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on 22 March 2006
I ordered this on the strength of reviews and when it appeared in person I was struck firstly by it's weight, it's neat little size and the elegant and charming dust jacket. Yes, I was won over before I had even opened it! Miss Doutre-Roussel covers her life-long passion with enthusiasm and knowledge. Chapters include the history of chocolate, cocoa trees, the manufacuring process, health implications, chocolatiers of the future and more. I did tire, though, of her constant urging to aspire to becoming a chocolate connoisseur and I did'nt really need to know that she wakes up at 5am every morning to the sound of classical music.....
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on 20 December 2014
This is a fun book but full of misinformation, especially regarding the different varieties of cocoa beans and the chocolate production process. See (in the book review section) where they list the errors in this book and provide corrections. The only sections of the book that can be trusted for accuracy are the chapters based on the author's personal experience as a chocolate buyer for Fortnum and Mason - her daily schedule, personal chocolate preferences, and tasting regime.

The author misleads readers into thinking she used to work as an agronomist for the UN when in fact, she worked for the UN in development, not agronomy. I would have enjoyed this book if the author had kept it at the level of personal experience. Instead, she makes false claims about her expertise and tries to "educate" the public with misinformation. If you want to learn scientific facts about chocolate, read The Science of Chocolate or any other book written by someone with proper qualifications and experience. Or even do some quick research on Google - the information you get there will probably be more accurate than the "facts" in this book!
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on 3 March 2010
A really informative book about chocolate and its history with recipes and ideas...really good for someone who knows their chocolate...or who would like to.
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on 15 December 2005
This is the 'Reader's Digest' of chocolate.
It's the Wikipedia of chocolate.
It's the Pick 'n' Mix of chocolate.
It's the chocolate dip of chocolate.
Get the idea? This isn't a book that follows a single thread or theme (like 'The true history of chocolate'), this book dips into all sorts of topics from history to myth to recipes to just about everything.
It's also a very touchy-feely book because it's small in size; beautifully produced in the hardback version, on high quality paper and feels almost good enough to eat. (I wonder what it would taste of? Any bets?)
If ever there was book to curl up with to read as your fingers idly sort and riffle through a nearby box of luscious chocs, this must be a top contender.
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on 12 March 2006
Beautiful hard-backed book printed on shiny quality paper in a very handy size. Very easy to read style of writing.
Written by Chloe Dutre-Roussel, it tells of Ms Dutre-Roussels life from a girl in Mexico, eating nutella, to working with a top French Chocolatier for free, then onwards and upwards to her position with Fortnum and Masons.
With lots of interesting chocolate facts and figures, what 'proper' chocolate should look, feel, sound, smell and taste like. How to keep your own Chocolate Notebook and ideas on what to try depending on your own taste. Insider information on plantations and plants. But without being a lecture.
Very interesting to a wide range of chocophiles. Great gift idea.
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on 17 September 2013
This is a great book about one of the great pleasures in life, also gives an insite ion to healthy chocolate abuse!!! great comfort reading
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VINE VOICEon 18 March 2008
It's Chloe Doutre-Roussel's evangelical enthusiasm and sympathetic, intelligent voice which make this book. I can't think of another chocolate book which doesn't simply drudge on about chocolate being a 'naughty indulgence' with which to make rice krispie cakes, but which elevates it to both an art and a science. Although Doutre-Roussel's all-consuming passion for chocolate and professional dedication to it are not going to be shared by every reader, you will come away from it having learnt a lot about "the truth" about chocolate and how to do it justice and get the very most from it. Never again will you waste your money on dull bars labelled "handmade" in dusty little olde-worlde sweet shops (which means nothing more than melted down and repackaged by hand), or pre-packaged "luxury" creams in a chain store. Doutre-Roussel provides lots of tips on where to go next to learn more and to obtain more of the good stuff, from honest and dedicated manufacturers. In the world she describes, new and innovative is good and ye olde 'since 1911' Belgian type stuff is disingenuously marketed pap. It's definitely a book on the consumer's side. It also provides information on the growing of cocoa and the global chocolate market. Though authoritative, it's not an overly long book at about 200 pages, so doesn't dwell at great length on each issue, but one gets the impression that Chloe is a central player in the world of fine chocolate and throughout the book, she gives her recommendations and resources for those whoe interest has been piqued.
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on 10 February 2009
Chloe-Doutre-Roussel is a fantastic saleswoman for top quality chocolate. This short book is easy to read and gives the basics of what happens from cacao tree to bar. It also sets out helpful tips on how to improve your chocolate tasting skills and what to look for in quality chocolate. I read the book on first publication 3 years ago and it inspired me to undertake much more detailed research into cacao and chocolate. While some of Chloe's facts may need to be taken with a pinch of salt, her sheer enthusiasm (occasionally becoming perhaps a bit gushy) for the subject is infectious!
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on 17 December 2015
Arrived promptly but slightly more worn than I expected
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