There are “Days of the Year” for everything under the sun but one of the best and most delicious and decadent is World Chocolate Day, celebrated every July 7th.
Chocolate features in many cookbooks (we have thousands for you to choose from) of course, including those by Canadians Jenna Hutchinson and Ashley Kosowan (“Jenna Rae Cakes & Sweet Treats“) and Anna Olsen (“Baking Day With Anna Olsen“), but also in mysteries.
Culinary cozy mysteries are a super-popular genre and, like chocolate, are highly addictive. The queen of these might be Joanne Fluke. Her latest, The Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder, is the 27th in her Hannah Swensen series. Five of her books have been made into movies for the Hallmark Channel, too. If you like Fluke’s books, you might want to also try Karen Rose Smith and Diane Mott Davidson.
If something historical is more to your taste, read Paula Brackston’s Secrets of the Chocolate House (sequel to The Little Shop of Found Things, another good read) or The Chocolate Maker’s Wife by Karen Brooks. And of course, what would chocolate day be without a mention of Chocolat (the book or the movie) by Joanne Harris.
Finally, for older children there is the iconic Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Daal. The movie versions, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (starring Gene Wilder) and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (starring Johnnie Depp) are completely different from one another but worth a look. And for younger children, I had to include Do Frogs Drink Hot Chocolate : how animals keep warm by Canadian writer Etta Kaner with adorable illustrations by John Martz. Kaner’s latest, Do Lizards Eat Ice Cream? : how animals beat the heat (illustrated by Jenna Piechota) is a perfect read for July, which happens to be Ice Cream Month!
If you’re looking for more chocolate-y viewing, why not stream a program through Kanopy, free through our Digital Library with your library card. For children, try Max’s Chocolate Chicken, My Garden and Chocolate Seeds. There are also documentaries like Fair Trade & Chocolate, El Cacao, and Inside a Factory : Cadbury’s.
Chocolate was discovered thousands of years ago. Originally chocolate was quite bitter and it wouldn’t be until the 16th century in Europe that sugar was added and the sweet treat became a favourite of all to this day. So, whether you enjoy it as milk or dark, hot or cold, coating chewy caramels, as a decadent truffle (raspberry and maple are my personal favourites) from WPL’s good friends at Esta Chocolates in Waterloo, or just as a plain bar, have a happy Chocolate Day!
— Sandi H.