Chocolate Wars, By Deborah Cadbury

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Coming from a branch of the Quaker chocolate family, Cadbury tells the story of capitalists who held that "wealth creation for personal gain only would have been offensive".

In the 1820s, John Cadbury, the son of a Birmingham draper, was despatched to London to investigate an "unpromising black bean" then used solely as drinking chocolate, but it was the next generation that enjoyed sweet success.

After a bosh shot with Iceland Moss, an odd mix of lichen and cocoa beans, George and Richard Cadbury rang the bell with their Essence of Cocoa.

The author recalls "the mood of alienation and powerlessness" at Bournville when the business was sold to Kraft last year. This absorbing book contains much food for thought.