Books about the history of chocolate

Chocolate is a never-ending learning journey. There are always new things to discover about how it’s made, where it comes from, its history, and the current trends in the market. Here is a list of books that we recommend if you want to learn more about the history of chocolate, from its ancient and sacred use among Mesoamerican populations to the Industrial Revolution that saw the invention of the most important chocolate machines:

Maricel Presilla, culinary historian, author, chef and renowned chocolate expert, takes us on a journey beginning with Maya and Aztec chocolate rituals, followed by exploring the significance of cacao through ages, up through groundbreaking contemporary genetic discoveries. This definitive illustrated reference has been revised and expanded to immerse chocolate lovers in the rich history and science of the cacao bean.

THE TRUE HISTORY OF CHOCOLATE by Sophie and Michael D. Coe
Told with flair and wit, this history of cacoa looks at its ancient Mexican roots, questioning how it became the food of the gods, its ritual significance, and how it was used as a currency in trade among the Olmec. Piecing together a range of archaeological, documentary and pictorial evidence, Sophie and Michael Coe discuss the Theobroma cacoa tree, the chemical properties of cacao and its early domestication and use. The story of chocolate continues under the Aztecs and their first encounters with the Europeans.

CHOCOLATE WARSby Deborah Cadbury
Featuring a cast of savvy entrepreneurs, brilliant eccentrics, and resourceful visionaries, Chocolate Wars is a delicious history of the fierce, 150-year business rivalry for one of the world’s most coveted markets. Chocolate was always a global business, and in the global competitors, especially the Swiss and the Americans Hershey and Mars, the Quaker capitalists met their match. The ensuing chocolate wars would culminate in a multi-billion-dollar showdown pitting Quaker tradition against the cutthroat tactics of a corporate behemoth.

Have a good read (perhaps accompanied by a nice cup of hot chocolate)!

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