Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love

Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love

by Simran Sethi


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061581083
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/18/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 309,054
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Simran Sethi is a journalist and an associate at the University of Melbourne's Sustainable Society Institute and the former host of the PBS Quest series on science and sustainability. Her work has appeared on NBC Nightly News, PBS, Oprah, MSNBC, the History Channel, and NPR. She was the national environmental correspondent for NBC News, the anchor/writer of Sundance Channel's first dedicated environmental programming, and the host of the Emmy Award-winning PBS documentary A School in the Woods.

Table of Contents


This Is a Book About … Love 1

What's At Stake

I Biodiversity 11

II Taste 27


I In the Glass 39

II On the Vine 61

III Tasting Wine 77


I The Baba 83

II The Bar 105

III Tasting Chocolate 129


I The Cup 135

II The Wild 159

III Tasting Coffee 183


I The Spice 189

II The Soul 209

III Tasting Beer 227


I The Temple 235

II The Blessing 257

III Tasting Bread 273


I Eight Tentacles 281

II Three Hearts 289


I Methods of Conserving Agricultural Biodiversity 293

II Drivers of Change in Agricultural Biodiversity 295

Interviews 301

Thanks 305

Endnotes 309

Flavor Guides 343

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Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
cnifong More than 1 year ago
This book -- and now the podcast that's grown out of it: The Slow Melt -- have captivated me since they hit the shelves and airwaves. The book is the story of Simran’s journey to uncover the origins, mysteries and politics of five favorite foods: bread, wine, coffee, chocolate and beer. Through its pages, Simran connects a larger picture of a broken food system and the heroes that are working to repair it. She explains why we should care about where our food comes from and how it gets to us — and what will happen if we don’t. Bread, Wine, Chocolate is filled with fascinating details about foods I have long eaten and yet known so little about. From the research behind Flavor Wheels, to the descriptions of what a cacao pod actually feels and tastes like, from the chemistry that goes into roasting a batch of coffee beans to the history of the wheat grain that dominates today’s flour. This information opened doors of understanding that allowed me to wrap my head around what makes food diversity so vital. And not only for bread, wine and chocolate but also for honey and heirloom tomatoes and bananas and rice. This book was a great read and will be pulled off my shelf for reference for years to come.
Helene Dooley More than 1 year ago
Before reading Sethi’s book, I admittedly didn’t give much thought about the variety or origin of foods available to me. Grocery stores are filled with hundreds of options so I didn’t understand the concept of losing variety. Any curiosity for the foods I regularly consumed was a fleeting “I should Google that later” mentality. Taking this global journey with Sethi, I learned that there are literally thousands of varieties of the foods I love, I haven’t even tried – or knew existed. But more than that – I may never get to. With seamless ease, Sethi weaves interviews with scientists, growers, and conservationists with her own personal growth and discoveries. Covering a broad range of information, each section of the book is carefully structured with history, cultural impact, and an unrivaled depth of flavor. I’ve read numerous books that felt preachy or condescending to the uninformed consumer, but this book is truly impactful without feeling agenda-driven. Sethi admits that she was like me at the start of the book; new to learning about the foods we are addicted to. Being able to relate and identify with her while traveling to lush forests and vineyards, made it feel like I was experiencing everything first hand. I don’t want to lose depth or complexity of the coffee I can’t live without. Sethi makes me want to grow a garden full of produce not available at the store, know the origin of every food I taste, and protect diversity by understanding my power as a consumer. This book is more than just statistics on our diets, facts on the species that we are losing everyday (though those are truly eye opening), but a deeply personal quest to find answers at the source. The people who touch the food that I eat have never felt closer, and I have never been more grateful for their effort. I can’t wait to taste foods for the first time (or the 5,783rd time), armed with taste guides and a new appreciation for the rich flavors I’m savoring. Simran Sethi’s book is one that stays with you long after you’ve read it. For example, I was in the produce section a few days after I read a passage regarding apple varieties. Before reading this book I would have thought it was an entire isle of red, green, and yellow apples, but it was actually only 6 varieties in large quantities. Disheartened at the realization that this is one of the many things that Sethi brings awareness to, I was also proud of myself for seeing through the illusion of plenty. To anyone who is curious about why the foods we love are at risk, how we the consumers can directly impact their future, or how to taste your favorite foods in a new way – read this book! I can’t express the personal experience or the lasting impression this book has had, but I strongly encourage you to read it.