Tuesday, May 12, 2009
My New Favorite Chocolate
It's official: I have a new favorite chocolate. The spot that was held in my heart for Scharfenberger 70% has been pushed out by Kallari Chocolate.
Scharfenberger, although delicious, isn't organic or fair trade. Considering where in the world cacao is harvested and by whom, this is a pretty big ethical issue for me. Seattle's own Theo Chocolate is both organic and fair trade, but I find their chocolate bars to be very hit-or-miss, and even the good ones aren't spectacular. I was resigned to putting chocolate on my "it's so good that I get to splurge on my principles" list. And then out of the blue, my friend Julia asked if I would do a demo in Whole Foods of her company's chocolate, and my world turned upside-down.
Kallari chocolate tastes absolutely amazing: smooth and rich, without bitterness or a burnt aftertaste. More of a berry/vanilla/coffee undertone than a bright citrus undertone, which is exactly why I love Scharfenberger's 70% bar. Best of all, the chocolate is grown, harvested, and produced by the indigenous Kichwa/Quichua people in Ecuador, on their ancestral land. Instead of deforesting the Amazon, these farmers make their living producing chocolate from start to finish. The cacao is certified organic and Rainforest-Alliance safe, and 100% of the profits go back to the Kichwa to support their local economy. This is far more fair than fair trade; this is revolutionary.
The funny thing is I can't decide which I like best! Kallari makes three bars: 70%, 75%, and 85%. The 70% is the sweetest, with a lovely caramely flavor, while the 85% has the deepest chocolate flavor and is barely sweet. I've been breaking off bits of each for the last few days, and I think I've decided that the 70% is best for a junk food/sugar craving, the 85% is best for a chocolate craving, and the 75% is right in the middle and could be eaten any time. :)
So even though I stood at this table for four hours on a Saturday, it was totally worth it. Because not only did I find my new favorite chocolate, but hopefully I helped other people find theirs too!
~~ For more information, see the New York Times article on Kallari and their magazine's chocolate taste-test that preferred Kallari over other organic chocolates. Kallari Chocolate is currently only sold at Whole Foods, but you can buy it online here. ~~