February is National Chocolate Lovers month – with Valentines Day around the corner, why not dedicate the whole month to that glorious, subtle, sweet, milky, dark and smoothly molded fabulous food… I could go on with a string of lovely and suitable adjectives, but a. I would bore you and b. I will need a nibble of some form of chocolate as I write about it. I am a self-confessed chocoholic. I am not only dedicating a whole post to it, I am celebrating my favorite food. Er, well, there are others, but this ranks as the best of the best. The photo below has two of my favorite brands, um, I’m a little bit guilty of biting into all of them at the same time, which is why they are all ripped apart – but only a little bite here and there. No, really. I could have more… I just won’t, well, not yet anyway. I’ve given these brands a shout out before and want to do it again, not only are they fabulous they serve a greater cause.
Divine Chocolate is a leading fair trade brand in the UK with the farmer in mind. The money from sales go directly to the Kuapa Kokoo Ghana( good cocoa growers) – a co-op for farmers based on the vision of one particular farmer – Nana Friongpong Abrebrese, together with a group of farmers who have decided they need to take control and trade their own cocoa, sell and farm ethically, they are now a pioneer in the world of environmentally friendly cocoa. They serve to help women and farmers lead a better life, so, every slab you purchase will benefit the villages that work hard to bring ethical chocolate to our shelves.
Seattle-based Theo is organic, fair trade and let me get this right… they are the only fair for life certified, bean- to- bar factory in North America. I support them like crazy. They buy their cocoa directly from farming co-ops like the one I mentioned above. They keep it within the farming community, ensuring a better livelihood for cocoa farmers, supporting their endeavors to keep the product environmentally friendly, organic and safe for the consumer.
They have so many different flavors. I am a dark chocolate person, so I try everything 70% and above. Well, I feel better with dark chocolate and I sort of justify it internally by telling myself that my heart benefits from it. Anything for chocolate – that’s my motto. The Orange and Almond/Cherry are my favorites, along with the really dark, intense, yet smooth 85% slab. Once you try these, you can’t ever go back to anything else. Um, you can, but then I would start comparing…. You taste every subtle ingredient in this brand of chocolate. If you drink wine, then you know how the palate works – the swirling, smelling and spitting out etc. Well, the same applies to chocolate. You don’t spit it out, um, that would be a complete waste. But you let the palate take over and allow the smooth cocoa to invade your senses. Underneath it all, there will be hints of orange, salt, caramel and if you’re really into it, you will taste the vanilla as well – I could do this for a living. Theo has no more than 5 ingredients, and no dairy in some. They have gluten-free slabs too. Other brands to try are Dagoba & The Tea Room( the honey and tea flavors are incredible in this chocolate, oh and I’m begging you to try the raspberry rooibos). Now that I have adequately promoted chocolate, I shall move on…. I am so hungry.