Book Reviews,  Cookbooks,  History,  Non-Fiction

Book Review: The History of Sweets

The History of SweetsThe History of Sweets by Paul Chrystal
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Two decades ago, I created a chocolate and coffee resource website. Searching for interesting facts and information about my two favorite vices, back when Google searching was still in its infancy, was often frustrating. Owning a book like this back then would have been a godsend.

If you’re looking for neat and tidy timelines and orderly lists for quick reference, this isn’t that book. But if you want to immerse yourself in the rambling, world-wide evolution of sweets and the effects (good and bad) they’ve had on us, from prehistoric times to now, you’ll enjoy a sweet ride. Besides learning a lot about sugary snacks, you’ll pick up interesting tidbits about herbology, medicine, advertising, accidental inventions, and world culture.

I’d also recommend The History of Sweets to writers, especially those who write historical fiction novels. It’s the little details that bring a story to life, and being able to place the perfect treat into the hands of your characters will delight your readers. This book and its author are UK-centric, but they do provide lots of information about sweets (and candy! You’ll learn the difference) in many other countries. As an American author, I’ll keep this book with my reference guides. My Victorian-era characters will certainly appreciate my gifting them with the occasional sweet, one that’s proper for their era and location.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m suddenly craving some Turkish Delight.

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Lori Alden Holuta lives between the cornfields of Mid-Michigan, where she grows vegetables and herbs when she’s not writing, editing, or playing games with a cat named Chives.

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