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Raising the Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate Hardcover – October 20, 2012

21 customer reviews

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Raising the Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate + The Science of Chocolate + The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural & Natural History of Cacao with Recipes
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jim Eber is a veteran writer and collaborator specializing in food and business marketing. He has worked with many companies and publishing houses. Beyond this book, Jim is currently working with the Fine Chocolate Industry Association on the launch of the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative. Much to his wife's past chagrin - but current delight - this is his first book on chocolate.



Pam Williams has been involved in the chocolate industry since 1981 when she opened her first chocolate endeavor, the chocolate shop: au Chocolat. In 2003, she founded Ecole Chocolat Professional School of Chocolate Arts which delivers high quality educational programs to students all over the world. Pam received the 2011 Fine Chocolate Industry Association's Recognition of Excellence in Service to the Industry.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wilmor Publishing Corporation (October 20, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0969192126
  • ISBN-13: 978-0969192121
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #282,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sarah M Hartman on October 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Funny and witty, Raising the Bar: The future of Fine Chocolate delivers what it promises: an in-depth analysis of the current fine chocolate situation, both in the bean to bar spectrum as well as in the chocolatier end. The book devotes a large portion of its writing explaining what is happening to cocoa beans today, expanding on the issues faced by farmers, brokers, and buyers alike and finally exploring what the impacts are to the final end consumer. If you do not know much about the backstage of chocolate manufacturing, this is the perfect place to start. It explains in a friendly manner all the aspects involved in creating our favorite treat and how many of these steps on the ground (the cocoa farms) are in danger of extinction. It does so through the eyes of those who are involved in the field - manufacturers and chocolatiers alike. Various snippets from interviews with some of the world's most prominent chocolatiers give great insights into this current chocolate situation.
I am impressed with this book and with all the knowledge I have gained from it. Quick and easy to read, the book sheds light into a story that is highly important not only to the future of fine chocolate lovers, but to the impacts on nature, genetics, politics, social responsibility and the people who have made chocolate a significant part of their lives.
I suggest this book to anyone and everyone. Just as we are growingly fascinated with our organic chicken and wether they have been pasture-raised or not, we should as well be obsessed with a treat that most of us have a daily interaction with. Right now, too few people are interested in understanding chocolate and saving the future of fine chocolate. If you are a chocolate lover, this book is a must read. If you are not as much a chocolate lover, this book will give you a new appreciation and respect to the brave souls working in the industry.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Melanie Boudar on October 23, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Raising the Bar, the Future of Fine Chocolate is an in depth look at the global dilemma of the shrinking genetic pool of cacao that produces not just chocolate but the beans that produce "fine flavor" premium chocolate, chocolate that needs to be saved to ensure a future of our favorite guilty pleasure.
Its a look at the future of chocolate-the efforts of scientists,geneticists, farmers, chocolate distributors and artisanal chocolatiers to classify fine flavor genetics so they can be preserved and propagated. It challenges the concept for Fair Trade for a new paradigm of Direct Trade and raises the question who and why to farm cacao in the future as demand rises but pay does not. Why will we spend money for wine but not pay for the living wage of a farmer? Why shouldn't farmers plant high yield, engineered cacao that will feed their families but produce bland bulk chocolate with little credible chocolate flavor? MAny of the ideas presented in this book could apply to our food production of other products as well....think GMO.
The thought provoking concepts in the book are gleaned from interviews with some of the finest Craft chocolate makers and fine chocolate industry leaders in the world. They give their opinions on the now and future of all things concerning the fine chocolate industry globally ,everything from Organic certification, Raw chocolate, "Healthy" chocolate, social responsibility and sustainability with flavor concerns as top of mind.
This is an excellent book that will make you think more and appreciate your fine chocolate more. Have a good stash of chocolate on hand for the read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Fellenstein Hale on November 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For a true chocolate lover, this is delectable!

Raising the Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate lets you understand what's behind the chocolate you love. An affordable luxury and healthy pleasure, good chocolate is heading in the direction of fine wine & gourmet food. This book gives details about how chocolate is made and produced, so you can choose chocolate manufacturers and chocolatiers who support what you believe in.

Examples are discussions about fair trade practices and treating farmers well to ensure the chocolate industry's preservation (there's a great story about a chocolate manufacturer bringing the final manufactured chocolate bars back to the cacao farmers in a small village in Venezuela). There is also info about GMOs and the concerns of chocolate manufacturers, as well as the sheer joy of exploring all the flavor possibilities of chocolate!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Oram on November 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Looking for a good read? Then look no more. Raising the Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate is an enjoyable, informed read in four parts about something that most of us love.

This well researched book provides insights into the concerns that our favorite treats may be in danger and that there is time to do something about it.

This is an ideal gift for the chocolate lover and for the curious who will learn as I did, how fine chocolate is made and produced and that we have a choice to support chocolate manufacturers and chocolatiers who support what we believe in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Herskowitz on January 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Whether you are baker, pastry chef, chocolatier, or just a chocolaholic, you will want to be in on the latest and greatest regarding the future of this product. From bean to bar and beyond, authors Pam Williams and Jim Eber take us on a journey through the jungles of the Ivory Coast, New Guinea, Venezuela, and other areas where cacao is grown to understand what is going on in those areas that have and will continue to affect the cacao production on this planet-the good, the bad, and the ugly. From there, we migrate to the complexities of understanding just what chocolate is all about and how the industry is taking chocolate to a whole new level. And in the end, we learn just how chocolatiers around the globe are creating the products that consumers appear to be not only buying but craving. Upon completion of this book, you will never look at a bar of chocolate in the same way again,I can assure you.

Not only did I enjoy learning the information that was so eloquently expressed, but I also was introduced to the players both big and not-so-big in this chocolate story through the authors' references. From growers to manufacturers to artisan chocolate retailers, I now have a whole new set of individuals whose work and product I will be following with interest.
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