We recommend these books about chocolate from members of the Fine Chocolate Industry Association (FCIA).
Dandelion Chocolate (Clarkson Potter, 2017)
Here is the chronicle of Dandelion, the evolving bean-to-bar company that brought chocolate cool back to San Francisco. With recipes that will make you run to the kitchen in anticipation of complex flavors and dreams of the lands of fine cacao, this is a book that might inspire you to follow on the footsteps of the dynamic team that gave life to this innovative chocolate factory cum cafe in the heart of the Mission district. Inspiring and useful.
Guittard Chocolate Cookbook: Decadent Recipes from San Francisco’s Premium Bean-to-Bar Chocolate Company
Amy Guittard (Chronicle Books, 2015)
Amy Guittard is the fifth generation of the Guittard family, the sole owners of the venerable Guittard Chocolate Company. The company was founded in 1868 by Etienne Guittard, a Frenchman from Tournous who landed in San Francisco looking for gold only to discover a more enduring treasure, chocolate. With 60 recipes of differing levels of complexity and contributions from San Francisco chocolate stars such as Alice Medrich, this is a cookbook that tells an important chapter of the American chocolate story from a company that remains true to its roots.
The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Chocolate with Recipes, Second Edition
Maricel E. Presilla (author), Penny De Los Santos (photographer) (Ten Speed Press, 2009)
In its 2000 and revised and expanded 2009 editions, The New Taste of Chocolate, a serious reference book from award-winning scholar and chef Maricel E. Presilla, inspired chocolate lovers, makers, and farmers to look deeper into fine cacao from Latin America. This was the first book of its kind to visually present a thorough overview of cacao varieties and their individual flavor profiles from a first-hand perspective and within a historical framework with chocolate recipes, both savory and sweet, calling for specific origins and percentages instead of using generic terms like bittersweet or bitter that mean little to cooks. A book to savor for its scholarship and for recipes that inspire.
Robert Steinberg and John Scharffenberger (Hyperion, 2006)
John Scharffenberger, a former sparkling wine maker, and Robert Steinberg, a retired physician who loved cooking and had done a brief stint as an apprentice under the legendary Maurice Bernachon, joined forces to create a small craft chocolate factory in 1996, Scharffen Berger Chocolate Maker. Beginning in South San Francisco and expanding four years later in Berkeley, they made waves and gained converts. Their chocolate blends made with carefully sourced fine cacao inspired a new generation of small artisanal chocolate makers in the US. This book, born in the Berkeley stage of the Scharffen Berger project, tells the history of an iconic chocolate company and its founders with enticing recipes for all levels of expertise, many from great chocolate experts and chefs such as Flo Braker and Thomas Keller. Visually attractive, the book impresses with quality food and evocative field photography taken at one of the company’s suppliers of Dominican cacao, Hacienda Helvesia, in the island’s El Valle cacao region.
Pam Williams and Jim Eber (Wilmor Publishing Corporation, 2019)
In the spirit of The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, Raising the Bar: The Future of Fine Chocolate tells the story of what that next movement in the fine-flavor chocolate symphony might hold. Told in four lively parts covering everything from before the bean to after the bar – genetics, farming, manufacturing, and bonbons – the book features interviews with dozens of international stakeholders across the fine-flavor industry to consider the promises and pitfalls ahead. It looks through what is happening today to understand where things are going, while unwrapping the possibilities for the millions of us who believe that life without the very best chocolate is no life at all.