When fellow blogger Neil Davey told me he’d written a book about chocolate, obviously I had to review it. As luck (and no doubt a prompting from Neil) would have it, a day later, the publishers got in touch offering to send a copy.
The Bluffer’s Guide To Chocolate is a small 100 page paperback that’s packed with chocolate related facts. But rather than impart actual knowledge, the book is designed to give you just enough chocolate facts to get you through an evening full of hardcore chocolate lovers. People like me then.
Naturally, it’s my duty to count every single error and make a big deal about how this is completely the wrong way to learn about chocolate.
The book contains 17 factual errors.
Actually, that’s a bluff. After studiously making notes about every minute detail, I actually gave up a third of the way through when I realised I was having so much fun, despite not agreeing with every last word.
“Criollo beans from Venezuela are more floral, while Madagascan beans give more acidity. Javan Criollo beans are well rounded.”
You see, while this book might seem to be designed as a bit of silly fun to arm you with just enough knowledge to get you through an evening with Martin Christy and Alex Rast, it’s actually packed with all sorts of interesting and useful facts.
So while a mini paperback book is never going to give you a real in-depth knowledge of the world of chocolate, I think it is probably just enough to inspire the complete beginner to want to go out and find out more.
Don’t be a bluffer
If you’re actually trying to bluff their way through an evening in a room full of chocolate geeks, you shouldn’t rely on this book. A small paperback simply won’t give you the knowledge needed to hold in in-depth conversation.
But that’s not really who this book is for. It’s designed for someone with a keen interest who just wants to kick-start their knowledge, and if you treat it like that, it excels.
After all, chocolate is there purely to be enjoyed. It exists for no other reason. There’s really no need to bluff about it – just find what you like, eat it and enjoy it. And then eat some more.