Beans to Chocolate
Beans to Chocolate
Insects crawl inside the flowers on cocoa trees to feed on nectar. The insects get covered in pollen and then pass the pollen on to other flowers. This is called pollination.
Full disclosure – I’m a chocoholic. That isn’t why I’m recommending this book, but I need to admit my bias before you read this review.
The truth, this is a great book for young students. Beans to Chocolate is part of the “Where Food Comes From” series. The series follows the standard nonfiction format, including a table of contents, glossary, and index. Many large, colourful photos and illustrations support simple, large-sized text.
Beans to Chocolate follows the path that cocoa takes to change from seeds planted by farmers to fairtrade chocolate bars. Chapters include “What is Cocoa?”, “Cocoa Trees”, “Cocoa Beans”, “Making Chocolate”, and “Fairtrade Chocolate”. The text is simple but includes appropriate vocabulary to explain some important concepts.
Wonder Word: Ferment
When the beans ferment, tiny fungi called yeast start to break them down, changing how they taste.
On the copyright page can be found, “The Author and Publisher would like to thank Divine Chocolate and Trading Visions for their help with this book”. According to Trading Visions UK Facebook page, “Trading Visions is a fair trade education charity. We tell the story of chocolate, drawing on our partnership with Divine Chocolate and Kuapa Kokoo, a co-operative of Fairtrade cocoa farmers in Ghana. See our teaching resources on cocoa and Fairtrade: www.papapaa.org.”
Beans to Chocolate ends with a chapter about Fairtrade Chocolate that urges readers to look for the Fairtrade logo on the packaging when they buy chocolate, explaining that “This means that cocoa farmers were paid a fair price for their cocoa beans. It also means they had good working conditions.” “When farmers receive a fair price for their work, it helps to improve many lives. The Kuapa Kokoo farmers were able to buy a new water pump for their village”.
Beans to Chocolate is very attractively laid out with age-appropriate information about the process of growing cocoa trees and turning the cocoa beans into chocolate. This simple presentation will help young students connect more closely with where their food comes from.
Dr. Suzanne Pierson instructs Librarianship courses at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.