THE TRUE HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE by Michael Coe and Sophie Coe. Ask around for the best book on chocolate history and you'll wind up here. It is the best. Written by Yale Professor of Anthropology Emeritus Michael Coe and his late wife Sophie Coe, the knowlege of Olmec, Maya and Aztec historical context, artifacts and source material is deep. Deep, deep, deep. This book proposed the theory that chocolate production started in the Olmec civilization (not just the Maya and the Aztec) and is a source of study for many of the world's best chocolatiers. Amazon/Alibris.
CHOCOLATE IN MESOAMERICA: A Cultural History of Cacao by Cameron L. McNeil. Want details? You'll find 500 pages on the early days of chocolate from this Honduran anthropologist.
AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE by Marcia and Frederic Morton. This is a beautiful, well-written book on the history of chocolate - full of carefully researched photgraphs you won't find elsewhere. Amazon/Alibris.
CHOCOLATE: The Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light by Mort Rosenblum. This international journalist has made a study of chocolate's history and tells an insightful story of chocolate's history and politics. Amazon/Alibris.
CHOCOLATE AND CONFECTIONS. A very well-respected chef/instructor (Peter Greweling) from a very well-repected culinary school (Culinary Institute of America) writes a thorough, technique-driven book. It won the IACP award. Amazon or Alibris. More good books, classes, newletters and ideas atwww.ciachef.edu
CHOCOLAT: Behind the Scenes by Phillipe Bertrand & Phillipe Marciani. An inspiring book of chocolate sculpture from the corporate pastry chefs of Barry-Callebaut, the world's biggest chocolate maker. The sculptures, with how-to advice & recipes, are unforgettable. Try Chips Books for this one.
THE NEW TASTE OF CHOCOLATE: A Cultural & Natural History of Cacao with Recipes by Maricel E. Presilla. Best info from the birthplace of chocolate, Venezuela. This author is an historian & chef so the perspective is unique. Especially good tasting advice, too. Amazon/Alibris
CHOCOLATE ARTISTRY by Elaine Gonzalez. Elaine Gonzalez is widely known in the chocolate biz as an inspiring pro & teacher - she leads tours through the Tabasco region of Mexico and knows the early legends of Quetzelcoatal, god of chocolate. Her chocolate centerpieces are inspiring. Visit her website www.elainegongalez.com to learn more.
CHOCOLATE PASSION by Tish Boyle and Temothy Moriarty. Greatness. Lots of elegant desserts, all of them with some invention. Tish & Timothy, editors of CHOCOLATIER MAGAZINE which is now DESSERT PROFESSIONAL MAGAZINE (www.dessertprofessional.com), and all of Tish's books, like DINER DESSERTS, THE CAKE BOOK and PLATING FOR GOLD, are winners.
CHOCOLATE: The Nature of Indulgence by Ruth Lopez. The Field Museum of Chicago put together a touring chocolate exhibition and this is the companion book. Full of history & photos. Amazon/Alibris www.fieldmuseum.org
Maida Heatter's BOOK OF GREAT CHOCOLATE. Don't be shy. When you order this book, go ahead and order two or three more by this prolific, charming and infallible author. Her recipes are masterful. Amazon/Alibris.
SPAGO CHOCOLATE by Mary Bergin & Judy Gethers. What is it about SPAGO desserts that are always superb? This book offers the same reliable excellence of its namesake, Wolfgang Puck's famed restaurant. Mary Bergin & Judy Gethers cover the quality basics (mousses, ice creams, truffles), but with surprises, inventions and signature gold leaf decorations. Amazon/Alibris.
THE EMPERORS OF CHOCOLATE: Inside the Secret World of Hershey & Mars by Joel Glenn Brenner. Extensive portraits of the families and companies who created American chocolate empires. This reporter's fact-finding mission with companies that are notoriously press-averse makes for a great read. Amazon/Alibris.
ALL ABOUT CHOCOLATE by Carole Bloom Published in 1998, this is STILL the most comprehensive book on contemporary chocolate: where to get it, how to work with it, recipes & resources. Her other books are also keepers. Amazon/Alibris www.carolebloom.com
CRAFTING THE CULTURE AND HISTORY OF FRENCH CHOCOLATE by Susan J. Terrio.A unique perspective on chocolate in France from an academic historian. Amazon/Alibris
THE GREAT BOOK OF CHOCOLATE by David Lebovitz. This author is the happiest chocolate writer I know. His how-to book is full of recipes geared to the home cook, lots of fun facts, and solid research about sources & chocolate brands. www.davidlebovitz.com Amazon/Alibris.
PURE CHOCOLATE: Divine Desserts and Sweest from the Creator of Fran's Chocolates by Fran Bigelow with Helen Siegel. A well-photographed book from a chocolatier with a big following. Recipes range from the solid to the sublime. Amazon/Alibris
DEATH BY CHOCOLATE: The Last Word on a Consuming Passion & CELEBRATE WITH CHOCOLATE both by by Marcel Desaulniers. Chocolate really doesn't get more decadent than this. This chef/author offers elaborate chocolate cakes, mousses, cookies and ice cream desserts. When you need chocolate at its full artistic intensity, you'll have a strong selection in these books. Amazon/Alibris
THE CHOCOLATE CONNONSIEUR by Chloe Doutre-Rousell. Well-known & well-liked, this author was the chocolate buyer for Fortnum-Mason in Paris. Her knowledge & observations reverberate throughout the chocolate business. www.chloechocolat.com Amazon/Alibris
SAVEURS CHOCOLATEES by G. J. Bellouet & J. M. Perruchon. Very professional and very artful - the kind of book you peruse instead of going to the movies. This and other art & professional pastry books from Europe are available at Chip's Books.
THE CHOCOLATE COMPANION: A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Finest Chocolates by Chantal Coady. A perfectly conceived and perfectly executed book. The author, a well-known London chocolatier, explores the best chocolate shops of Europe to showcase their specialties, divulge what brand of couverture they use, and offer tasting notes to frame her opinions on the highlights. This is a book you pack on your chocolate tour of Europe, if you are lucky enough to get one. Otherwise, let it be your guide when you are ordering chocolates online in your pajamas at midnight. Amazon/Alibris
DISCOVER CHOCOLATE by Clay Gordon. This energetic chocolate blogger/author/travel guide focuses on tasting chocolate - how to explore and understand chocolate's full range of flavors. The website www.discoverchocolate.com offers many resources, including a networking site for chocophiles, THE CHOCOLATE LIFE. Amazon/Alibris
THE CHOCOLATE BIBLE: The Definitive Sourcebook by Christian Teubner. If, horror, I could have only one book on chocolate cakes, confections and history with artful photography, it would be this one. For layout, style, design and their relevance to the recipes & story of chocolate....a holistic wonder. Amazon/Alibris
ALL BOOKS BY ALICE MEDRICH. THE ESSENCE OF CHOCOLATE BY THE SCHARFFEN BERGER CHOCOLATIERS.
MORE BOOKS ABOUT FOOD: FOOD IN HISTORY by Reay Tannahill THE CAKE BIBLE, ROSE'S HEAVENLY CAKES and all others by Rose Levy Beranbaum OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA by Michael Pollan THE GOSPEL OF FOOD by Barry Glasner FAST FOOD NATION by Eric Schlosser KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL by Anthony Bourdain THE MAKING OF A CHEF by Michael Ruhlman DOWN AND OUT IN PARIS AND LONDON by George Orwell SALT by Mark Kurlansky