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Cocoa and Chocolate

Arthur William Knapp

Book Overview: 

As that heavenly bit of chocolate melts in our mouths, we give little thought as to where it came from, the arduous work that went in to its creation, and the complex process of its maturation from a bean to the delicacy we all enjoy. This “little book” details everything you have ever wanted to know (and some things you never knew you wanted to know) about cocoa and chocolate from how the trees are planted and sustained to which countries produce the most cacao beans. Do cacao beans from various countries differ? What makes some types of chocolate higher quality than other kinds? Are there any health benefits to eating chocolate? Read on to learn the answers to these and many other questions about that wondrous little treat we call chocolate.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Diavolo, let the cacao-trees grow, let them branch off like any other fruit-tree, say the tamarind, the 'chupon' or sucker will in time bear more than its mother.'"[3] There seems to be some evidence that old trees profit from the "chupons" because they continue to bear when the old trunk is weary, but this is compensated for by the fact that the "chupons" (Portuguese for suckers) were grown at the expense of the tree in its youth. Hence other planters call them "thieves," and "gormandizers," saying that they suck the sap from the tree, turning all to wood. They follow the advice given as early as 1730 by the author of The Natural History of Chocolate, when he says: "Cut or lop off the suckers." In Trinidad, experiments have been started, and after a five years' test, Professor Carmody says that the indications are that it is a matter of indifference whether "chupons" are allowed to grow or not.

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Community Reviews

A charming little book with many delightful anecdotes and a fairly thorough overview of how cocoa and chocolate was produced in the 1920s.

A fascinating read.