Runcie, James "The Discovery of Chocolate" - 2001
Somebody in our book club mentioned this book at least a decade ago. I had it on my TBR pile for ages. The only excuse I can give for not reading this earlier is that it somehow got pushed to the back.
This book is considered a fable and there are parts of the story that could certainly not happen in real life. But that is completely irrelevant in this story which should be called "The History of Chocolate and why we still indulge in it after so many years". Yumm.
The novel starts with a young Spaniard in the 16th century going to the New World and getting in touch with the wonders of chocolate. And of love. It takes us around the world together with the discoveries made throughout the centuries, including how my favourite cake, the Sachertorte, came to life.
An easy read with a lot of wonderful information decorated with a great love story. I really liked it.
From the back cover:
"A wonderfully inventive and entertaining journey through time and the history of chocolate!
The Discovery of Chocolate is a fabulous tale, as rich and exotic as the gorgeous creation that Diego de Godoy first discovers when he arrives in Mexico with Cortes and his conquistadors.
Diego is seeking his fortune in the New World. What he finds is love, and chocolate, and an elixir of life. Separated from his lover, he must wander the world, and the centuries, in search of the fulfilment that he first knew in Mexico.
In a series of dramatic episodes that are evocative, witty and thought-provoking, from revolutionary Paris to Freud’s Vienna, Fry’s Bristol and Hershey’s Pittsburgh, Diego and his ever-faithful greyhound, Pedro, seek the perfection of chocolate and the meaning of life."