Everyday Tidbits...

Be Kind. Do Good. Love is a Verb.

Friday, September 29, 2017

5 Books I Want to Read...Chocolate

I keep a wish list on Goodreads called "want to read". Currently, it's up to 2877. Yeah. I also have several stacks of books tucked against walls throughout my house. Each is probably at least 3 feet high of books I haven't read yet. I periodically go through my list and purge it, but it still is not slowing down. Nor are the books that keep appearing on my Kindle. They're all still on my wish list, I just haven't gotten to them yet.

Each month I highlight 5 books I want to read. I don't set out to plan themes, but somehow patterns creep into my viewing.

This month it's Chocolate and specifically books about the history of chocolate. God bless the first person who ever looked at a cocoa bean and said, "Let's chop this up and add sugar to it."

----------------------------------------

A Brief History of Chocolate by Steve Berry and Phil Norman

An illustrated guide to chocolate that every self-respecting chocoholic should read.

Do you remember when a Snickers was a Marathon? And when you could burst in to a sweet shop and ask for ‘an Oliver Twist, two Tiffins and a Big Wig, please!’ and keep a straight face? Those were the good days: when a Dairy Milk bar was 22p and you’d never seen anything as big as a Wagon Wheel.

Revisit some of your forgotten favourites and current addictions, as Steve Berry and Phil Norman take you on a tour of cocoa’s finest moments. Fully illustrated with hundreds of wrappers, ads and pack shots, A Brief History of Chocolate brings together research from the archives, factories and warehouses of some of the leading chocolate manufacturers in the country to create a book that is packed full of fascinating historical research…

… and lots and lots of chocolate.

Warning: may contain nuts

A Brief History of Chocolate originally featured in The Great British Tuck Shop, the ultimate book of sweetie nostalgia.

The True History of Chocolate by Sophie D. Coe and Michael D. Coe

This delightful and best-selling tale of one of the world's favorite foods draws upon botany, archaeology, and culinary history to present a complete and accurate history of chocolate.

The story begins some 3,000 years ago in the jungles of Mexico and Central America with the chocolate tree, Theobroma Cacao, and the complex processes necessary to transform its bitter seeds into what is now known as chocolate. This was centuries before chocolate was consumed in generally unsweetened liquid form and used as currency by the Maya, and the Aztecs after them. The Spanish conquest of Central America introduced chocolate to Europe, where it first became the drink of kings and aristocrats and then was popularized in coffeehouses. Industrialization in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries made chocolate a food for the masses, and now, in our own time, it has become once again a luxury item.

The second edition draws on recent research and genetic analysis to update the information on the origins of the chocolate tree and early use by the Maya and others, and there is a new section on the medical and nutritional benefits of chocolate.

The Emperors of Chocolate: Inside the Secret World of Hershey and Mars by Joël Glenn Brenner

Corporate candy giants Milton Hershey and Forrest Mars built business empires out of one of the world's most magical, sought-after substances: chocolate. In The Emperors of Chocolate, Joël Glenn Brenner--the first person to ever gain access to the highly secretive companies of Hershey and Mars--spins a unique story that takes us inside a world as mysterious as Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory. Packed with flavorful stories and outrageous characters that give the true scoop on this real-life candyland, The Emperors of Chocolate is a delectable read for business buffs and chocoholics alike. Start reading and you'll soon be hungry for more.

Chocolate: History, Culture, and Heritage by Louis E. Grivetti and Howard-Yana Shapiro

Chocolate. We all love it, but how much do we really know about it? In addition to pleasing palates since ancient times, chocolate has played an integral role in culture, society, religion, medicine, and economic development across the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe.

In 1998, the Chocolate History Group was formed by the University of California, Davis, and Mars, Incorporated to document the fascinating story and history of chocolate. This book features fifty-seven essays representing research activities and contributions from more than 100 members of the group. These contributors draw from their backgrounds in such diverse fields as anthropology, archaeology, biochemistry, culinary arts, gender studies, engineering, history, linguistics, nutrition, and paleography. The result is an unparalleled, scholarly examination of chocolate, beginning with ancient pre-Columbian civilizations and ending with twenty-first-century reports.

Here is a sampling of some of the fascinating topics explored inside the book:

Ancient gods and Christian celebrations: chocolate and religion

Chocolate and the Boston smallpox epidemic of 1764

Chocolate pots: reflections of cultures, values, and times

Pirates, prizes, and profits: cocoa and early American east coast trade

Blood, conflict, and faith: chocolate in the southeast and southwest borderlands of North America

Chocolate in France: evolution of a luxury product

Development of concept maps and the chocolate research portal

Not only does this book offer careful documentation, it also features new and previously unpublished information and interpretations of chocolate history. Moreover, it offers a wealth of unusual and interesting facts and folklore about one of the world's favorite foods.

Candyfreak: A Journey through the Chocolate Underbelly of America by Steve Almond

A self-professed candyfreak, Steve Almond set out in search of a much-loved candy from his childhood and found himself on a tour of the small candy companies that are persevering in a marketplace where big corporations dominate.

From the Twin Bing to the Idaho Spud, the Valomilk to the Abba-Zaba, and discontinued bars such as the Caravelle, Marathon, and Choco-Lite, Almond uncovers a trove of singular candy bars made by unsung heroes working in old-fashioned factories to produce something they love. And in true candyfreak fashion, Almond lusciously describes the rich tastes that he has loved since childhood and continues to crave today. Steve Almond has written a comic but ultimately bittersweet story of how he grew up on candy-and how, for better and worse, the candy industry has grown up, too.

Candyfreak is the delicious story of one man's lifelong obsession with candy and his quest to discover its origins in America.

----------------------------------------

What about you? What books are on your "want to read/wish" list?

5 Books I want to Read is a monthly meme started by Stephanie at Layered Pages. If you want to check out some other terrific bloggers and what their wish lists look like, you can do that here: A Bookaholic Swede, Layered Pages, The Maiden's Court, Flashlight Commentary and A Literary Vacation.

2 comments: