“On The Chocolate Trail” perfect for your Hanukkah or Christmas gift guide
As most of you know, I’m fortunate to receive a variety of chocolate books and samples to review on this site. The book I received this week arrived just in time for Hanukkah (Chanukah), and as I have a friend coming over tonight to teach us a bit about this sacred Jewish holiday, I thought it was the perfect time to review “On the Chocolate Trail” by Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz.
I really enjoyed this book. Deborah Prinz–nicknamed the “Chocolate Rabbi”–takes us on a delicious journey around the world, showing us how a love of chocolate can nurture our spiritual growth. Prinz says chocolate bridges different faiths with a unified voice to express love for the world’s universal comfort food that brings people together. Indeed, in my own chocolate travels, I have noted that no matter where you are, if you say the word “chocolate” (or an ethnic derivative of chocolate or cocoa) people will smile.
And smile I did, as I read this fascinating book about the world of chocolate. The author’s innate ability to sniff out tantalizing chocolate stories in her travels is referred to as her “choco-dar” (chocolate radar) that uncovers various facts and anecdotes to bring the stories to life in an informative yet light-hearted way.
the relationship between jews and chocolate is a strong bond
Prinz focuses on the relationship chocolate has had to various world religions–most notably, her own Jewish faith, and includes a number of Jewish recipes like Chocolate Babka and Israeli Birthday Cake in addition to world favourites like Chocolate Molé, Mexican Hot Chocolate, Cognac Truffles, and Bicerin–which I, too, enjoyed while visiting its birthplace of Turin, Italy.
The book also contains an interesting chapter on world chocolate companies that discusses Milton Hershey‘s importance to the development of American chocolate. I would recommend “On The Chocolate Trail” to serious chocolate lovers regardless of faith, but especially to Jews who have long wondered why chocolate has always found a place at the table–during Hanukkah, Christmas, and at every time of the year.
You can learn more about Rabbi Deborah R. Prinz and her work at OnTheChocolateTrail.org.