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Did the Aztecs discover chocolate? Do the Swiss make the world's best chocolate? Is Godiva chocolate worth its price? No, no and no, according to Francophilic foodie Rosenblum (Olives). Although he'd always considered himself a "chocolate ignoramus," after attending a fancy Parisian chocolate tasting he immerses himself in the world of professional chocolatiers. He researches texts on the history of chocolate for amusing anecdotes, but his forte is his knack for going out in the field and talking with the masters. Rosenblum lets the artists teach him how great chocolate is made and how to appreciate its qualities. He travels from the cacao growing fields of Ivory Coast to the kitchens of some of Mexico's finest chefs, from the refined workshops of Paris to the factories of Hershey, Pa. As he discovers, chocolates—candy bars, chocolate mints—are basically an industrial product, containing little cacao and unworthy of serious culinary interest. Real chocolate, however, like fine wine, can be absolutely sublime. Artisans who carefully select their cacao beans and process those beans with painstaking attention can craft exquisite chocolate with extremely complex aromas and flavors. Rosenblum's chatty book, which lacks an index or endnotes, may disappoint food researchers. But for that vast world of chocolate-lovers who'd like a book between their bars, this bonbon is sure to please. Line drawings.
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Rosenblum trades the focus of his James Beard award-winning Olives for a newer, sweeter obsession. His experience as a newspaperman (Rosenblum is the former editor for the International Herald Tribune and a former Associated Press reporter) bears fruit in the strong source material he tracks down in far-flung locales. If his prose is weakened by newsroom clichés, it is at least “clean and consistent” enough to tell a satisfying story (Newsday). Like any devotee, Rosenblum has his favorites, and while the critics concede that French chocolate may be the best, many are put off by the author’s blind devotion to it. Like its subject matter, Chocolate is a book that aims to please, and should drive anyone with a sweet tooth into the candy shop.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.See all Editorial Reviews
Again, I would love to URGE you for educating yourself more about this oh so healthy food; the dark chocolate that is. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Mariette Vedder
The book was entertaining and provides a good overview of the chocolate industry. However, it describes it at a very high level and is lacking some "meat".Published 12 months ago by Kevin Martinez
If you've ever wondered what differentiates French chocolate from Swiss chocolate from Belgian chocolate? Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by Robbin Warner
Many books about chocolate are filled with passion and love for the subject, that's less the case here as Mort Rosenbaum approaches his subject with a seasoned journalist's... Read morePublished on June 18, 2011 by D. Woollard
I was actually forced to buy this book for a chocolate class I took one summer. Although the class itself was a joke, the book was definitely not. Read morePublished on December 21, 2010 by Ali
I don't generally read books about food: mostly I remember the urge to eat whatever's mentioned rather than the content of the book. Read morePublished on July 21, 2009 by M. Hitchcock
I'm not one that likes journalists as a rule. But, get a good investigative journalist and get him caught up in a subject as fascinating as chocolate, and you're on to a winner. Read morePublished on February 21, 2009 by Adrenalin Streams
"I tasted a mix of star anise and crushed pink peppercorns infused into semisweet dark ganache. To soften the impact, it was enrobed in 41 percent milk chocolate. Read morePublished on August 21, 2008 by Rebecca of Amazon