Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Chocolate Connoisseur: For Everyone with a Passion for Chocolate Hardcover – February 2, 2006
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
From Publishers Weekly
The chocolate buyer for the London department store Fortnum & Mason has taken it upon herself to educate the world about life beyond Snickers bars; the difference between "candy" and true ("artisanal") chocolate, and then between chocolate and chocolates (bonbons); and how to learn to love the good stuff, en route to becoming a chocolate connoisseur oneself, as skilled as any wine or cheese taster. Her approach is that of an unabashed and evangelical snob, a bracing combination of Mary Poppins and Miss Manners. Along the way, Doutre-Roussel skewers some sacred cows—Belgian chocolates, Godiva—and lists with approval a dozen brands most people have never heard of, with, fortunately, mail-order and online sources to find them and instructions on how to savor them when found. This is a beautiful little book, chockfull of charming pictures, maps, charts and graphs, sidebars and boxes of advice, lore and even a few recipes. Paired with a few choco-gourmet samples, it would make a scrumptious Valentine's gift for nearly anyone. (Feb.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
'sensuous and entertaining' - The Independent on Sunday --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
Although a lot of information is covered in The Chocolate Connoisseur, she can only skim the surface as all things chocolate would take up many volumes. As a fellow chocolatier and writer, I can say that this is an excellent book to start yourself on the journey of chocolate. It's quite simple to read and basically leads you by the hand.
I really enjoyed that she shared this book from her experience and her knowledge from being a chocolate buyer. You feel as though she is in the room with you while you're reading. Many pages in my book have been dogeared and referred to time and time again.
Buy this book if you are just starting out on your own chocolate journey!
This book is a terrific introduction to the world of premium chocolate, especially the richer, higher-cocoa-percentage chocolates now appearing in better stores. While I would've liked more references to external sources concerning the history and current status of chocolate, to support her facts, I found this book extremely useful for preparing a small seminar on chocolate and chocolate tasting. I highly recommend the book.
Ms. Doutre-Roussel has a light-hearted style of writing that made this book an easy read. At the same time, she drew me in from being moderately interested in premium chocolate to being seriously interested. Sure, it doesn't have every possible detail of the history or manufacturing or other topics within the world of chocolate - but this book wasn't meant to be exhaustive.
She assumes the reader is not an experienced chocolate lover, and therefore does a good job of explaining many things simply. I appreciated the diagrams of tasting, the handful of recipes, the simple timelines of chocolate history, and more.
This book is an excellent stepping stone for a budding chocolate conoisseur and probably just right for the person moderately interested in chocolate.
Ms. Doutre-Roussel also clearly states her opinions about the kinds of chocolate that she adores and the "chocolates" she doesn't. She repeatedly emphasizes the point that you have to discover your own opinions about chocolate. I found it easy to not be offended or turned off by how she grew up, how much chocolate she eats in a day, and other more personal items. Rather, I just read the book for what it is meant to be - an enjoyable education.
I found the book self-serving and a bit disingenuous. She does love talking about Chloe, and, she gives the impression she can eat a pound of chocolate daily and stay quite thin. Only at the end of the book does she tell you that she's exercising a minimum of two hours a day (swims an hour, does power yoga, and walks briskly).
I am not putting her down for her regimen, as that would be hypocritical. I enjoy chocolate and everything else I want to eat guiltlessly because I also love yoga and walking.
Chloe neglects to mention, let alone discuss, the history of slavery in the annals of chocolate lore; nor, does she even alight upon the current situations on the Ivory Coast, where child labor and terrible working conditions still exisit. I found this a huge omission.
Yes, fair trade chocolate may not rival Domori's line, but what about the good karma that comes from knowing no one was hurt producing it for your enjoyment? As she is someone with a great deal of power in the chocolate industry I was sad to see that she gave short shrift to this enormous aspect of the business.
She also omitted chocosphere.com as one of the great resources we have for buying our little delights in the US.
On the other hand, there were a number of things I really enjoyed about this book: *the health benefits of chocolate (not new, but concise)
*how to host a chocolate tasting (though I would include a bit in the beginning where everyone gets to speak about their own chocolate history)
*the art of tasting chocolate (this is also a bit of micro-management, but, then, I can enjoy a glass of wine without parsing out its merits)
*educating you about trends in the industry, the difference between beans, the finest producers
*and, most of all, raising the general awareness of excellent chocolate.
This is a good book for the novice who's developing a passion for more esoteric chocolates, and wants a basic course that's quick and easy to absorb.