and coffee have been popular beverages throughout America. On Saturday, March 5, during Chocolate-Dipped History: Celebrating Coffee, Tea, and AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate, there will be opportunities to taste and learn about the history and development of these hot refreshments and the role they played in daily life in Salem. Activities are included with an All-In-One ticket, which are $23 for adults and $11 for children ages 6-16.  Friends of Old Salem enjoy free admission.

Visitors on March 5 will have a chance to learn about chocolate’s historical bean-to-beverage story using authentic tools including a hot stone metate, winnowing baskets, and chocolate pots and cups. Join the Old Salem staff to experience the taste and smell of authentic chocolate as it was enjoyed by our Founding Fathers by sampling American Heritage Chocolate® drink.

AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate is an authentic colonial-style chocolate recipe that is made by Mars Chocolate North America. Slightly spicier than today’s chocolate, AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate has a rich full-bodied flavor and comes in three unique formats, chocolate stick, baking/grating chunks and a finely grated chocolate drink mix.

AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate products are available for purchase at Old Salem Museums & Gardens. For more information on AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate visit

Activities at Chocolate-Dipped History on Saturday March 5 include the following:

  • Chocolate-making demonstrations, from the cocoa pod to the melted chocolate
  • Tasting foods made from early recipes using AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate
  • Observing Salem’s potters make reproductions of authentic chocolate pots and chocolate cups
  • Tasting historic coffee and tea
  • Making a tea bag with herbal tea to take home


In 2003, Mars Incorporated undertook an extensive global research initiative to uncover the true history of chocolate. A group from Mars led a multi-disciplinary team of more than 115 experts from around the globe who accessed over 200 archives, libraries, museums and private collections to reveal chocolate’s origin and history in the Americas. “CHOCOLATE: History, Culture, and Heritage,” has contributions from 45 authors, including researchers, culinary chefs, food scientists and historians from leading historic institutions, and was published in 2009 by Wiley.

Out of this research project, the AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate brand was developed in 2006 by Mars Chocolate North America to help educate consumers about the history of our nation through the engaging story of one of our most beloved foods…chocolate! Fashioned off an ingredient list from 1750, AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate is an authentic historic chocolate made from ingredients available in the 18th Century. The recipe represents a true taste of chocolate the way our ancestors would have enjoyed it. The product line celebrates chocolate’s important role in the lives of Americans during the 18th century. Made with all-natural ingredients and no preservatives, AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate comes in four unique formats: chocolate sticks, chocolate bites, chocolate baking/grating blocks, and finely grated chocolate drink mix. AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate is sold exclusively at over 150 fine gift shops at historic sites, museums and historic inns across the USA and Canada.

In 2015, Mars launched “Great Moments In Chocolate History,” a book created in partnership with the National Geographic Society. “Great Moments In Chocolate History” is the first book in a two-book agreement between Mars and National Geographic and is authored by Howard-Yana Shapiro, Chief Agricultural Officer, Mars Incorporated. The book brings chocolate’s story to life through detailed information and extraordinary images based on decade’s worth of research by Mars and our uncommon collaborators. The book completes the chocolate-lover’s experience with 20 delicious recipes coupled with their historical significance, including two recipes featuring AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate. More information about the book and chocolate history is available at

For a complete listing or to purchase online, please visit our website at Learn more about AMERICAN HERITAGE® Chocolate at, on Twitter @Choc_history and on Pinterest at

About Old Salem

Old Salem Museums & Gardens is one of America’s most comprehensive history attractions. Its museums—the Historic Town of Salem, the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA), and the Gardens at Old Salem—engage visitors in an educational and memorable historical experience about those who lived and worked in the early South. Old Salem Museums & Gardens is located at 600 South Main Street in Winston-Salem. For more information call 336-721-7300 or visit


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