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The Great Book of Chocolate Paperback – April 15, 2004
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From the Publisher
* Includes more than 50 location and food photographs.
* The New York Times on Lebovitzs first ook: "Instructions are clear and simple, and the recipes are so good that it becomes clear what a master baker he is."
About the Author
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Top Customer Reviews
Even if you have any other book on chocolate, you will find things in this book which do not appear in any others, as it has information I have not seen in about a half dozen books on chocolate and about 20 hours of Food Network shows on chocolate done by everyone from Alton Brown to Tyler Florence to Gordon Elliot.
One of the most interesting new facts I found in this book is that like coffee, there are two different naturally occurring varieties of the cacao plant, plus a manmade hybrid. One of the varieties is much more delicate and much less common than the other, accounting for about 5% of the world's chocolate, but it is a much richer product. Very few chocolate processors deal with this criollo variety. Most use the much more common forestero variety or the hybrid trinitario.
Like tea and coffee and olive oil, cacao is a highly complex product, much of whose more desirable and subtle properties are destroyed by too much heat during processing. Heat is also the enemy of chocolate when melting and tempering chocolate to be used for cooking. This brings up one of my very few complaints about this book in that it explains a very primitive method for heating and tempering chocolate. I would have devoted at least one page to explaining how professional chocolate tempering pots work, and in what way one could be improvised. The author gives some very brief suggestions using a heating pad, but a paragraph plus an illustration would have been dandy.Read more ›
David offers readers an historical overview of chocolate, then instructs us on the fine points of working with quality chocolate. He shares his opinions on the various chocolates available in the marketplace and how to choose the best chocolate for the dish you are creating.
David divides his time between San Francisco and Paris, two of the world's finest culinary destinations, and he knows each city well. We are treated to his suggestions for the BEST pastry shops in Paris and their chocolate specialties, and provides some of his favorite bakeries and cafes in the US as well. The book is annecdotal, with a running commentary accompanying his sumptuous recipe selection. It's nearly as good as a personal tour of Paris and beyond combined with a culinary class dedicated to one of the world's favorite flavors.
As a vanilla specialist I know how well chocolate and vanilla pair and also how complex each of these flavors is, so it was with especial pleasure that David teaches us how to understand and appreciate all of the nuances of this incredible tropical treasure. The Great Book of Chocolate is not "just another book on chocolate;" it is a "must have" book for anyone who is passionate about chocolate or who values the opportunity to prepare beautiful desserts.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lots to know about chocolate and it's all here in this book. Plus Lebovitz evaluates chocolate both in the US and Paris - good guide for chocolate lovers...Published 4 months ago by Muffy
When I purchased this book I honestly thought it was going to be filled with Chocolate recipes. Gives lots of information about the trees, pods, etc. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Daniel H. Hansen
It has useful information on chocolate, and included places famous for making high end chocolate products.Published 13 months ago by Julia
Very interesting combination of commentary and information about chocolate!Published 14 months ago by Yvonne B.
David Lebovitz's book was easy to read, jam-packed with useful and unique information as well as great recipes and beautiful pictures. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Alison G.
A delightful, though unfortunately short, appreciation of one of the world's great subjects.Published 19 months ago by Gregory M. Moshnin