A note from my contact at MARS reminded me that we named the American Heritage Chocolate as our best of 2011 and that chocolate has a long history in the USA. So since today is Presidents' Day (or George Washington's Birthday) let's talk about chocolate and the presidents of the USA.
The first president, George Washington (1789-1797), apparently loved to have a warm chocolate cream with his breakfast according to an NPR report. At this time from Central to North America and across Europe chocolate was primarily a drink. Primarily because we know that the Central American peoples also consumed it in other ways but still primarily as a drink.
Among the various artifacts from President number two, John Adams, at his home in Peacefield, is a chocolate pot. Yes, just as you'd have different pots and even cups for coffee or tea, so too did people have different sets for chocolate.
The 3rd President, Thomas Jefferson, served two terms (1801-1809). In 1785, he wrote a letter to John Adams (quoted on a multitude of historical and non-historical sites) that included this sentence about chocolate: "The superiority of chocolate, both for health and nourishment, will soon give it the same preference over tea and coffee in America which is has in Spain." Why would he make such a comparison?
Among the items listed for Abraham Lincoln's second Inaugural Dinner in 1965 listed chocolate on the menu as a drink, an ice cream flavor, one of the ornamental pyramids, and probably also in the "cakes & tarts" section as an ingredient of one or more of those listed.
Happy Presidents' Day and if you know of any more presidents connected to chocolate, let me know and we'll look it up for inclusion on a future date about another moment in history.