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About "America's Love Affair with Chocolate"

Chocolate_1930's Hershey's Add001.jpg

1934 Hershey's Chocolate Add 

Welcome to the magnificent world of chocolate contained in this exhibit! Here we will discuss chocolate history from its first consumption by South American native peoples to its modern day use in one of America's favorite desserts: chocolate cake. We will also dive into the complicated history of Red Velvet cake and attempt to answer burning questions like "what makes red velvet cake red?"

While reading this exhibit, it should be noted that the information contained is primarily based on the resources housed in the Special Collections and Univerity Archives at Virginia Tech. Therefore, it does not depict the full scope of chocolate history from the 1900s to today. Additionally, generalizations made in this exhibit may not necessarily reflect trends in chocolate evolution seen in all parts of the US because chocolate history tends to be quite contradictory and convoluted.

That being said, if you desire is a taste of American chocolate history, this exhibit is for you!

Non-SCUA Resources Referenced in this Exhibit

Davana. “The Science behind What Red Velvet Really Is.” Spoon University, Spoon University, 20 Feb. 2014,

“Our Story.” Adams Extract, Adams, 2017, Accessed 29 Apr. 2024.

Tirrell, Jennifer. “History of Chocolate Cake - CakeRe.” Cake Re, 31 Mar. 2024, Accessed 10 Apr. 2024.

Unwrap the Fascinating Story of Chocolate through the Ages.” American Heritage Chocolate, Accessed 25 Mar. 2024.

Want to learn more about food and drink history materials, including chocolate resources, available in Special Collections and University Archives and the University Libraries?

This exhibit was created by Samantha Burgess, student intern, in Spring 2024, as the final project for a Food Studies Program/Special Collections and University Archives internship.

About "America's Love Affair with Chocolate"