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The New Taste of Chocolate, Revised: A Cultural & Natural History of Cacao with Recipes Hardcover – November 24, 2009
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“Few people in the world know as much about chocolate as Maricel Presilla, or write as passionately about it. Her pioneering book, The New Taste of Chocolate, is the first to document the fascinating diversity of cacao varieties and their influence on chocolate quality. It also describes and celebrates the full arc of chocolate’s evolution, from pre-Columbian times to the twenty-first century. This book will be a revelation and delight to anyone who loves chocolate.”
—Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking
“The New Taste of Chocolate is fascinating and genuinely original. Based on unique, personal knowledge, Maricel’s book will serve as a primary research source and change the way chocolate lovers think about and taste chocolate.”
—Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger, co-founders of Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, Inc.
“It’s not a coincidence that chocolate and gold are sold in bars. Chocolate lovers who treasure history and recipes will find this book as valuable as it is delicious.”
—Flo Braker, author of Sweet Miniatures
“Maricel presents a colorful, textured, and in-depth view of the past, present, and possible future of cacao. We are also allowed a taste of the diversity that was once part of the palate of flavors used by the chocolate industry of old and insight into why some of these may be lost forever.”
—Gary Guittard, president of Guittard Chocolate Company
“After reading Maricel’s book and recognizing the sophisticated and complex journey from cacao in the field to the wonderful quality chocolate available to consumers, you will have a whole new appreciation for chocolate. Maricel offers detailed insight into the nuances of chocolate. A ‘must read’ for all chocoholics.”
“The New Taste of Chocolate is a loving tribute to cacao and the unsung heroes who have nurtured it for centuries, miraculously transforming it from bean to bar to the latest chocolate creation. Maricel’s meticulously researched book deserves a place of honor in every serious chocolate lover’s library.”
—Elaine González, author of The Art of Chocolate
From the Publisher
* The definitive illustrated reference on chocolate, updated with new chapters on the environmental and geo-political impact of cacao production and health issues surrounding chocolate.
* Chocolate tastes are becoming increasingly more sophisticated--Hershey's now produces several "artisanal" chocolate bars.
* Features 30 new and revised recipes, along with brand new photography.
* Chocolate is the #1 favorite flavor of Americans.
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Top Customer Reviews
I was interested especially in the history of chocolate. We get the interaction of Mesoamerica & South America pre- & post-Columbus explained, plus the spread to other continents. Disease problems, DNA research, etc also are explained. Making nearly any of the recipes would require shopping at an Hispanic market, so I'll probably stick to reading them. That's just as well, as they are pretty high-calorie, with lots of heavy cream etc. The first & probably only one I'll try is a chololate & corn meal beverage.
In addition to the discussion of chocolate, there are wonderful recipes provided on all aspects of chocolate.
Presilla's historical scholarship is impressive (she holds a Ph.D. in Medieval History, so that's not surprising), but what really satisfies about this book is that she accurately distills the findings from a range of disciplines--archaeology, genetics, chemistry, ecology--into language that is totally accessible to the lay reader. The richness of information in her book is all the more remarkable when you consider just how short it is: 246 pages, roughly half of which is dedicated to recipes and a guide to tasting chocolate, and another 20% or so comprising illustrations (which are great, by the way). It is clear that, where her own expertise does not extend, Presilla has enlisted the right people to guide her. The result is an informative, beautiful, and satisfying overview of a badly misunderstood and mythologized product.
For a more detailed academic treatment that only partially overlaps with Presilla's book, I recommend "Chocolate in Mesoamerica," and edited volume by Cameron McNeil:
Chocolate in Mesoamerica: A Cultural History of Cacao (Maya Studies)
Next time I shall meet you you have to sign me the book! Last time at Estragon in Quito I did not know about your ability!! Very best regards!
An absolute must for the beginner and progressive student alike!