The Bitter Sweet World of Chocolate is much more than a beautiful cookbook. It intersperses short articles about many aspects of the life of cocoa and its use with really good recipes. It is a cookbook with a difference – it is a cookbook to encourage Fair Trade. Through the book are photos and the words of farmers who benefit from Fair Trade, mainly on cooperative farms in Ghana and the book ends with sources of more information, contacts and action ideas on Fair Trade.
The layout and illustrations are beautiful, this is a great book to own or to give; the recipes are wonderful, I have already made the biscotti and I love a cookbook that is a reference book as well. There are charts on the production and consumption of chocolate worldwide; Switzerland is per capita the highest, Canada ranks sixteenth. Nearly all the major processors of chocolate are in Europe and the USA. None are in Africa where most of the raw material of chocolate is produced.
Chocolate need not be bitter if it is Fair Trade, a form of just marketing that is growing rapidly in the minority world where consumers who are aware of the oppression and poverty of food producers are willing to pay a little more so that farmers can live in dignity and security.
CAMINO Fair Trade cocoa, hot chocolate, chocolate chips and bars are widely available in supermarkets and speciality shops. These products are marketed throughout Canada and come from cooperatives in the Dominican Republic. So we can enjoy the seductive sweetness of chocolate without guilt, knowing we support justice and dignity for farmers and communities in another country. This cookbook with a difference has lots of information as well as the recipe. For a more detailed history and the story of the search for truth in today’s cocoa production read: Canadian Carol Off’s BITTER CHOCOLATE: Investigating the dark side of the world’s most seductive sweet. 2006. Random House Canada.
(New Internationalist Publications Website: www.newint.org)