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Meet the Experts: Rodney Snyder

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Rodney Snyder

Chocolate History Research Director

Mars Chocolate North America

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Rodney Snyder has been researching cocoa for Mars, Incorporated for more than 25 years. In his quest to locate the best tasting cocoa beans, he has visited all of the major cocoa growing regions such as West Africa, South America, the Caribbean, and South Asia. He has researched every aspect of the cocoa growing process, including three months on a research farm in Brazil and five weeks on a cocoa plantation in Malaysia learning how cocoa fermentation and drying techniques affect chocolate flavor. After having roasted every type of cocoa, he can identify the origin of cocoa beans by their flavor and aroma. He has visited over seventy cocoa and chocolate factories all over the world and has seen chocolate produced in every scale and manner imaginable. Rodney is the author of "From Stone Metates to Steel Mills: The Evolution of Chocolate Manufacture", a chapter included in the chocolate history book "Chocolate: Culture, Heritage, and History". His personal cocoa and chocolate book collection contains over 500 titles, with the earliest title dating back to 1693. He has demonstrated Colonial American chocolate making at many historic venues such Colonial Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, the National Museum of the American Indian and The National Archives.