Thursday, July 14, 2005

Chocolate Book Binge

Now it can't be said that I have ever hidden my fondness for chocolate. (A near obsession is what some impolite people would call it).

Of recent times, I have become more interested in chocolate cookbooks - those solely devoted to the love and pursuit of chocolate - and have been lingering over the Chocolate Desserts of Pierre Herme and Bittersweet by Alice Medrich. Lingering, because they are imported books and very very expensive here. I have been thinking of going on an Essential Ingredient binge - if you spend $200, you then get a discount of about 12% for a year or so. So in odd moments, I would casually contemplate exactly what I would buy to fill up that $200 and the bulk of it consists of chocolate, chocolate books and a bit more chocolate. But I didn't do it for fear of what the Figman would say when he saw the bill ("You spent WHAT?? ON CHOCOLATE??") and it's just as well I didn't.

Near the Prahran Markets, is a discount book store. They had one at the Melbourne Airport for a while (and I became amazingly fond of going to the airport!) and another at Melbourne Central in the old Daimaru space. They have a great selection of cookbooks and while the one at Melbourne Central was open, I used to stop off on my way from work and then stagger home with bags of books.

One has now opened up on Chapel Street and the selection is pretty good. Jill Dupleix's books for $19.95, a range of Gordon Ramsay, and heaps of odd little books that you wouldn't find elsewhere and definitely not so cheap! I picked up two of Trish Deseine's cookbooks last time I was there, for only $12.95 each! Trish is another writer I was introduced to by Clotilde of Chocolate and Zucchini and indeed I hadn't heard of Herme or Medrich before I started reading food blogs. It is a fabulous way to discover books from other lands.

Anyway, the books you say!! I had a feeling that I should stop in today. Soon I saw Chocolate Bar, which has been mentioned twice in recent months in the Age's Epicure. I then glanced over the piles of books and saw it: Bittersweet by Alice Medrich. I Simply Could Not Believe It. Reduced from $60 to $19.95! I grabbed it and looked ferociously at anyone who might lift it from my pile. On the way out, I saw luscious chocolate desserts, which I have been drooling over in a local bookshop for months now.

Chocolate Bar is sarky, hip and full of chocolate philosophy, very different to your average runofthemill choc book. Bittersweet by Alice Medrich is lovely and is already next to the bed for thorough reading, not flicking through. Luscious I think will be a lot of fun, with some good recipes.

Three chocolate books and a packet of Callebaut callets! Now that's a good shopping trip!

(I can only hope that Figman has forgotten all about the existence of this blog!)


At 7:21 AM, Anonymous barbara said...

When in Brisbane last month I found the bookshop at Brunswick St Station mentioned by Nicky at Esurientes. No luck though - there wasn't anything there I yearned for.

At 5:16 PM, Blogger Niki said...

Ooooooh! I could kill you for finding such a great Alice Medrich book so cheap (well, not physically kill you but....). I've been embroiled in a long battle to get her Chocolate & the art of low fat desserts. It's unavailable in Australia and even Books For Cooks won't order it as shipping costs too much.
I thought I found somebody on Amazon willing to send me a second hand copy, but it all fell through. I think I'm destined never to see this wonderful book. :-(
Baraba - a shame you didn't find anything you wanted at the shop. The had an ok selection of cook books, but I think I was lucky that day finding what I did.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger plum said...

Oh Niki, you will find it, I'm sure! At Amazon at there are quite a few secondhand copies, and even with postage, a copy in "very good" condition is only about $32.

It's amazing that a book that everyone raves about is out of print so soon.

At 3:18 PM, Blogger Niki said...

It was with Amazon that I had the problems! I was buggered around for so long, that I gave up. I'll try again soon, when my agitated feelings have subsided.
(The first two listed in the 2nd hand section both don't ship internationally, incidentally. What good is THAT???!)

At 10:02 PM, Blogger plum said...

The first one, while it doesn't say "ships internationally", if you go through all the store info to states that it does.

I can understand you've been aggravated by all this! There is also one for sale on ebay, but the shipping here is very high.

Hope you find it soon!


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