Announcing Second Edition: On the Chocolate Trail
Media attention, popular culture, audience questions, growing consumer awareness, and changes in the chocolate world sparked the new material in this second edition of On the Chocolate Trail. I am happy to offer up a totally new chapter, “Gods in My Chocolate,” which explores twenty-first-century controversies about deities formed from chocolate. While chocolate generally unifies, outrage and disgust plague these chocolate gods, despite the intentions of their artisans. Blasphemy and art intersect.
In these last few years we have seen an expanding array of chocolate choices for consumers, an increase of small bean-to- bar artisan chocolate makers, deeper conversations around worker justice, fear of chocolate shortages, and concerns about sustainability in the chocolate industry. This edition therefore includes a completely revised chapter about the ethics of chocolate and how to select the best. Chocolate economics, cacao tree sustainability, environmental issues, child labor, and honest business practices mix into these complexities. New sidebars address questions about single origin chocolate (from a specific country or region or farm), the panic around chocolate shortages shortages predicted for 2020; and, the downfall of hipster Brooklyn company, Mast Brothers.
Popular culture drove other material. Fascination with the Broadway show Hamilton led me to explore chocolate usage by our founders in “What Did Alexander Hamilton Drink?” Less historical and perhaps a bit hysterical was the Jewish community’s uproar over the secret Santas hidden in chocolate Maccabees. Since that famous episode of Seinfeld, everyone wants a chocolate babka so the sidebar “Chocolate Babkathons: New York City” feeds the ever-growing popularity of this delicious treat. I also relate my family story about valuables smuggled out of Nazi Europe in chocolate, which echoes a scene in the television series “Transparent.”
New information responds to audience questions as well, particularly about religious food laws as they apply to chocolate. People often ask about kosher for Passover chocolate. Certainly our times require clarity about halal certification for chocolate within a Muslim setting.
Of course there are a few more sweet recipes, and I have also included three savory options.
Many thanks to the staff at Turner Publishing and Jewish Lights for making it happen.
Launching The Chocolate Babka Project
Admittedly, by heritage I am more a German kugelhopf than an Eastern European babka. I remember eating homemade kugelhopf and bundt cake at family celebrations in Los Angeles. When I mentioned babka to my German speaking father, he looked puzzled and asked, “What’s a babka?” Babka, much less chocolate babka, was just not in our pastryRead more ›
On the Chocolate Trail in Belize’s Jungle
Mark and I happily signed on for three distinct rainforest chocolate experiences within a 15 mile radius of our home base, the romantic Cotton Tree eco-lodge which is nestled among Mayan villages near the Caribbean in the Toledo District of Belize. Not only did Belize envelop us in an exotic rainforest experience, our tourism contributedRead more ›
Is that coffee or chocolate?
Having just eaten my daily portion of chocolate covered coffee beans, I am primed to consider the questions I hear about coffee when I teach on the chocolate trail. How do the two foods really differ, other than taste? I think back to when the layout for On the Chocolate Trail was being designed andRead more ›
A Chocolate Cake for October’s Tricks: Devil’s Food
Heading into October and its culmination in Halloween, I find myself hankering for Devil’s Food Cake, despite its initially derogatory name. Supposedly in 1690 Pilgrims traveled to Plymouth Rock via Amsterdam. They stayed in a house near the city’s biggest chocolate houses and called that chocolate “the Devil’s food.” Later, a chocolate cake, perhaps simplyRead more ›
Some Previous Posts
(in alphabetical order)
- A Chocolate Cake for October's Tricks: Devil's Food
- Announcing Second Edition: On the Chocolate Trail
- Book Optioned: Museum Exhibit
- Celebrating Ice Cream Month with Chocolate
- Choco-Travel Tips
- Chocolate Exhibit Hits the New York Times
- Chocolate Trail Broadens: "Semi[te] Sweet: On Jews and Chocolate" Travels
- Chocolate, Coffee, Tea and Me
- How About Some Mindful Chocolate Tasting?
- Jews on the Chocolate Trail
- Lunch & Learn: Central Synagogue
- Lunch and Learn: Tasting the Best Chocolate
- Mothers and Survival by Chocolate
- No End to Chocolate Exhibits Part III: Visits #3, 4 & 5
- Of Chocolate Exhibits There is No End: Part 2
- Super Food Chocolate for Super Bowl Sunday: Three Recipes
- Talking Chocolate in February
- Warm Up: 3 Historical Drinking Chocolate Recipes