Once, chocolate was a food reserved only for society’s elite. This is true of many different civilizations, from ancient Mayans to Spanish nobility during the 1500s. Chocolate is not a difficult thing to find these days and you can buy it just about anywhere. But every chocolate fan knows that not all chocolate is create equal. The book Discover Chocolate: The Ultimate Guide to Buying, Tasting, and Enjoying Fine Chocolate is all about finding the best chocolate you can, from how it is made to how to taste it in order to get the most out of every bite
Discover Chocolate is a very unusual book in that it doesn’t just give you a straight history of where chocolate comes from or how chocolate is made. It does include plenty of information on how chocolate gets from bean to bar, but the focus of the book is on tasting chocolate. It teaches you to be a chocolate connoisseur, and much like being a wine connoisseur, that means that you need to learn how to buy chocolate, how to taste chocolate and learn how to describe the flavors of chocolate – all so you can have a better understanding of what you like best. There are some great little exercises and charts to help you learn what flavors you might taste when tasting chocolate, as well as definitions of terms like “snap” and “melt” that will help you understand what other chocophiles mean when they describe a chocolate. The final chapter is about pairings of wine, spirits and other flavors with chocolate, to give you a starting point for expanding your chocolate horizons even further.
The book is a good read for a chocolate lover, especially for someone who really loves chocolate and is serious about enjoying it more (on a parallel with someone who loves wine and wants to learn more about it). The only drawback to the book is that it doesn’t come with any chocolate samples. Fortunately, that is easily remedied. I’d pick up a bar to nibble on while you read, but I’ll warn you that you might want to pick up a variety to sample and compare yourself after you finish!