Friday, August 12, 2011

Book Review: Chocolate Wars

Today is the anniversary of John Cadbury's birth back in 1801.  Surely you've heard of the Cadbury chocolate dynasty, right, Sisters and Brothers?  Good, good.

Instead of giving you a brief history, I thought I'd share a book, Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World's Greatest Chocolate Makers
, I recently had to read as part of my work for The New York Journal of Book Reviews. 

Written by a member of the Cadbury family whose branch left the chocolate business some time back, award winning author Deborah Cadbury researches her own family history as well as the history of chocolate starting in the 19th century.  Chocolate as we think of it today is a very recent development and she does a good job of laying out the historical evidence in an approachable fashion.

Now many of you may think that she'll naturally favor her family over rivals both in England and around the world.  It is very true that the Cadburys were originally guided by their Quaker principles but our author doesn't shrink from showing us the steps that led the company to open itself up to commercial and corporate greed even turning their backs at specific points and literally selling out.  Today they are merely part of one the world's two biggest "food" companies.

So check out the book either as a hardcover above or a paperback below and learn about more about chocolate and why the question of who you buy from today is even more important than it was a hundred years ago.

4 comments:

Northwestchefs said...

I think that it is so important to study the history of food. Sounds like a great book

TheChocolatePriestess said...

A far more detailed review will appear before the paperback version comes out at the New York Journal of Book Reviews where I'm a reviewer.

Thanks for reading and commenting, Northwestchefs.

Pauline said...

Sounds essential reading to me, thanks for sharing this -not sure how I missed this in the UK.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Pauline, you should certainly read it. The first half of the book is very much about chocolate in the 19th century and features several English and UK makers and sellers.