Bitter chocolate: investigating the dark side of the world's most seductive sweet

Image: 
Author: 
Carol Off
Summary: 

Bitter Chocolate traces the fascinating origins of chocolate from the banquet table of Montezuma's sixteenth-century Aztec court to the bustling factories of Hershey, Cadbury, and Mars today.

Bitter Chocolate traces the fascinating origins of chocolate from the banquet table of Montezuma's sixteenth-century Aztec court to the bustling factories of Hershey, Cadbury, and Mars today. Carol Off, an award-winning investigative journalist, tells the engaging stories of the visionary entrepreneurs who founded these companies and helped fuel our insatiable appetite for chocolate by revolutionizing its production. But she also digs deeper, revealing that slavery and injustice have always been key ingredients in the making of this much-coveted treat. The heart of the book takes place in West Africa, inside the Ivory Coast - the world's leading producer of cocoa beans - where, as Off discovers, profits from the multibillion-dollar chocolate industry fuel bloody civil war and widespread corruption. Faced with pressure from a crushing "cocoa cartel" demanding more beans for less money, poor farmers have turned to the cheapest labor pool possible: thousands of indentured children who pick the beans but have never themselves known the taste of chocolate.