Author(s): Sarah Moss
Redolent of everything sensual and hedonistic, chocolate is adored around the world, and has been since the Spanish first encountered cocoa beans in South America in the sixteenth century. Chocolate is seen as magical, addictive, and powerful beyond anything that can be explained by its ingredients, and in "Chocolate" Sarah Moss and Alexander Badenoch explore how this surprisingly universal obsession has come about, and how its undiminished force affects us to this day. The authors describe the history of chocolate, which from ancient times has been associated with sexuality, sin, blood and sacrifice. The first Spanish accounts claim that the Aztecs and Mayans used chocolate as a substitute for blood in sacrificial rituals, and as a currency to replace gold. In 1753 Linnaeus gave the cocoa tree the scientific classification el obroma cacao or 'the food of the gods'. Chocolate was regarded as an aphrodisiac in the eighteenth century, leading directly to the sinful yet alluring labels on today's boxes of dark, sweet delights. "Chocolate" also looks at today's mass-production of chocolate in the USA and Europe, with brands such as Hershey's, Lindt and Cadbury dominating our supermarket shelves. Packed with tempting images and alluring descriptions of chocolate down the ages, "Chocolate" will be as irresistible as the tasty treats it describes.
'The Edible series contains some of the most delicious nuggets of food and drink history ever. Every volume is such a fascinating and succinct read that I had to devour each in just a single sitting ... food writing at its best!' - Ken Hom, chef and author 'Books in Reaktion's Edible series are paragons of their type; concise and flavourful, jammed with interesting facts, period photos and just a handful of recipes, in case you want to do it yourselfA". I recommend these books to foodies and academics alike.' - Robert Sietsema, restaurant critic for The Village Voice
Sarah Moss is Senior Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Kent at Canterbury, UK. She has written widely on the literature and culture of food. Alexander Badenoch is an Instructor in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Utrecht, Netherlands, and is the author of Voices in Ruins: West German Radio Across the 1945 Divide (2008).