Chocolate has been famously paired with wine, tea, coffee, cheese, nuts, and fruit—even blended drinks. Introducing a new pairing that stimulates your sense of smell, taste, and touch, together with your sense of wonder and imagination. We call it “Book-to-Bar.”
Inspired by the phrase bean to bar, “Book-to-Bar” is a book paired with a bar of high quality, high flavor craft chocolate. And as with any respectable chocolate pairing, this one, too, comes complete with “Read-tasting Notes,” a poetic blend of the literary-culinary experience it creates.
Our first Book-to-Bar gift bundle wraps up a signed copy of The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree and a bar of melt-in-your-mouth craft chocolate.
Book-to-Bar bundles are beautiful, unique gift sets. They're just perfect for the holidays, especially for those loved ones, friends and colleagues who appreciate a good book and a good bar of chocolate.
Nothing like this exists, and it's only available through this site and participating chocolate shops and gift shops.
Bio-Itzà is a non profit organization in northern Guatemala that has been tremendously helpful to me during the research and writing phases of The Jaguar and the Cacao Tree. Their director personally translated all of the Itzà Maya passages in the narrative.
We believe in the cycle of life. We believe in giving back and paying it forward.
From now through December 31, 2016, 11% of the net proceeds from the sales of our Book-to-Bar bundles on this site and through our affiliates will support Bio-Itzà and the forest bioreserve they manage. We've raised funds for them before, but this time we hope to be able to cover some important expenses, namely:
• A monthly salary for a ranger that they desperately need, to monitor the reserve, especially for potential illegal activities such as poaching or logging. (For reference, a ranger in this part of Guatemala earns approx USD$350 per month.)
• A new all-terrain truck so they can have reliable transportation throughout the grounds.
• A pair of walkie-talkies (or two!). Each pair costs USD$160.
• Annual maintenance of the reserve, including fire prevention and cleanup as well as protection of the grounds against trespassers—USD$2,000 per year.
• Funds to support the organization's operational costs and fire prevention of the reserve. (For just USD$267 per month, Bio-Itzà can keep its lights on, the water running, and its telephone lines open.)
Here are some lovely images the Bio-Itzà administrative staff have shared with us:
ONE MORE THING
On November 29, 2016, we'll randomly draw a name from my "The Muse" email list, and that person will win a signed Book-to-Bar bundle with a mystery craft chocolate bar from my personal collection (I have an entire section of my pantry dedicated to the chocolate bars I have "researched"). Which chocolate will it be? Firefly Chocolate? Harper Macaw? Perhaps an heirloom bar...?
Various craft chocolate makers and other partners are signing up to offer Book-to-Bar bundles in their stores, whether their physical storefronts or their web sites. Please visit their shops if you're local to them, or their web sites if you're not! Click on the logos to check out their sites.