For the Love of Chocolate

The taste, the look, the feel of an obsession

For the Love of Chocolate

The Great Book of Chocolate

by David Lebovitz

Ten Speed Press, 165 pp., $16.95 (paper)

The chocolate odyssey of San Francisco Bay area pastry chef David Lebovitz led him to investigate everyone from the Old World artisans of Europe's finest chocolate houses to the talented upstarts responsible for the chocolate renaissance sweeping this country. Lebovitz has packed this tall, slim volume with fascinating information about how chocolate is grown and made, along with profiles of some of today's premier chocolatiers currently creating masterpieces in both the Old and New worlds. He also shares 35 mouth-watering recipes gathered in his chocolate travels garnished with helpful hints on working successfully with chocolate. Even without recipes for Double Chocolate Espresso and Cashew Cookies, Mocha Pudding Cake, or Dark Chocolate Ice Cream With Cacao Nibs, the book would be worthwhile for the pages of well-documented chocolate sources around the world, stashed in the last few pages.

Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light

by Mort Rosenblum

North Point Press, 290 pp., $24

Mort Rosenblum is an award-winning international journalist with a love of food and a genuine talent for immersing himself in his chosen subjects. His gifts and passions are evident in this erudite exploration of the history, archeology, agronomy, allure, and mystique of chocolate. The writer attended a chocolate tasting in Paris held by the exclusive Club des Croqueurs de Chocolat, and chocolate thereafter became his muse. It led him to Mexico, Africa, San Francisco, Hershey, and all the established chocolate capitals of Europe. The thought-provoking stories of the chocolate masters he encounters illuminate Rosenblum's trek, as he samples their wares and expands his "database of available chocopleasures." Reading this delicious book is likely to increase chocolate knowledge and chocolate cravings exponentially. The only thing missing is a good bibliography.

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