The top books on sugar

The best books about sugar

17 authors have chosen their favorite sugar books and explained why they recommend each one.

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Sweetness and Strength

17 authors

Sidney W. Mintz wrote this.

Sweetness and Power: The Place of Sugar in Modern History book cover

By Brian Cowan, “The Social Life of Coffee: The Development of the British Coffeehouse”
It is advised by Brian Cowan.
Brian’s list of coffeehouses and their histories.

Mintz’s book is about sugar, but it is still an important work in coffee history. It was a major source of inspiration for my own research on the reception of coffee in early modern Britain. By the late seventeenth century, sugar was a key ingredient in coffee, and it would become a staple in the hot drinks consumed by the English working class. The emergence of an Atlantic slave system and the industrial revolution are at the core of Mintz’s explanation of how this mutually beneficial connection between sugar and coffee developed. This is a classic work of both anthropology and history; it sparked a whole new way of thinking about the Atlantic world and the history of consumption at a time when both were still in their infancy.

A Complete History of the Island of Barbados

17 authors

Richard Ligon’s

Book cover for A True and Accurate History of the Island of Barbados

Blanton, Nancy Author of Sharavogue: An Irish and West Indian Novel
Nancy Blanton recommends this product.
Nancy’s list of the 17th century West Indian sugar and slave trade.

This is the book to read if you want to know what things looked like and how it felt to live in Barbados in the 17th century. This travelogue was originally published in 1657 and is about an island that developed into a thriving English colony famous for its sugar plantations, rum, and slave trade. Ligon was an exiled royalist who participated in the English Civil War.

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Slaves and Sugar

17 authors

Richard S. Dunn’s

Cover of the book Sugar and Slaves: The Development of the Planter Class in the English West Indies, 1624–1713

By Raymond A. Saraceni, “Off the Beach in the Caribbean: Adventures in the Small Leeward Islands”
According to Raymond A. Saraceni,

From Raymond’s list of things to do while in the Caribbean.

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that modern West Indian historical scholarship begins with Richard S. Dunn’s Sugar and Slaves. Dunn’s work brings a materialist and statistical awareness to the study of Caribbean history, blazing a trail that nearly all subsequent scholars in the field have followed. Though this may appear to be a recipe for aridity, the results are far from dry. Dunn’s analysis of medical records, census data, mortality rates, and plantation inventory summaries paints a picture of the English West Indies as a true slave society, dominated by an institution that utterly ignored the numerous lives it was consuming (and whose legacy continues to haunt the region today).

Gary Taubes’s Case Against Sugar

17 authors

The Case Against Sugar book cover

Dr. Vera Tarman Food Junkies: Recovering from Food Addiction
Vera Tarman, MD recommends
Vera’s list of ways to capture sugar and food addiction.

This book about the harmful consequences of sugar on our communities was written by investigative journalist Gary Taubes and covers history, science, and other topics. Extremely informative and readable.He is unapologetic about the sugar industry. He had the time to collect data over the years; no academic has that kind of time and commitment.

Robert Louis Stein’s The French Sugar Business in the Eighteenth Century

17 authors

The French Sugar Business in the Eighteenth Century book cover

France in the Americas and Africa, 1750–1802, by Rge, Pernille Economistes and the Reinvention of Empire.
Pernille Rge recommends
Pernille’s list of books about France and its eighteenth-century colonial empire.

This book provides a clear and understandable examination of the nuts and bolts of the eighteenth-century French sugar trade. Readers gain a clear understanding of the key aspects of the enterprise that made France the world’s leading sugar exporter, from its financing to its reliance on African slave labor to its cultivation in Caribbean sugar plantations. It also provides one of the most comprehensive discussions of the local French domestic industries involved in the sugar trade.

Matthew Parker’s Sugar Barons

17 authors

Sugar Barons book jacket

Blanton, Nancy Author of Sharavogue: An Irish and West Indian Novel
Nancy Blanton recommends this product.
Nancy’s list of the 17th century West Indian sugar and slave trade.

Sugar became such a valuable commodity after 1650 that it was dubbed “white gold” for about 200 years. The battles for control of the slave trade, sugar trade, and riches that ultimately sparked the Industrial Revolution are fully chronicled in this book. Also, it contains details on the individuals whose families made their riches from sugar.

Giada’s Feel Good Food is a cookbook written by Giada De Laurentiis.

17 authors

Giada’s Feel Good Food: My Healthy Recipes and Secrets: A Cookbook book cover

Lauren Thomas’s book The Modern Hippie Table: Recipes & Menus for Eating Simply and Living Happily
From her selection of lifestyle books for cooking, entertaining, and table settings, Lauren Thomas suggests this book.

We all want to know what an individual accomplishes in addition to their most well-known accomplishments.

I like how Giada goes beyond recipes to share her beauty secrets, such as hair and makeup routines, how she stays trim through lifestyle and exercise, tips for choosing healthy options when dining out, and what she packs for snacks on the go. It truly is a way of life to which I aspire!

Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand by Marcus Chown

17 authors

Picture of the book cover for Infinity in the Palm of Your Hand: Fifty Marvels That Show an Incredible World

Mr. Brian Clegg What Do You Think You Are? is What Do You Think You Are’s author? The Science of What Makes You You is a book that Brian Clegg suggests.
From Brian’s list of ways to make science’s deep mysteries more approachable.

Sometimes you don’t want an in-depth examination of a topic, but rather a series of interesting articles—and these 50 ‘wonders that reveal an extraordinary universe’ are an excellent way to delve into some of modern science’s strangest and most wonderful aspects. Although each topic is only a few pages long, it is sufficient to pique your interest and compel you to tell someone nearby about it. When you’ve read one, it’s difficult not to want to read a few more.

Nicole Rees and Joseph Amendola explain baking.

17 authors

Understanding Baking: The Art and Science of Baking, book cover

Sweets from the Farm to Table: 80 Organic, Seasonal Recipes Lei Shishak’s poem, “Inspired by Your Local Farmers Market,”
It is suggested by Lei Shishak.
Lei’s list of pastry baking recipes from an award-winning baker.

This small but informative book deconstructs baking ingredients and the science behind them. Readers will discover why ingredients such as egg, flour, sugar, and milk are commonly used in pastry baking. The authors expertly explain how ingredients change during the baking process, such as when an egg meets sugar or baking soda meets an acid. Each chapter concludes with a useful review written in the form of a quiz. Reading this book will help you become a better baker. This book does not contain any recipes.

Jars of Naturally Sweet Food

17 authors

Marisa McClellan wrote this.

Naturally Sweet Food in Jars: 100 Preserves Made with Coconut, Maple, Honey, and Other Ingredients

By Veronika Sophia Robinson, The Mystic Cookfire: The Divine Art of Preparing Food to Nourish Friends and Family
Robinson, Veronika Sophia, advises
Veronika’s list of conscious plant-based recipes.

As someone who enjoys preserving the bounty of my orchard and garden, this book has proven to be exactly what I was looking for: LESS SUGAR! It is ideal for the health-conscious preserver who enjoys trying out new and interesting recipes. It’s a fantastic mix of interesting flavor combinations, manageable batches, and seasonal awareness, cleverly organized by sweetener: coconut sugar, maple syrup, honey, dried fruits, juices, agave.

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