Wednesday, October 22, 2008

On My Nightstand - The Chocolate Connoisseur by Chloe Doutre-Roussel

I know all my blog readers can't wait for this review. While this is not a Christian book and I don't agree with the underlying philosophy, it gives insight into the world of chocolate. Never in my wildest imagination did I think chocolate's history involved so many twists and turns or such total obsession with the taste most of us enjoy.

According to, a connoisseur is, "a discerning judge in any field." The author certainly qualifies as a connoisseur. As chocolate buyer for the prestigious London store, "Fortnum and Mason," she travels the world in a quest for the best varieties. Indeed, she consumes a pound of chocolate per day. Talk about a dream job.

Some chocolate trivia:

Chocolate arrived in the American colonies in 1765. The first chocolate factory opened in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Some of our favorites, like the Mars Bars and KitKat, were invented in the 1930's.

Most cocoa beans are grown in the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela, Equador, Madagascar, and Jamaica.

Whether you want to become a connoisseur, an expert in chocolate trivia, or swoon at the taste, you'll find everything you ever wanted to know about chocolate in this compact volume. This would be a great gift for a culinary student or someone involved in the food industry. It's available at Amazon.

I'm keeping this one on my bookshelf for future reference. Who knows? Maybe someday I'll write an international thriller about a plot to eliminate chocolate from the planet.


Jessica Nelson said...

Now there's an idea! LOL
What an interesting book. I have to wonder how much this woman weighs :-)
Sigghhhhh, I'd love to be paid to eat chocolate.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jessica -

The author says she's diligent about working out. Also, fine chocolate isn't made with a lot of sugar or cocoa butter. Hmm, low calorie chocolate?

Susan :)

Sarah said...

A plot to rid the world of chocolate? Sounds scarier than a Stephen King novel.

This book sounds delicious. Some books I need to read with a box of tissue, this one I'd read with a box of Godiva!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Sarah -

Can you imagine the women of the world without chocolate? Yeowww!

A good idea to keep chocolate handy reading this book. I ate an unusual amount of the stuff last week. This is a fine illustration of art influencing life decisions.

BTW, she says that most of the chocolate out there isn't really chocolate. You'll have to read the book to get your questions answered on that one.

Susan :)

Praise and Coffee said...

I could talk about chocolate all day Susan! :)

quietspirit said...

Hi Susan;
I am an unusual person. I am caffiene-senstitive. I had some hot chocolate late Sunday night. Here it is Wednesday and finally have the stuff out of my system. I can handle white chocolate. And some of those snack-sized candy bars, on occasion.


Anonymous said...

Interesting topic, to be sure. I'm glad to see that the Colonies had chocolate so early (1765) because that means that England definitely had it by then if not much sooner (and I'm always looking for proof of chocolate in the Regency), lol.
Susan, drop me a line if you'd like to join the blog tour for my upcoming December release, Before the Season Ends--Christian regency romance.
Linore (at) LinoreRoseBurkard (dot) com

Annie said...

Very interesting! I'll have to look for it and glean some chocolaty facts for myself. Thanks!

I've missed reading your blog and will try to get over here more than every-now-and-then! Work is really messing with my blog time :)

Blessings to you!!!

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Everyone -

Oh, I'm so happy! My old comment page is back. I tried and tried to comment this morning, but Blogger wasn't cooperating.

Quiet Spirit -

I have to be careful with chocolate myself. Too much and it can trigger a migraine. Brownies and cake-like chocolate don't bother me, but candy bar/chocolate frosting/pudding type chocolate can cause problems.

Linore -

Hi! If you want enough material to talk about chocolate for a lifetime, this is the book to read.

I'll email you about the blog tour.

Annie Girl!

I've missed you. So glad you had a few minutes to pop by. I check your blog every day to see if there's a new post.

My schedule has been a monster of late. I'm trying to tame it with my new time management system. It's not actually a system - just trying to fool the old brain into thinking it has more time.

Susan :) :) :)

I'm sooo happy the old comment page is back.