Books  Botany & Plant Science  Economic Botany & Ethnobotany 

The Chocolate Tree: A Natural History of Cacao

By: Allen M Young

218 pages, B/w photos, line illus

University Press of Florida

Paperback | May 2007 | Edition: 2 | #166615 | ISBN-13: 9780813030449
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £22.50 $29/€26 approx

About this book

Young provides an overview of the fascinating natural and human history of one of the world's most intriguing commodities: chocolate. Cultivated for over 1,000 years in Latin America, cacao beans have been used for beverages, as currency, and for regional trade. After the Spanish brought the delectable secret of the cacao tree back to Europe in the late 16th century, its seeds created and fed an insatiable worldwide appetite for chocolate.

"The Chocolate Tree" chronicles the natural and cultural history of Theobroma cacao and explores its ecological niche. Tracing cacao's journey out of the rain forest, into pre-Columbian gardens, and then onto plantations adjacent to rain forests, Young describes the production of this essential crop, the environmental price of Europeanized cultivation, and ways that current reclamation efforts for New World rain forests can improve the natural ecology of the cacao tree. Young also presents a history of the use of cacao, from the archaeological evidence of Meso-america to contemporary evidence of the relationship between chocolate consumption and mental and physical health.


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Biography

Allen M. Young is curator emeritus of zoology at the Milwaukee Public Museum, a former member of the Board of Directors of the Tirimbina Rainforest in Costa Rica, and author of Small Creatures and Ordinary Places.

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