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Chocolate: The Consuming Passion Paperback – January 5, 1982

4.8 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sandra Boynton is a popular American cartoonist, writer, and songwriter. Since 1974, Boynton has written and illustrated over forty children’s books and seven general audience books, including four New York Times bestsellers. More than 60 million of her books have been sold—“mostly to friends and family,” she says. She has also written and produced five albums of award-winning children’s music. Three of her albums have been certified Gold, and Philadelphia Chickens, nominated for a Grammy, is nearing Platinum. She lives with her family on a farm in New England.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Myth No. 2 "Chocolate is fattening."

A crucial factor has been overlooked in this widespread condemnation of chocolate: Most chocolate eaters tend to supplement their chocolate intake with other foods. By what right, what logic can chocolate be singled out as the cause of plumpness? How can we be certain that, say, carrots are not a catalyst of weight-gain when chocolate is present?

And there is empirical evidence that also raises serious doubts about chocolate's fatteningness: Few chocolate lovers can simply lie back and wait for chocolate to come to them. For most, getting and keeping chocolate often requires strenuous physical work.

Myth No. 5 "Chocolate is nothing more than a substitute for affection."

Much has been made lately of the recent scientific finding that there is a chemical in chocolate-phenylethylamine-that is virtually identical to the substance manufactured by the brain of the infatuated individual. In various studies of the phenomenon,

  • the conclusion drawn is that chocolate obsession is in fact self-medication for the spurned lover. He or she is trying to synthesize the "high" of being in love.

    As is too often the case with these social scientists, they are taking sound, highly suggestive data and drawing empirically absurd conclusions. What reasonable soul prefers romance to truffles?

    Clearly it is not the lovelorn sufferer who seeks solace in chocolate, but rather the chocolate-deprived individual who, desperate, seeks in mere love a pale approximation of bittersweet euphoria.

  • Drs. Donald F. Klein and Michael R. Liebowitz, "Hysteroid Dysphoria," Psychiatric Clinics of North America. Vol. II, No.3. Dec. 1979; Dr. John Money, Love and Love-Sickness: The Science of Sex, Gender Difference, and Pair-Bonding, John Hopkins University Press, 1980.


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    Product Details

    • Paperback: 112 pages
    • Publisher: Workman Publishing Company; First Edition edition (January 5, 1982)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 0894801996
    • ISBN-13: 978-0894801990
    • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.3 x 8 inches
    • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
    • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,118,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

    Customer Reviews

    Top Customer Reviews

    By Catherine S. Vodrey on June 3, 2002
    Format: Paperback
    I have always had a soft spot for anything Sandra Boynton does, but "Chocolate: The Consuming Passion" is probably my favorite of her books. I have bought it for more chocolate-loving friends than I can count and they have all been thrilled with it.
    Boynton deftly blends together her signature cartoon animals (who for the most part try to look dignified in less than dignified circumstances--the key to their hilarity), actual chocolate facts (on the front of the book, it says, "Written, Illustrated, and Overresearched by Sandra Boynton"), and a heaping helping of utter silliness. Boynton tosses her own opinion in wherever possible:
    "Those who favor dark chocolate have little patience with cute candy."
    "Whoever said, 'The best things in life are free' was, of course, just kidding. The best things in life go for $6.50 a pound and up."
    "Chocolate is not a privilege; it is a right."
    "If the remotest possibility exists that you could become snowbound, take this simple precaution: Remove and discard all insulation from ski jacket. Replace with seven lbs. (approx.) of shaved chocolate. Resew seams. Warning: Never warm up in front of a fire without first removing jacket."
    See especially Boynton's sections on white chocolate and carob (as you might expect, she's a dark chocolate snob, as are so many chocolate aficionados) and her hilarious explanation of the "myth of chocolate's fattingness." Boynton gives helpful information on opening up your own cacao plantation--on which you will need "4,000 or so cacao seedlings and time" and an international section on how to ask for chocolate in half a dozen languages.
    There are even recipes, including one for "Chocolate Chip Cookie (Theoretical yield: 48 cookies, 2 inches each) and "Hippo Pôt de Mousse." This book has pleasures that keep on giving even after the first, second, or fourteenth reading.
    Comment 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Paperback
    I cannot imagine a better combination of information, humor, and fun concerning the great pleasure we all get from chocolate.
    The only thing missing from this book were instructions about which chocolates to have ready to fortify yourself as you read and ponder Chocolate -- The Consuming Passion. Since the book describes every possible kind of chocolate (from baking chocolate to white chocolate . . . and of ever possible shape and quality), I suggest that you stock up every variety you can think of. Naturally, you will then get more benefit from the book if you eat a sample of what is being described as you proceed. I estimate that at least five pounds of each type mentioned is about the right quantity. Then, you can savor the experience . . . no matter how fast you eat chocolate!
    Ms. Boynton notes that "this book was written for the Chocolate Elite -- the select millions who like chocolate in all its infinite variety, using `like' as in `I like to breathe.'"
    Before going on, let me mention that I had the great honor of providing strategic consulting services for a chocolate business in 1973. It was heaven. I can still remember the wonderful aroma of the plant! In the process, I was thrilled to find out how chocolate is grown, processed, and turned into finished products like chocolate chips. Since that time, I had never seen a book that shared the same kind of information that I learned from working with my client . . . until Chocolate -- The Consuming Passion. So at an information level, the book is terrific.
    You should know that the humor is even better than the information though. Just when you've really gotten the scoop on what semisweet chocolate is, Ms. Boynton will drop in an unexpected joke.
    Read more ›
    Comment 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    By A Customer on November 15, 2002
    Format: Paperback
    This is a lovely book! Beautiful and funny illustrations, delicious recipes, interesting facts ... "Chocolate The Consuming Passion" covers basically everything any chocolate lover would want to know. It includes chocolate profiles, information about different kinds of chocolate, chocolate myths and funny observations. One example is this: "The greatest tragedies were written by the Greeks and by Shakespeare. Neither knew chocolate." Of course, there is no causality, but still!
    Although this book is written for children, any chocolate lover will adore it, regardless of age. Actually, one does never really grow out of picture books, at least not the good ones.
    The first time I saw this book was in the window of the best chocolate store in my town, The Belgian House of Chocolate. I knew I must get it! I have not been disappointed.
    Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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    Format: Paperback
    What could be better than a book written by my favorite greeting card author and illustrator? And about my favorite vegetable: CHOCOLATE (is a many-splendored thing)! To whet your appetite, I give you what the Pig says (on the reverse cover) from the lecturn/podium to the Turkey, Cow, Cat and Hippo in the audience:
    Pig: This comprehensive guide answers every possible question about chocolate.
    Turkey: Is chocolate available in nicer colors than brown?
    Pig: This thorough guide answers every INTELLIGENT question about chocolate.
    This is a genuinely educational book, to be sure; but the facts are always thoroughly interlaced with Boynton's inimitable wit (both verbal and graphic), with which she all but pulls your leg off at times while keeping her own tongue firmly in cheek. Buy a candy bar (or better yet, a box of chocolates) from Godiva to go with this book, and you're have the luck of the chimney sweeps follow you (or the lucky lass/lad you give them to) forever.
    Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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