July 31, 2006
We'd like to get a book review section going on the site. Would anyone be intereted in contributing?
January 5, 2006
Okay, WellI just purchased a whileago Geert's book - Belgium Chocolates. It is nice and the recipes are good and the pictures are really nice. However, there is always a question left unanswered.For example, "pour out betweenthe 12mm rulers aranged on a greased marble slab. Leave to cool sufficiently before dicing into cubes 22 by 22 mm. As a relatively new chocolatierre, I am not sure what the 12mm rulers are for. I don't have them... and what is sufficiently cool? How long? If I had the rulers, then how would I arrange them? This is what I would like to see in a picture. Perhaps I sound very ignorant, but I made this recipe and somehow managed, but I like to understand everything! Also some reipes call for a fruit compound, and Iwonder if the compound I may be able to get here is the right consistency... In general, the recipes are lovely and can be figured out or adapted, but for the underconfident, more precise explanations or pictures of the process would be great!
August 6, 2006
January 28, 2007
I haven't read a lot of chocolate books, but the one I have read I would be happy to review (Chocolate by Mort Rosenblum) - I enjoyed it and recommended it to others. Plus I would like to learn more about chocolate, so further reviewing assignments would probably be fun, too. =)
I have read many many chocolate books but still have not read Mort's book. I keep hearing great things so I think I'm going to have to order that book...what is the major point that are touched on in the book?
August 1, 2006
It's a decent enough read, something to fill your spare time but certainly nothing to use as a reference book, or even as a source of useful information. It's purely anecdotal and won't bring to the table any new information that many of us already know. In fact, it reinforces and conveys to the public much of the knowledge and mindsets that most "chocolate connoisseurs" already possess.
The major problem of the book is that Mort breaks the flow of consistency and in so doing contradicts his main point. Mort claims that one's upbringing reflects his/her taste for chocolate in adulthood, which in this case means it's perfectly acceptable to like cheap chocolate such as Herhsey's. But then Mort insults other countries' chocolates for being too sweet, too mass produced, etc., and then follows with an oddly placed chapter about Hershey. In a book that's so blatantly pro-French, you have to wonder why he would include such a chapter. My guess is that he's catering more to widespread ignorance.
Anyway, if you want a more exploratory and accurate book on French chocolate, then read Crafting the Culture and History of French Chocolate by Susan J. Terrio.
January 28, 2007
I wouldn't say that there is any unifying thesis, especially not anything to do with upbringing, as the author himself, while admittedly biased towards French chocolate, does not come into that opinion until doing the research for that very book. He simply presents a set of different perspectives on chocolate, whether they be on a personal or national scale, and also interviews people who are in or have influence on the "chocolate business," so to speak - people who work in Hershey, PA, or at Valrhona, or grow the beans (for themselves or for others), or taste chocolate for a living (Chloe). I don't think there are any insults intended either, because he spends a lot of time emphasizing how personal tastes vary in each country he visits.
The book ultimately offers a lot of good introductory information in an enjoyable format that doesn't take a condescending or didactic tone. There's history, travelogue, humor - stuff to keep the ignorant among us paying attention long enough to learn something.
October 14, 2005
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