Love Chocolate? Discover Its Connection to Sephardic Jews in A New "High­ly Rec­om­mend­ed" Story

A lot of chocolate is purchased in Feburary, whether as gifts or personal consumption. It's also not too early to decide whether to host a chocolate seder this year.

However you enjoy chocolate, there's a lot of backstory to how chocolate came to Europe, and eventually, the United States, via Sephardic Jews. 

The Chocolate King by Michael Leventhal and illustrated by Laura Catalan "tells the sur­pris­ing sto­ry of Jew­ish refugees from Spain who brought choco­late to France in the sev­en­teenth cen­tu­ry. Weav­ing togeth­er fairy tale ele­ments and his­to­ry, the intergenerational story tells of the per­sis­tence of one Jew­ish fam­i­ly as they enrich the cul­ture of their new home."

Benjamin dreamed of making chocolate, like his grandfather Marco - roasting and grinding the cocoa beans, and stirring it just right. Back in Spain, Marco was known as The Chocolate King for his incredible hot chocolate! But here in France, most people in town have never had chocolate. They think it looks strange, like mud. It just may take a chocolate catastrophe to change their minds!

The book includes a foldout timeline of chocolate history and the Jewish community, an illustrated guide about how cocoa beans are made into chocolate, and a hot chocolate recipe.

"The sto­ry is as uni­ver­sal as food, fam­i­ly, and find­ing a new home," says the Jewish Book Council. 

Read the JBC review here

The Chocolate King is now available on Amazon and direct from Behrman House



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