Picture of author.

Sophie D. Coe (1933–1994)

Teoksen Suklaan historia tekijä

2 teosta 720 jäsentä 8 arvostelua

Tietoja tekijästä

Image credit: photo by Michael D. Coe

Tekijän teokset

Suklaan historia (1996) 611 kappaletta, 7 arvostelua
America's First Cuisines (1994) 109 kappaletta, 1 arvostelu

Merkitty avainsanalla


Virallinen nimi
Coe, Sophie Dobzhansky
food historian
Dobzhansky, Theodosius (father)
Coe, Michael D. (spouse)
Lyhyt elämäkerta
[from Sophie D. Coe Prize website]
Sophie D. Coe was an anthropologist, food historian, and author, primarily known for her work on the history of chocolate. Her friendship with Alan Davidson and her association with the annual Oxford Symposium on Food & Cookery led her husband Michael D. Coe, with the help of Davidson and Harlan Walker, to set up the Sophie Coe Prize in 1995. It has been awarded annually ever since and continues to be the most prestigious established prize in the field, reflecting the quality of Coe's own work.



An informative read, I wish the authors had spent a bit more time on the development of chocolate from the 1900's onward, but that's my only complaint.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Autolycus21 | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 10, 2023 |
Begins with the origins fo the cacao tree and follows the story up to today's mass-produced chocolate candy and its expensive boutique counterparts... A pleasure, not just for chocoholics but for anyone who enjoys lively, thorough historical sleuthing via the printed page.
Merkitty asiattomaksi
Daniel464 | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Oct 8, 2021 |
A good read and a thouroughly researched book; I would recommend this to anyone who is interetsed in chocolate, food history, the history of trade and exploration with the Americas, or all three!
Merkitty asiattomaksi
hsifeng | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jan 22, 2010 |
I finished The True History of Chocolate today when I was trying to take a nap. I liked it and I'll be trying to find a cheap used copy. The authors are a married couple, the wife being the food historian who traveled around to various libraries and archives over a few years to collect the materials for this book. Unfortunately, she died before it could be written and her husband completed it after she apparently dictated the rough outline and part of one of the chapters. That information is in the introduction to the second edition that I read.

The book is very readable and engaging, full of anecdotes and excerpts from a range of primary sources, as well as an array of illustrations. They trace the origins of the cacao tree, Theobroma cacao, and the history of its use as beverage, medicine, and food, from pre-Columbian cultures (Olmec, Maya, Aztec, etc.) to modern day chocolatiers, ending with the beginnings of fair-trade chocolate bars under the Green & Black label. The book is divided into eight chapters (my summaries, not actual chapter headings): 1. cacao biology and ecology, 2. early cultivation and production (Olmec and Maya), 3. Aztec, 4. Conquistadores and their criollo settlements, 5. its introduction and adoption in Europe during the Age of Exploration and Baroque era, 6. cultivation and trade during the Colonial era, 7. Enlightenment and Revolutionary Eras, 8. modern industrial processes and development of chocolate candy industry.

I learned a lot about the plant itself and how chocolate is made, as well as about indigenous cultures and the saddening details of conquest and colonization. The book included images of Mayan archeological artifacts and ideograms and the most recent archaeological findings that date cacao use much earlier than previously thought. They also discuss the origins of the word "chocolate."

Traveling to Europe, the question of hot chocolate during fasts came before the Pope more than once. The authors detail this religious and political debate, as well as the sociopolitical roles of tea, coffee, and hot chocolate as the beverages associated with particular movements or classes. I learned something new about White's, the exclusive club known for its gambling that is prominently featured in many novels set in the Regency era: it was opened as White's Chocolate-House in 1693 by an Italian immigrant.

The authors also include a variety of recipes from different time periods. They also describe the first experiments to incorporate chocolate into food and the possible origins of mole poblano, of Mexican cuisine fame.

The book also covers the history of commercial cacao plantations, from Maya days in Meso-America through its establishment in tropical zones worldwide to its recent introduction to Hawaii. The different plant varieties are covered and what kind of beans they produce in terms of quantity and quality. The invention of the Dutch cocoa process and modern machines are detailed.

The only complaints I have are minor quibbles. The prose is very engaging and personable because it is generally quite subjective. Sometimes that subjective (read, judgmental) tone was annoying and somewhat snide. The text also frequently included self-referential asides. I didn't need to be told multiple times that there was more on a particular topic ahead or already described elsewhere.

So this book is a fairly comprehensive look at a single species of food plant and its cultural importance over time in a variety of contexts. The text is accompanied by substantial notes and an extensive bibliography that allow the reader to chase down the original sources if so desired. And a note on the book's title: it pays homage to one of those sources, The True History of the Conquest of New Spain, a first-hand account written by a retired conquistador to refute all of the myth-building taking place in his lifetime.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
justchris | 6 muuta kirja-arvostelua | Jul 28, 2009 |



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