Mars Chocolate North America has debuted "Great Moments In Chocolate History” to highlight chocolate’s rich past.

The book was created in partnership with the National Geographic Society and is the first book in a two-book agreement between Mars and National Geographic.

Written by Howard-Yana Shapiro, chief agricultural officer, Mars Inc., and an internationally recognized expert on all things chocolate, the 208-page book showcases the history of chocolate from the ancient Aztecs to Marie Antoinette and George Washington. It also includes 20 delicious recipes coupled with their historical significance — including two recipes featuring American Heritage Chocolate.

"The appeal of chocolate has always crossed the boundaries of time, culture, socio-economic groups, gender and generation," Shapiro says. "This book brings the story to life through detailed information and extraordinary images based on decade's worth of research by Mars and our uncommon collaborators."

Shapiro, who has a Ph.D., is chief agricultural officer and global director of Plant Science and External Research at Mars Inc. He has guided Mars toward the goal of 100 percent sustainably sourced cacao production since joining the company in the late 1990s.

In addition, Shapiro has spent more than 35 years working with sustainable agricultural and agroforestry systems, plant systems, plant genetics, and food production systems across the world.

"Great Moment's In Chocolate History" is now available worldwide on Amazon, with a suggested retail price of $19.95.

The book is the latest effort by Mars in researching chocolate’s rich past. In 2003, the company  undertook an extensive global research initiative to uncover the true history of chocolate.  A group from Mars led a multidisciplinary team of more than 115 experts from around the globe who accessed more than 200 archives, libraries, museums and private collections to reveal chocolate's origin and history in the Americas.

That led to the book, "CHOCOLATE: History, Culture, and Heritage," which 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 a finely grated chocolate drink mix. American Heritage Chocolate is sold exclusively at more than 160 fine gift shops at historic sites, museums and historic inns across the United States and Canada.

Learn more about American Heritage Chocolate on it’s Facebook page, on Twitter, and also now on Pinterest