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20 Recommended Books on Cacao and Chocolate

books on chocolate

When it comes to chocolate, there is an endless amount of history, science and culture to learn; and what better way than through books written by experienced industry experts. We’ve compiled a list of 20 books on chocolate that we have read and can recommend! Are we missing your favourite book? Let us know!

The True History of Chocolate

Authors: Sophie D. Coe & Michael D. Coe (2013)
This book takes us back to the origins of cacao and how it spread from Mesoamerica to Europe and beyond. A great read for anyone looking for an in-depth, interesting and well-written history of chocolate.

Bean-to-Bar Chocolate: America’s Craft Chocolate Revolution

Author: Megan Giller (2017)
Megan Giller does a fantastic job exploring the bean to bar revolution in America in a fun and informative way. Filled with stories, beautiful illustrations, photography and great insights into the craft chocolate scene.

Cocoa

Author: Kristy Leissle (2018)
Cocoa delves into the darker side of the chocolate; looking at the economic, social and political aspects of the industry. An excellent conversation starter on the injustices occurring as a result of cheap chocolate.

Chocolate: Indulge Your Inner Chocoholic

Author: Dom Ramsey (2016)
Dom Ramsey’s Chocolate book is the perfect introduction to anyone looking to learn more about all things chocolate. From explaining the steps involved in bean to bar process, to discussing flavour notes and the different origins; Chocolate is a must-have for all chocolate lovers.

The New Taste of Chocolate, Revised: A Cultural & Natural History of Cacao with Recipes

Author: Maricel E. Presilla (2009)
Another great book on the history of chocolate. The New Taste of Chocolate is filled with beautiful photography & illustrations and it uncovers the cultural history of cacao and how it’s consumed.

Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love

Author: Simran Sethi (2016)
Food journalist Simran Sethi shines a light on the gradual loss of diversity that’s occurred over the last decades and centuries in the foods that we eat. We highly recommend this book is for anyone with a passion for food and taste.

From Bean To Bar: A Chocolate Lovers Guide to Britain

Author: Andrew Baker (2019)
This book is a fantastic exploration of past and present chocolate culture throughout Britain. From Dormouse Chocolate in Manchester to Chocolate Tree in Edinburgh, Andrew Baker introduces us to Britain’s best chocolate makers.

Cocoa: An Exploration of Chocolate, With Recipes

Author: Sue Quinn (2019)
A real exploration of chocolate, discussing important topics such as women in chocolate, as well as the health benefits and science behind chocolate. Sue Quinn finds the perfect balance of history, insights and beautiful chocolatey recipes.

Chocolate Wars: The 150-Year Rivalry Between the World’s Greatest Chocolate Makers

Author: Deborah Cadbury (2011)
A fascinating read on the Quaker families who founded some of the largest chocolate companies in the world; including the likes of Rowntree, Fry, and Cadbury. Written by a member of the original Cadbury family, this book looks at how the greed for profit altered the course of the chocolate industry.

Making Chocolate: From Bean to Bar to S’more

Author: Dandelion Chocolate (2017)
Written by Dandelion Chocolate from San Francisco, this book is a detailed guide on how to make chocolate from bean to bar. The book also includes a number of delicious recipes from their very own pastry kitchen.

The Art and Craft of Chocolate

Author: Nathan Hodge (2018)
Nathan Hodge is the co-founder of Raaka Chocolate in the US. This book is a great introductory book as it includes a brief history of chocolate and examines the bean to bar process and includes some fantastic recipes for drinks, baked goods and dips.

Meaningful Work: A Quest to Do Great Business, Find Your Calling, and Feed Your Soul

Author: Shawn Askinosie, with Lawren Askinosie (2017)
Although strictly speaking this book is not all about chocolate, the author Shawn Askinosie is the founder of Askinosie Chocolate of Missouri. Shawn uncovers his path from defence lawyer to becoming a chocolate maker. This inspirational book helps you reflect on your own life and work and gives practical steps to finding real meaningful work in your life.

The Science of Chocolate

Author: Stephen T. Beckett (2018 – 3rd Edition)
As the name implies, this book is a brilliant insight into the science behind chocolate. An excellent technical reference textbook for everything from fermenting cacao beans to the science of milk and sugar in chocolate.

Raising the Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate

Author: Pam Williams & Jim Eber (2019)
This book includes interviews and quotes from industry experts looking at the future of fine chocolate. Raising the Bar doesn’t just look at the end product but analyses the changes occurring throughout the entire supply chain.

Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark & Light

Author: Mort Rosenblum (2006)
A lighthearted and entertaining read on chocolate. This book was written by foodie Mort Rosenblum, who provides a high-level overview of the industry and briefly taps into the history and science of chocolate.

Chocolate: Sweet Science & Dark Secrets of the World’s Favorite Treat

Author: Kay Frydenborg (2015)
A well-researched yet easily readable book on the history and culture of chocolate. Kay Frydenborg examines the darker social, economic and environmental sides of chocolate.

The Chocolate Connoisseur: For Everyone with a Passion for Chocolate

Author: Chloe Doutre-Roussel (2006)
Chloe’s book is the perfect gift for anyone who loves chocolate. From learning how to distinguish between good and bad chocolate to discovering the joys of mindfully tasting chocolate; this book will help anyone on their quest to becoming a chocolate connoisseur

Chocolate Nations: Living and Dying for Cocoa in West Africa

Author: Órla Ryan (2012)
This book provides an analysis of the complex issues underlying the cocoa trade in West Africa. Órla Ryan looks at the stories behind the cocoa producers and traders within the area and shines a light on what Fairtrade really means.

Discover Chocolate: The Ultimate Guide to Buying, Tasting, and Enjoying Fine Chocolate

Author: Clay Gordon (2007)
Clay Gordon, an expert in the chocolate industry, provides a great overview of fine chocolate. He takes a look at how to buy good chocolate, how to store it and most importantly, how to taste chocolate.

The Chocolate Tasting Kit

Author: Eagranie Yuh (2014)
A fun book on how to taste chocolate which includes tips on how to host a tasting event. Eagranie Yuh does a great job at teaching you how to mindfully taste chocolate and helps you identify flavour notes, This kit makes a perfect gift for any budding chocolate connoisseur.

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  1. Susan says:

    What a fab selection of chocolate books – thank you for sharing! I’ve a few to add to my reading list now but absolutely loved Shawn Askinoise’s Book Meaningful Work.

    1. Lukas says:

      Let us know what you think after you’ve had a chance to read them, Susan! Glad to hear you also enjoyed Shawn’s wonderful book, Meaningful Work!

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