Bookcase Location: BOTTOM SHELF – Honorable Mention

A weighty collection of essays from esteemed scholars, employing a multi-disciplinary / inter-departmental approach. Spanning agronomy to archeology & anthropology, Chilies to Chocolate covers the broad range of New World crops now responsible for feeding the planet. And for good reason: what would a bowl of breakfast cereal be without cornflakes but sliced bananas &milk … (basically cat food for supermodels).

John West wrote the chapter on chocolate titled “A Brief History & Botany of Cacao” . While he presents very little new or original research, his entry is concise, covers a lot of territory in 15 short pages, & includes trivia; such as, Tetteh Quarshie, the Johnny Cacáo-seed of Ghana, or the claim that chocolate may have been the deciding factor in Roald Amundsen’s successful trek to the South Pole (& its absence behind Robert Scott’s fatal attempt).

Overall, the book reads a bit high edu & dry. Consider it free tuition to a graduate-level seminar — but you gotta buy the books.

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