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The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural & Natural History of Cacao with Recipesby Maricel E Presilla
Synopses & Reviews
More than two hundred years ago, the great Swedish botanist Carolus Linnaeus christened the cacao tree Theobroma cacao, “food-of-the-gods cacao.” Truly, chocolate is the closest thing we mortals have to ambrosia. But not all chocolate is created equal, a fact we instinctively know when we bite into an exceptional piece of chocolate. What qualities set artisanal chocolate apart from mass-marketed brands? How does chocolate impact our health? How will the rising popularity of microbatch chocolate affect the industry? To find out, The New Taste of Chocolate, Revised takes us on a journey beginning with Maya and Aztec chocolate rituals, followed by exploring the significance of cacao through the ages, up through groundbreaking contemporary genetic discoveries.
Going far beyond the scope of anything currently written about chocolate, this definitive illustrated reference has been revised and expanded to immerse chocolate lovers in the rich history and science of the cacao bean. Celebrated author, scholar, and chocolate expert Maricel E. Presilla introduces us to the broad array of cacao cultivars, meticulously covering the latest research, then explores the art of cacao farming and the people who dedicate their lives to cultivating the precious cacao pods. She also elucidates the harvesting, fermenting, and drying practices that create subtle distinctions in the tastes of particular strains of cacao. From the burnished reds and shocking yellows of the cacao fruits to the deep mahoganies and milky tans of the finished product, we follow cacao from bean to bar, each incarnation as luscious as the next.
More than just a cultural and natural history of our most coveted indulgence, The New Taste of Chocolate, Revised includes a new collection of Maricel Presilla’s savory recipes plus sweet contributions from internationally renowned pastry chefs and chocolatiers. Presilla dissects buzzwords such as single origin and estate grown, illuminates chocolate trends gaining traction with manufacturers and connoisseurs, and predicts what the future holds for chocolate as a globally celebrated delicacy. With stunning new full color photography and rare archival prints throughout, this comprehensive and gorgeous book will help chocoholics cultivate an appreciation for the infinite subtleties of their favorite culinary delight.
This lively and meticulously researched book on the history,
Cacao importer and chocolate expert Maricel Presilla takes chocoholics to new territoryÄîto the almost primeval plantations of Latin America, where the world's first, and today's finest, cacaos are grown. Presilla, who is at the forefront of the revolution in fine chocolate making, explains that the flavor and quality of chocolate depend on the complex genetic profiles of different cacao strains and on cacao farmers carrying out careful, rigorous harvesting and fermentation practices. With 25 recipes from internationally known pastry chefs and chocolatiers like Pierre Herm?© and Elizabeth Faulkner, and directions for making chocolate at home, THE NEW TASTE OF CHOCOLATE elevates our taste for this food of the gods to a whole new level.Ä¢ Presilla is a cacao supplier for premier chocolate makers, such as Scharffen Berger and Guittard, and a consultant to the world's top pastry chefs.Ä¢ Over 100 gorgeous location, identification, and food photos.
About the Author
MARICEL E. PRESILLA is a professor of history at New York University; the principal of Grand Cacao (a cacao importer); and a respected culinary historian whose work has appeared in Saveur and other national publications. She lives in New Jersey.
Table of Contents
“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
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