Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Chocolate – A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light

My foodie reading continues unabated with my latest read: Chocolate – A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light. Mort Rosenblum presents a fascinating account of the chocolate business across various countries including France, Mexico, United States, and Belgium, bringing a real journalistic eye to it all.

Particularly fascinating is his tracing of the bitter rivalries between the big players like Hersheys and Mars (USA) and Cadbury and Frys (UK). And also the national rivalries, just as bitter, between the French, Swiss and Belgium as the nation who makes the best quality chocolate. Not surprisingly the USA were pilloried by all in terms of their chocolate!

Rosenblum writes with such enjoyment, regularly noting how he was too busy scoffing down the amazing chocolate being offered to take notes! But he is also conscious of the pretentiousness of it all, but can’t helped but be sucked in by the haute chocolate terms such as palet d’or.

But thankfully it isn’t all palet d’or, Valrhona and La Maison du Chocolate, the chapter on Nutella is genius! Hooray for the humble hazelnut spread, loved around the world – some of the stories about what people do for their nutella hilarious!

I’m so excited as after reading this book as have booked myself into a chocolate appreciation class at Monsieur Truffe.

One of my new rules in life – I will only eat chocolate with a cocoa content of 70% or more. Life is too short for anything else!

I’ve also got my hands on Rosenblum’s first book, the wonderfully titled: A Goose in Tolouse.

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