Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America's Craft Chocolate Revolution: The Origins, the Makers, and the Mind-Blowing Flavors- Megan Giller
Author Megan Giller invites fellow chocoholics on a fascinating journey through America’s craft chocolate revolution. Learn what to look for in a chocolate bar and how to successfully pair chocolate with coffee, beer, spirits, cheese, and bread. This comprehensive celebration of chocolate busts some popular myths (like “white chocolate isn’t chocolate”) and introduces you to more than a dozen of the hottest artisanal chocolate makers in the US today. You’ll get a taste for the chocolate-making process and how chocolate’s flavor depends on where the cocoa beans were grown — then turn your artisanal bars into unexpected treats with 22 recipes from master chefs.
Bean-to-Bar Chocolate is a glimpse into the surprising new trend that's hopefully coming to an area near you soon: craft chocolate. Like beer and coffee, Megan Giller believes chocolate is getting ready to have its artisan moment. Small companies or individuals experimenting with making their own chocolate- flavors, consistencies, etc. Like with coffee, much of the focus seems to be not only on making interesting flavors, but working closely with the farmers growing the plants.
Generously sprinkled throughout the book are recipes ranging from "easy" to "advanced" for you to try at home from some of the master chefs in the chocolate world. Many of them looked not only doable for a non-chef like me, but also quite delicious!
One of my favorite parts of the book was a section at the end "The History of the World in Chocolate". While I would have loved more about the early history chocolate played among people, that wasn't the focus of this book. The section however, gave some interesting highlights (Mesoamericans domesticated and drank chocolate more than 38 centuries ago!) on humans and chocolate, and there was a brief "Etymology of Chocolate" on some of the original words and meanings of the word itself. Giller includes a useful glossary of chocolate terms (we finally get a useful definition of what the chocolate percentage on labels means), as well as short lists of chocolate co-opts, farmers, and bean-to-bar chocolate makers America for those interested in tasting what they're reading about.
Beautiful photographs combined with Giller's casual, conversational style of writing and enthusiastic, unapologetic love of all things chocolate make makes Bean-to-Bar Chocolate not only educational but fun to read. Anyone interested in the story of chocolate, small scale industries, and learning about the process of going from the cacao tree to the chocolate bar will enjoy this book.
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.