The True Story of Two Sisters,
Tons of Treats
and The Little Shop That Could
Now if there is a book that gets your chocolate
tastebuds flaring (and how appropriate right after
Valentine's Day) it is this charming story of
broken dreams in life in Korea followed by
the American dream come true.
Chocolate Chocolate is written by
Frances Park and Ginger Park and tells
their true story of their dream of owning
a chocolate shop.
Remember the movie Chocolat how you felt
like they should have handed out fine chocolates
at the door of the theater for you to nibble on
while you watch? Well, this book is the same!
You had better surround yourself with chocolates
as you eat, I mean read, your way through this
book. You cannot imagine the sumptuous
descriptions of chocolates that these women
give in this book. Your mouth will be watering
from beginning to end.
If I had to pick one image from the book that is burned
into my mind it would be that of their mother munching on
Hershey bars and their father returning from a trip with a
suitcase filled with Lindt candy bars. I decided to combine
the two images for my table with a centerpiece of a
stylized suitcase filled with Hershey bars.
Their mother was a woman of wealth in Korea
before war broke out there. Here was a woman
who was used to having servants and now she
was on the streets alone trying to survive.
"Even with money in her pocket and a floor to
sleep on, Mom was no better off than a beggar....One
day she passed a small market,
its shelves nearly empty except for...Was she hallucinating
from hunger: Before her was a tantalizing mirage, a
barrel filled with the biggest chocolate bars she
had ever seen. Brown wrappers, English lettering.
....Black-market chocolate. What could possibly be more
delicious? Mom emptied her pockets without a second thought.
That night, as American B-52s dropped bombs over Seoul,
...Mom hid under a thick burlap blanket with her
Hershey bars. She comforted herself with a vow: "If I
must die, I will die with chocolate on my lips!"
"During our childhoods, Mom always wore a brave face.
Sometimes we would hear her quietly weeping behind walls,
or see her face contorting with emotion....
As kids, we had no idea that the sudden
yank from her idyllic childhood had set a reclusive tone for
the rest of her life, or that she worried every day over the fate of her
mother, or that her Third Brother, her most beloved and most
doting, was killed the night she nibbled on an American
chocolate bar to the echoing sounds of bombs close by.
We understood only that she stashed family -sized Hersey
bars in our big egg-yolk-colored fridge, deep inside...the
chocolate bars in the brown wrappers were forbidden to us -
they were hers and hers alone."
I believe in having an emergency supply of food
and we have always joked that we will barter our
chocolate for valuables! Reading this book made
me realize how much I would want a supply of
chocolate on hand just as Mom did.
The girls dream of owning their own chocolate
shop and the book takes you through their
trials and tribulations of trying to work with
contractors in Washington DC where they
"Chocolate was our comfort food, and we spent our days
munching away on Hershey Kisses wondering whether
we should go into business together, invest in a new life with the
small inheritance Dad left us."
You come to know their customers, their quirkiness,
their tastes, their lives and the influence they had
on these struggling entrepreneurs.
Frances Park is on the left and Ginger Park is
on the right. They have also written many other
books but this one focuses on their story.
You can check them out on their official website
(Both of the above photos come from their website.)
My tablescape today is Chocolate Chocolate
in honor of their book.
Let me begin by listing some of the chapters of their
Half-Moon Buttercream Dream
Chocolate Heart, Foiled
milk Chocolate Mousse Dream
Monster Mint Patty
(and those are only a few of the chapters.)
It is also a story of romance and love
as you follow Frances and Ginger
through dating, broken loves and marriage.
If this table tantalized your tastebuds for
visit Jain at
to see her review of this book and
ask her to email you the list of books
Food For Thought will be covering this
year. Join in on the fun.
And as a true story of sisterly bonds, I have to point
out that these beautiful "purple" Royal Crown goblets
were a gift from my sister Jean. She saw them and
thought of me. They are so gorgeous and look purple
in some light and pink in other light.
The book ends with their recipe for their
House Truffle which they created. Of course
I have highlighted it on my Ipad and plan to give
it a try.
Their final line in the book is
"Long Live Chocolate."
I hope you enjoyed Chocolate Chocolate
with me today.
start your mouth watering.
I will be posting this with