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November 04, 2007

Chocolate and Child Slavery

I'm a proponent of Fair Trade chocolate products and try to buy them over non-Fair Trade ones. I also keep a lookout for news on Fair Trade issues and forced labor involved in chocolate production. However, most of the time, there's nothing new -- just people rehashing the same old items and so it tends to drop off my radar.

But since I haven't posted anything on Fair Trade in a long while, here's a random sampling of Fair Trade news bites:

and some interesting links:

See previous Fair Trade posts and also see my now abandoned attempt to keep track of fair trade cocoa products.

November 01, 2007

Bellagio: Mmm...cakey!

So, I picked up a tin of Bellagio sipping chocolate the other day from Wegman's. I didn't have much hope in it being good -- just wanted to try something different. However, upon opening it up today and indulging myself in a mug of hot chocolate, I was pleasantly surprised.

First, the mix itself is a nice dark chocolatey brown. Secondly, it had an aroma that reminded me of a fresh baked chocolate cake and finally, the the nutritional info said that it was low in fats and high in fiber. Now, while the first two items definitely affect my senses, the third one goes straight for my left brain what with the low fat telling me that there's no sneaky mixing in of milkfats and the high fiber implying a cocoa powder that hasn't had itself processed to perdition and back.

I didn't go with the recipe on the tin -- which instructed you to use 2 rounded tablespoons with 1/3rd cup of whole milk. I used about 2.5 heaping tablespoons with a cup of milk and it turned out rather well. There was a distinct cocoa taste with the flavor shading towards a hot chocolate rather than a hot cocoa, and while it was sweet, it wasn't cloyingly so. In keeping with the "sipping chocolate" aspect of its name, it had a smooth taste to it rather than the textured flavor you get from the hot cocoas. All in all, I enjoyed my cuppa Bellagio.

While Bellagio won't replace my Dagoba hot cocoa as my favorite everyday drink, it does make for a tasty (and healthy) cup of hot chocolate. And somedya I may even try it out as a sipping chocolate according the to recipe on the tin.