People in the First World consume chocolate with no qualms save what the confection might be doing to increase their waistlines. But, in fact, the manufacture of chocolate depends on its cultivation in Third World nations by citizens condemned to live in general poverty and with little control over their futures. Off describes the migration of the cacao tree from its Mexican homeland to West Africa, the land that now dominates its production. Off travels to the tropical Côte d’Ivoire, where the laborers who harvest cacao pods have never even tasted the final product into which they have poured their lifeblood. Off draws an even more sordid picture of the relationship between the institution of slavery and the rise of British chocolate capitalism under such magnates as Cadbury. Worse still, Off asserts, slavery continues to be a vexing, intractable problem in these West African regions. --Mark Knoblauch
"Bitter Chocolate is less a book about chocolate than it is a study of racism, imperialism and oppression as told through the lens of a single commodity."
—THE GLOBE AND MAIL
"An astounding eye-opener that takes no prisoners in its account of an industry built on an image of sweetness and innocence, but which hides a dark and often cruel reality. You’ll never look at chocolate the same way again."
—QUILL & QUIRE (STARRED REVIEW)
"Astonishing. . . a wrenching story and one well-researched by an investigative journalist who has proven she knows the ropes. . . . Bitter Chocolate is a compelling and important book."
—THE LONDON FREE PRESS
"In the style of Mark Kurlansky's Salt, Bitter Chocolate unravels chocolate's glittery packaging and uncovers an industry tainted by war and genocide."