A delectable journey into the world of chocolate--from manufacturing to marketing, French boutiques to American multinationals--by the award-winning author of Olives.
Science, over recent years, has confirmed what chocolate lovers have always known: the stuff is actually good for you. It's the Valentine's Day drug of choice, has more antioxidants than red wine, and triggers the same brain responses as falling in love. Nothing, in the end, can stand up to chocolate as a basic fundament to human life.
In this scintillating narrative, acclaimed foodie Mort Rosenblum delves into the complex world of chocolate. From the mole poblano--chile-laced chicken with chocolate--of ancient Mexico to the contemporary French chocolatiers who produce the palets d'or--bite-sized, gold-flecked bricks of dark chocolate--to the vast empires of Hershey, Godiva, and Valrhona, Rosenblum follows the chocolate trail the world over. He visits cacao plantations, meets with growers, buyers, makers, and tasters, and investigates the dark side of the chocolate trade as well as the enduring appeal of its product.
Engaging, entertaining, and revealing, Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light is a fascinating foray into this "food of the gods."
|Publisher:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|File size:||912 KB|
About the Author
Mort Rosenblum is a special correspondent to the Associated Press, and a former editor of the International Herald Tribune. He is the author of, most recently, Olives (FSG, 1996). He lives in Paris.
Mort Rosenblum was an Associated Press foreign correspondent for nearly forty years until 2004, covering coups, earthquakes, wars, and everything else in more than one hundred countries. He was editor of the International Herald Tribune from 1979 to1981. He has written twelve books, including Escaping Plato's Cave, and has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize eight times. He splits his time between a boat on the Seine in Paris and an olive farm in the south of France
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
By Bill Marsano. Mort Rosenblum has at last seen the error of his ways. After his award-winning 'Olives' of a few years ago and then a gastronomical ramble called 'A Goose in Toulouse,' he recognized that his day job as an Associated Press correspondent was a waste of his time and, more important, his wide-ranging talent and generous sensibility. And so with no wars or economic calamities to deal with he has devoted himself to chocolate, and we should be grateful for that, and for this book. Whether you're an initiate of such dark secrets as Italy's magnificent newcomer, Amedei, or mired in the outer darkness of Hershey's and the grossly overrated Godiva, you will find your mouth watering with the very first chapter. Rosenblum throws himself into his subject and takes the reader with him on extraordinary journeys: to Oxaca, Mexico, to plumb the secrets of mole sauce (which is traditionally for turkey, not chicken, and is supposed to be made in platoon-feeding quantities. To Sao Tome and Principe, two islands so far out that Fernando Po (what?) is a near neighbor, where a mildly unhinged Italian is planning to rebuild a tradition of fine chocolate. To West Africa, where cacao growers who suffer from thieving governments and armed rebels took another blow when a half-witted BBC report accused them of using slave labor. To Belgium and Switzerland which, reputation to the contrary, produce mostly mass-market chocolate on an industrial scale. To England where (as usual) what they eat will scare your pants off. To the U.S., where we get the lowdown on Hershey and Mars but get good news, too, about Steve DeVries in Denver and Scharffen Berger in California: Both are moving steadily in the direction of the French. And they are not alone: Vere (pronounced 'vair-ray') just opened in New York City, offering fine chocolate made exclusively from rare a Ecuadorian variety. And of course Rosenblum takes us to France--all of chocolate-making France, not just Paris. France is where, Rosenblum says, chocolate reaches transcendence. Not only chocolate--the basic stuff of the plain, unadorned chocolate bar--but chocolates (note the plural), which are filled and frilled and decorated and molded. In short, they are confections or candies. Rosenblum takes us into the workshops and passions of chocolatiers who are as devoted and creative as any Michelin 3-star chefs. And just as independent and secretive. These artists would have fit right in at the Sun King's Versailles. There's other stuff here, and it's all good, rich, satisfying stuff: chocolate and health, chocolate 'addiction,' chocolate as an aphrodisiac, and the great enemy of chocolate-lovers everywhere: the cosmetics industry, which is buying up cocoa butter as fast as it can so women can smear it on their faces! As outrages go, that's surely among the worst, just as this book is surely among the best.--Bill Marsano is an award-winning writer and editor in New York. His T-shirt reads 'Just give me the chocolate and no one gets hurt.'