Chocolate: Food of the Gods

Chocolate: Food of the Gods

Chocolate: Food of the Gods

Chocolate: Food of the Gods

Synopsis

Chocolate has been one of mankind's obsessions for centuries. This collection examines the history of cacao and chocolate-making--its use in literature, art, music, and folklore, as a subject for psychology and childrearing, and as an important product for business.

Excerpt

For quite a few centuries now, chocolate has been one of humankind's primary obsessions. It exerts a pristine power over those who are passionately addicted to its intensities. In these last years of the twentieth century, it is surely one of the few addictions and obsessions that are no danger to life or limb. Although sugar has been found to be a noxious peril, it may very well be that diabetics, cholesterol counters, and sex maniacs could most profitably substitute chocolate for their other vagaries and lapses. Since this is an age of subtraction and substitution, megalomaniac anxieties, and fears for the end of our world, it may very well be that chocolate could become one of the safe panaceas, although we hardly dare mention this for fear that its price may egregiously escalate upon the morrow. As it is, the price of candy bars in movie houses has become dangerously prohibitive—worse than popcorn!

The history of chocolate and cacao takes us from the New World, Mexico, and tributaries to Spain and then France, Austria, Switzerland, and its present Eldorado, Belgium (one of the world's authentic culinary meccas). Its importance in the philosophical scheme of things to French culinary philosopher Brillat-Savarin remains most impressive. The celebrated gastronomical dictionary of Alexandre Dumas glorifies chocolate as well. American teachers and eminent gastronomes such as Judith Olney and Maida Heatter glorified chocolate. Judith Olney once entered a cooking class, placed her hands on her hips, and stated that she had never met a man as impressive as a piece of chocolate! The aphrodisiac qualities of chocolate are on a par with its inspirational elements. As may readily be intuited, chocolate is a subject worthy of the most serious contemplation and the highest levels of visceral serendipity. To paraphrase one of the provocative economic indicators of the moment, Don't be at home without it.

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