Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Older Chocolate Guide Checks Today's Players

As we count down to the holidays, I want so share some of the chocolate and chocolate-related gifts I've gotten over the years that you or another chocolate lover in your life might be interested in. I can't promise that all of these will be easy to find but I'll give you my opinion of them so you can decide if it is worth the search. If I've found it online and a link could also help out our site, I'll share said links with you. Remember when you leave comments, clink on links, or even just share our posts you are helping The Chocolate Cult expand and bring more variety of chocolate and related products to your attention.

Today I want to talk about The Chocolate Companion, a Simon and Schuster book from 1995, by Chantal Coady, I think, the author attributions were strange on this book and not easy to determine. The book has two main sections: The Story of Chocolate and The Chocolate Directory. Let's look at each of these sections briefly.

The Story of Chocolate includes good discussion of the history of chocolate, definitions of chocolate, types of chocolate, and trends in chocolate in 1995. I note that many of those trends -- organic, fine versus mass market chocolates, and types of popular fillings -- are still a part of the chocolate world discussion that I see among creators, sellers, and reviewers today.

The Chocolate Directory is divided into three parts: Small Artisans (46), Medium-Sized (12), and Commercial (22). The category depends on the amount of chocolate they produce each year. Each brand is listed alphabetically and coverage includes a brief history, a few photos, and descriptions of what makes each worthy of the title "World's Finest Chocolate." The author contacted brands and asked them to submit products so she could test them for the book, very similar to what we do here, and since she is in Europe it is not surprising that most of the brands covered are from Europe.

What I found most interesting about this was checking to see how many of the brands mentioned are still around today, 21 years later and how many we've looked at here on The Chocolate Cult. We have written about Richard Donnelly Fine Chocolates, Moonstruck Chocolatier which now can be found in grocery stories, Charbonnel et Walker, and Lindt and Sprungli. Some of the brands which are still around have expanded, moving from one of the categories from this older book into another, some have also expanded what they offer to include other items, and some have become international in their reach not only in where they'll ship chocolate but where their stores and kitchens are located. Some have gone out of business for various reasons. Always makes me sad to learn that chocolate isn't selling well if it is good chocolate and this book only has good chocolate.

This book was updated in 2006, I have that one as well, so if you'd like to check out a later edition, click below.


Emilie Johnson said...

I love old cookbooks, so this post fit in nicely with my special interests. Hard to believe 1995 was 21 years ago!

TammyJo Eckhart said...

I know. I'm impressed with how many of the chocolate makers and sellers are still around but then these are a lot of the "best" and the oldest so if it works, it works.

Doreen Pendgracs said...

Thx for this review, TammyJo. I met Chantal Coady a few years ago and she really knows her chocolate. She also makes excellent chocolate, too, as head of Rococo Chocolates. I absolutely love artisan chocolate in the UK. It is in a class of its own as each chocolatier I met is striving to be different rather than just going with the flow of what is familiar to the chocolate-buying public.

TammyJo Eckhart said...

Very cool, Doreen! You have such an awesome job> Thank you sharing your experiences with us on your blog and in your books.

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