For the second time I couldn’t stop myself from going to the Chocolate fair in Amsterdam in February. It is a fest for your eyes, nose and stomic. I tried a lot of chocolate that are not sold in The Netherlands (yet).
I also love the stories behind the chocolates. Every chocolate there has its own story and the people displaying their chocolate are more then willing to tell the story. Most of these stories is about what they are doing for the people harvesting the chocolate and envirement. The chocolates sold on the fair all are into improving the lives of the farmers and workers. Not only the working condition but also higher income.
I can’t wait till my favorites are sold here in stores. I am looking forward to buying the chocolate fruit juice and some dark chocolate with nuts but without sugar. The last one you can buy in every supermarket in Portugal, why not here?
In Ecuador, a lot of years ago, I had the opportunity to make my own chocolate on a cacao farm. We harvest a cacao fruit and peeled the cacao. The cacao we had we pulverized. To get some sugar we had to walk the sugar cane mill. The cacao, the sugar and some milk made a delicious chocolate milk. Better then you can get in stores. I can still taste it in my mind…
So when I saw that there was a chocolate festival in the Beurs van Berlage in Amsterdam, I had to go. Nothing better then source chocolate. So Saturday 23 February I went to the festival and tasted chocolate till I was nauseous.
The difference is that the chocolate in Ecuador and at the festival was pure no artificial ingredients added. You can still taste a bit of the bitterness. I had a lot of chocolate bars, hot chocolate, beer with chocolate, sausage with cacao and cheese with cacao. Also I had for the first time cacao juice from the fruit. I already had tasted how good the cacao fruit is in Ecuador and Cuba and now the juice. It is a pitty you can’t get the juice in shops yet.
Good & Bad in Chocolate industry
There were a lot of chocolate with a statement. Rokbar chocolate 100% made and owned by women, empowering of women. Tony’s Choconally with their 100% slave free chocolate.
There was also an environment organization Mighty, which makes sure we know that not all chocolate are produced environment friendly. A lot of bush has disappeared for cacao plantations. This are mono plantations destroying the habitat in which monkeys and other animals live.
More and more chocolate producers and supermarket chains in the world are committing to selling chocolate that tackle issues as deforestation, sustainability and human right issues. In the Netherlands these chocolates are not common yet, but will be in a few years as the chocolate market is changing.
With the fasting period coming up I am making a resolution to myself to only buy chocolate that tackles issues from now on. Are you going to do that to? They cost a bit more, but they taste better and are friendly to humans, animals and our environment.