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Chocolate: Pathway to the Gods Hardcover – October 15, 2008

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Chocolate: Pathway to the Gods + The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural & Natural History of Cacao with Recipes + The True History of Chocolate
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“To read Chocolate: Pathway to the Gods is to delve into a rich narration of one of the most marvelous gifts Meso-American cultures have given to the world: the very special delights of chocolate.”— Bloomsbury Review

"You can't beat this delectable book."—Northwest Explorer

About the Author

Meredith L. Dreiss is a research fellow at the Texas Archaeological Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin. Her company, ArcheoProductions, Inc., develops and produces anthropology-related educational and entertainment projects. She is also president of the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation, an organization focused on issues of global sustainability. Sharon Edgar Greenhill has more than twenty years of experience in the fields of architecture, museum design, and historic preservation in the United States and Mexico. She is a long-time consultant to ArcheoProductions, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University of Arizona Press; Har/DVD edition (October 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816524645
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816524648
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #484,347 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bob Newman VINE VOICE on September 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Don't misunderstand. I'm not a chocoholic, drooling over the latest episode in the delicious saga of my favorite substance. Actually, I've never been that fond of the stuff. But, as part of history and anthropology, the links between cacao and the peoples of Mexico and Central America are many and deep. The authors of CHOCOLATE have compiled a great collection of beautiful photographs of many Mesoamerican objects to do with the growing and ingestion of chocolate, of the use of chocolate for religious and medicinal purposes. And what's more, there's a DVD that accompanies the book. The film shown on it does not merely repeat the same information, nor are more than a few images repeated either. Instead, you get an interesting look at how chocolate spread to Spain and Portugal after the conquests of the New World, and from there to other parts of Europe. Chocolate in ancient times in Mesoamerica connected to religion---it was the food of the gods, perhaps the sustenance for the soul as corn was for the body. Chocolate unadulterated with sugar can be very good for your heart, so kings of the Maya world, who were supposed to be immortal, might have kept it for themselves. We notice cacao pods peeping out on all sorts of statues, objects of daily use, paintings from temples and the codexes that survived. The cacao pods grew from the very bodies of gods in some representations. There is an interesting chapter on the pre-Columbian cacao trade and the rise of a wealthy class of merchants in both Aztec and Maya worlds centered around the chocolate-producing cacao bean, which even became a form of cash.Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Vivien Geneser on September 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Whether you are an anthropologist seeking an authoritative reference on Mesoamerican culture and history, or an avowed chocaholic in search of intellectual justification for your culinary habits, you will find this book and
DVD to be an irresistible treat!

Chocolate: Pathway to the Gods is a carefully researched volume that thoroughly portrays the current cacao bean farming industry while also linking it to customs from the past. You will learn about the archeology of the region as well as the culture of chocolate in Middle America. An accompanying DVD by the same name gives further insight into the topic by providing video clips of the people in action and authentic regional music.

Beautifully illustrated with photos and color illustrations, the text illuminates the role of choclate in our collective conciousness. Be sure to purchase your favorite chocolate treats to savor while reading and/or watching Chocolate: Pathway to the Gods.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TooManyHobbies TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The photographs and illustrations in the book are beautiful, but I found the writing style jumbled and difficult to follow. Honestly I only managed to read 20 or 30 pages before I got frustrated / bored and put the book aside. The subject matter is organized around artifacts. A picture of the artifact is shown and its meaning, history and significance are presented. If you want a catalog on Mesoamerican art, artifacts and mythology this book would be perfect, but if you just want to know more about the history of chocolate give this one a pass.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Green on January 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This was a wonderful book about one of my favorite things. Now, the more I know, the more I understand why it is a universal favorite. It truely was a gift from and to the Gods as Meredith Dreiss explains.
The book comes with a video which is fun to watch at a chocolate fountain party! A book of solid history about a subject that is fun to learn about. Keep a little chocolate handy while reading!
Lisa Green
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By firstonefree on September 10, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book a long time ago… I do love it. All the history, commentary & info is wonderful. I actually learned something! Great coffee table book.. Answered many questions and inspired me again to bake & make candy. The pictures are welcome additions, giving me many visually pleasing experiences. If you don't already love chocolate (I can't imagine that) you will gain a new appreciation after reading this book. And you will know what the picture is on the front!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bought this as a gift for my son - who's an admitted chocoholic. He has researched the history of chocolate but found many things in this book that he did not know. He said is giving him a deeper understanding and appreciation of the whole concept of chocolate in the modern sense. He was very happy with the gift. The quality of the book was great.
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