I cannot imagine a better combination of information, humor, and fun concerning the great pleasure we all get from chocolate.
The only thing missing from this book were instructions about which chocolates to have ready to fortify yourself as you read and ponder Chocolate -- The Consuming Passion. Since the book describes every possible kind of chocolate (from baking chocolate to white chocolate . . . and of ever possible shape and quality), I suggest that you stock up every variety you can think of. Naturally, you will then get more benefit from the book if you eat a sample of what is being described as you proceed. I estimate that at least five pounds of each type mentioned is about the right quantity. Then, you can savor the experience . . . no matter how fast you eat chocolate!
Ms. Boynton notes that "this book was written for the Chocolate Elite -- the select millions who like chocolate in all its infinite variety, using `like' as in `I like to breathe.'"
Before going on, let me mention that I had the great honor of providing strategic consulting services for a chocolate business in 1973. It was heaven. I can still remember the wonderful aroma of the plant! In the process, I was thrilled to find out how chocolate is grown, processed, and turned into finished products like chocolate chips. Since that time, I had never seen a book that shared the same kind of information that I learned from working with my client . . . until Chocolate -- The Consuming Passion. So at an information level, the book is terrific.
You should know that the humor is even better than the information though. Just when you've really gotten the scoop on what semisweet chocolate is, Ms. Boynton will drop in an unexpected joke. For example, she describes in great detail what happens with chocolate when it is too hot or too cold. Then you turn the page and find that above Dow 4000 chocolate also conglomerates, and you see a list of all the companies that have acquired chocolate businesses.
Ms. Boynton's trademark hippos seem especially appropriate in the context of being a serious chocolate aficionado.
The subjects covered are truly broad. You begin with a little history of chocolate, including how it was pronounced in different languages. Later, you return to that theme . . . and find out how to ask for chocolate in many more languages. The details on the definitions and ingredients of various chocolates are thorough without being boring. The humor keeps lifting your spirits while refreshing your taste for more information. The humorous "recipes" for making items out of chocolate are pretty funny. I especially enjoyed the suggestions for what to use the results of cooking flops for instead.
Now, I was most impressed to find that Ms. Boynton took on the really big issues. Why is 55 percent of all ice cream consumed in the vanilla flavor while only 9 percent is chocolate? Why are delightful chocolate truffles given that cautionary name suggesting moldy forest floors? Is white chocolate (which lacks chocolate liquor) really chocolate at all?
I recommend that you buy a copy for yourself . . . and everyone you know who really likes chocolate!
What could be more fun than learning and laughing about something you love while you directly enjoy some? What other subjects offer this opportunity?
Develop your tastes and your interests at the same time by being prepared to experiment!
am 11. Februar 1998
Well researched and deeply thought out. My favorite Boynton book. Explains the necessity of having chocolate for a meaningful life. The many characters in the book are well developed and can be related to on a real-life level. I also have Boynton calendars and stuffed animals: Chocolate Hippo, Ivan the Turkey, Albert Einswine, the Pig, and an Elephant, whose name I can't remember. I just call him Grumpy. Anyhow, I know all chocolate lovers and even chocolate haters (if such a thing exists) will thoroughly enjoy this great little book.
am 1. April 1999
As a self-diagnosed chocoholic (and proud of it!), I can honestly say that the only way this book could be improved upon is if it were EDIBLE! It is a delightful, tongue-in-cheek study of chocolate in all its many forms that TRUE chocolate lovers will really appreciate! (It makes a fun gift, too.)