“Few people in the world know as much about chocolate as Maricel Presilla, or write as passionately about it. Her pioneering book, The New Taste of Chocolate, is the first to document the fascinating diversity of cacao varieties and their influence on chocolate quality. It also describes and celebrates the full arc of chocolate’s evolution, from pre-Columbian times to the twenty-first century. This book will be a revelation and delight to anyone who loves chocolate.”
—Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking
“The New Taste of Chocolate is fascinating and genuinely original. Based on unique, personal knowledge, Maricel’s book will serve as a primary research source and change the way chocolate lovers think about and taste chocolate.”
—Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger, co-founders of Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker, Inc.
“It’s not a coincidence that chocolate and gold are sold in bars. Chocolate lovers who treasure history and recipes will find this book as valuable as it is delicious.”
—Flo Braker, author of Sweet Miniatures
“Maricel presents a colorful, textured, and in-depth view of the past, present, and possible future of cacao. We are also allowed a taste of the diversity that was once part of the palate of flavors used by the chocolate industry of old and insight into why some of these may be lost forever.”
—Gary Guittard, president of Guittard Chocolate Company
“After reading Maricel’s book and recognizing the sophisticated and complex journey from cacao in the field to the wonderful quality chocolate available to consumers, you will have a whole new appreciation for chocolate. Maricel offers detailed insight into the nuances of chocolate. A ‘must read’ for all chocoholics.”
“The New Taste of Chocolate is a loving tribute to cacao and the unsung heroes who have nurtured it for centuries, miraculously transforming it from bean to bar to the latest chocolate creation. Maricel’s meticulously researched book deserves a place of honor in every serious chocolate lover’s library.”
—Elaine González, author of The Art of Chocolate
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
MARICEL E. PRESILLA is a culinary historian, author, and chef specializing in the cuisines of Latin America and Spain. She studied medieval Spanish history at Spain’s University of Valladolid and at New York University, where she received her PhD. Formally trained in cultural anthropology, she has done extensive research on the food crops of the Americas and taught at New York University and Rutgers University.
Presilla is a frequent contributor to Saveur, Food & Wine, and Gourmet, and also writes the Miami Herald’s “Cocina” column. A recognized authority on all aspects of chocolate as well as on Spanish and Latin American culinary history, she has given numerous seminars, tastings, and lectures to culinary groups nationwide and has been featured in the country’s top food publications. She is a member of the advisory committee for the Culinary Institute of America’s Latin American program and was recently named one of the “Ten innovators who will influence food in the U.S. for the next 30 years” by Food & Wine.
Presilla is the president of Gran Cacao, a food marketing company specializing in chocolate research and the heirloom cacao bean trade. She has been a consultant for several food companies including the Venezuela-based Chocolates El Rey C.A., whose premium chocolates she helped introduce to the United States. She is the co-owner and chef of two restaurants in Hoboken, New Jersey: the small pan-Latin Zafra and the more formal South American Cucharamama. The restaurants have earned Presilla repeated nominations for the James Beard Foundation’s Best Chef Mid-Atlantic award. In September 2009, she was awarded the prestigious Silver Spoon Award by Food Arts magazine for her multifaceted contributions to the culinary arts.
Presilla is the author of three illustrated books on various aspects of Latin American culture and a forthcoming book on Latin American cooking. Her newest venture is the food store and cooking atelier Ultramarinos in Hoboken. She divides her time between her New Jersey restaurants, Miami, and Latin America.