Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chocolate French

It's just about Springtime in Paris, and on my other Blog: Mystery Fanfare, I've been writing about authors who set their mysteries in Paris and France. Chocolate, although not the theme of any I reviewed, appears in at least two of them.

When I was a student, I survived in France on wonderful fresh bread with chunks of dark chocolate and a Eurail pass. What a way to travel. Eventually I graduated to better food--Paris has the most divine restaurants, of course, but I'm still a sucker for a good pain au chocolat. That's why I love the book Chocolate French: Recipes, Language, and Directions to Fran├žais au Chocolat by A. K. Crump. This book should be on every chocolate lover and Francophile's shelf.
It's a great guide to 'French' as it takes you through an intimate relationship between international French culture and global chocolate cuisine. There are some really amazing recipes from all over the world including Chocolate Bread Pudding, Chocolate Mousse Charlotte, Couscous with honey, raisins and cacao. There are also wonderful photographs of French life, patisseries, chocolatiers, as well as musings on chocolate.

Chocolate French traces the French love of chocolate from its beginnings in the mid-17th century to present-day France. There's also lots of other cultural information on chocolate in film, literature, fashion and life, as well as the exportation of a chocolate loving tradition to other French-speaking countries and colonies, as well as international locations. Don't miss the Napa Valley method for preparing a dipped Camembert and chocolate sandwich.

If you 'study' the vocabulary section, you'll amaze your friends with your 'expert' knowledge of chocolate. Put Chocolate French on your booklist now!

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