I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I recently read a book which made me think about a number of my food choices. Not of the "should I eat more ice cream?" choices (to which there is only one correct answer) but of the "should I go organic?" choices - and since I read this book, food and it's origin has been on my mind. So I was pleasantly surprised to hear that even chocolate can have a conscience. Green and Black's chocolate, which is organic, is now certified FreeTrade. So theoretically you can eat as much of it as you like and not feel guilty about what you might be doing to the world.... although if you eat enough of it you might feel a smidge of guilt about what you might be doing to your thighs!

The Green and Black's company were nice enough to send me a number of products to try - milk chocolate, dark chocolate, Maya Gold (dark infused with orange) and white chocolate (infused with vanilla). I'd be lying if I said I didn't crack open the milk chocolate packet within seconds of getting it in my hot little hands. I ripped it open, broke off a piece, put it in my mouth...and was sorely disappointed. Admittedly I have a very SWEET tooth - meaning the more sugar is in something, the happier I am. So I had a look and it turns out that their milk chocolate is actually 34% cocoa - which is pretty high compared to most milk chocolates I've tried and perhaps it was the extreme sweetness I was missing.

The white chocolate was pretty okay, but for me the other 3 flavours had a unpleasant after taste. I'm not even sure how to describe it other than just "yucky" ... it had a strange, strong after-taste and just wasn't all that fabulous to eat in the first place with a very 'flat' flavour. Since I'm not a huge dark chocolate fan I had DH and DD2 taste it since they are both dark choc addicts (of the "If it's not 70% or higher I'm not interested" types). DH agreed it had a very strange taste and then after-taste, and DD2 thought it was the nicest chocolate she'd every eaten. Hmmm. Inconclusive.

So I took it to the next level and decided to bake with it. I used the dark chocolate to make an amazing Mocha self-saucing pudding, which got rave reviews from the various people lucky enough to get a piece.

I still wasn't convinced, though... so I tried a chocolate self-saucing pudding (so the coffee could not mask the chocolate taste.) The pudding was okay and there was no evidence of either the odd chocolate taste or after-taste. I'd happy use the G&B for cooking purposes... but I still wasn't convinced we'd reached any real consensus about if this chocolate was any good to eat. Ethically, it was great...but I can't eat ethics. So we brought out what was left at a recent family dinner and had everyone taste the milk, dark, and Maya.


Half the table spit it out and said, "What IS this stuff? It's terrible!" and the other half said, "Yum! Can I have another piece?" and then gobbled the rest up, offering to take home any spare blocks. I'm not sure exactly what it is about Green & Black's which causes such a divergence in tastes - certainly I've seen and heard many a Melbourne foodie really enjoy it and refer to it as their go-to chocolate, but my personal experience is not the same. For me, I love that even luxury items like chocolate are being produced with social responsibility, and I applaud their efforts to be organic and free-trade. Now if only they'll go certified sweet, we'll all be happy.


Claire - Matching Pegs said...

Luke and I have been eating the Maya-Gold variety for a couple of years. It was the only one with the fair trade certification, so the others must have joined the fold recently .

My understanding of the issue is this......
It is all to do with Child Slave Labor. Lots of the world's cocoa is sourced from Africa which employs a lot of child (practically slave) labor.

The Maya Gold is from a particular cocoa plantation in South America, which has no child labor, and the blend is a homage to the spices that were traditionally used with cocoa there.

The Maya Gold is certainly an acquired taste. A couple of small chunks feel like plenty, which is a good way to limit my chocolate intake, and feel like a good purchaser at the same time.

I have not tried any of the other kinds.

Christine said...

That is really interesting... I've always liked G&B. I am a dark chocolate fiend to and admit I have never tried their milk chocolate. I really want the recipe for that mocha pudding, though!

Kristin said...

I have pretty low-brow tastes when it comes to chocolate -- give me a bag of Hershey Kisses and I'm a happy girl! So I get your disappointment with the lack of sweetness.

Now, would you share your recipe for the mocha pudding? It sounds orgasmic!