Happy Chocolate Day
3 books about chocolate that are also movies…
This is one of those books that I must confess to having read after the movie. To this day I cannot decide which I liked better, and I put this down to my love of all things chocolate. As I watched the movie I could almost smell the chocolate and while reading the book I began to crave chocolate. Both book and movie aroused all my senses; the colour and aroma of chocolate, the touch and feel of brightly coloured clothing, the passion, freedom and happiness expressed through music and dance. It’s a love story tempered with taboo, secrecy and angst.
This book is a love story and a tragedy. It describes the legacy of love between a young Mexican boy and girl and the family traditions that bind them. I delighted in the use of exotic, traditional recipes as metaphors, at the start of each chapter. Often described as ‘magical’ I find it has parallels with Romeo and Juliet. The movie version was enjoyable because I was able to lose myself completely with unknown actors and the use of a narrator. The recipes in the movie had less impact to me, which came down to the difference between reading the ingredients, and seeing the food prepared and cooked.
I’d like to think that everyone has read this book. If you haven’t – leave now and do so! I also think it’s impossible to say anything about this story that hasn’t already been said. From a purely chocolate perspective, it’s possible to believe that some people start reading the book as a chocolate lover, then vow never to eat it again by the end. From a parents perspective it’s highly likely you will, at least temporarily, reconsider having children. I’ve seen both Gene Wilder and Johnny Depp treatments of the film and love both – no doubt the story will outlive every actor who gets to play the part of Willy Wonka.