November 16th, 2009 - Gerald "Gerry" Pugliese
I love chocolate, and the darker, more bittersweet the better. I like my chocolate to be mistaken for topsoil.
So Green & Black’s is a dynamite choice. Here in New Jersey, you can find it in the organic sections of most supermarkets.
Green & Black’s, a British company with markets in Europe, North America, and Australia, is chocolate muddy happiness.
And despite the tough economic times, Green & Black’s continues to grow, and has been sought after by many big corporate suitors.
Green & Black’s buys premium quality cocoa from local Mayan farmers in Belize, and their candy bars are both organic and fair trade, meaning they buy directly from farmers, no middleman, so growers get higher payments.
When the company started, owner Craig Sams, founder of Whole Earth Foods, positioned the brand as a luxury, rather than just another organic earthy-crunchy food product. And it was a good idea!
Now, Green & Black’s is a globetrotter, doing business in places like Canada, the United States, and New Zealand, and last year it posted $100 million in sales.
And currently, Cadbury, yes, the makers of those crack-like addictive chocolate eggs, owns a portion of the company, and now Kraft Foods is looking to buy them, both companies have interest in Green & Black’s to bolster their own organic image.
Ha! I’m actually running out right now to snag a Toffee. Rawr!
Via The New York Times.
Image credit: SlashFood.com
Read More:Organic Dark Chocolate Maker Still Thriving in Bitter Economy
December 1st, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Chocolate may be the ultimate indulgence, so pamper your friends and family this holiday season with the sweetest gift of all.
Our end-of-the-week recipe comes from Green & Black’s, producers of a full range of organic chocolate bars, gift boxes, hot chocolates, cocoa and baking bars made with 100% organic ingredients.
Delicious as a sauce with ice cream or on toast at breakfast, this Pear and Chocolate Spread makes a wonderful hostess gift. Tie a colorful ribbon around the jar for a sophisticated presentation.
Green & Black’s funds a large fair-trade project in Belize. This means the company pays Mayan farmers a fair and sustainable price for their organic cocoa, allowing them to improve the quality of life for their families and communities.
Pear and Chocolate Spread
Makes: 1¾ lbs.
Preparation time: 20 minutes. Chilling time: overnight.
- 3 lbs. Bartlett pears, ripe but firm
- 3½ cups granulated sugar
- Juice of 1 large orange
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 9 oz. Green & Black’s Organic 72% Bittersweet Baking Bar, chopped
- 2 to 3 1½-cup canning jars and waxed paper circles
- Peel and quarter pears; remove cores. In large, heavy saucepan, mix sugar with orange and lemon juices. Add pears and mix together carefully.
- Heat gently until mixture begins to simmer. Remove from heat and pour into bowl. Add chocolate and mix until chocolate has melted. Cover bowl and let cool before placing in fridge overnight.
- Pour mixture back into heavy saucepan, bring to a boil and let bubble 40 minutes to 1 hour. Mixture is done when small amount dropped onto cold plate becomes thick and gelatinous.
- While mixture is bubbling, wash canning jars, lids and seals in warm, soapy water, rinsing thoroughly. Sterilize jars by immersing fully in boiling water 10 minutes or by washing them in dishwasher.
- Spoon pear and chocolate spread into jars to within 1/2 inch of rim. Cover with circle of waxed paper and secure lid immediately.
Recipe and photo courtesy of Green & Black’s Organic
Read More:Pear and Chocolate Spread
March 24th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Dagoba Organic Chocolate will now distribute its tantalizing Single Origin chocolates nationally, reaching the industry’s “new pinnacle,” according to the Ashland, Oregon-based company.
Single Origin chocolate, as the name implies, originates from a specific geographic region, providing a “multisensory experience of unique aromas, tastes, textures and the people who define a cacao-growing region,” the company notes.
Dagoba’s flavors include:
- Pacuare. A Costa Rican chocolate with a mild flavor, low acidity, upfront golden raisin and hints of caramel. Its name was inspired by the Pacuare River, which cuts through virgin rainforest gorges that shelter threatened bird, animal and insect species.
- Los Rios. This Ecuadorian chocolate features upfront cacao, hints of tangerine and red berry, and a balanced astringency for dark chocolate connoisseurs.
- Milagros. From the Tingo Maria Fair Trade co-op at the edge of the Peruvian Amazon, this chocolate offers nuances of banana and orchid, which grow among the cacao in a biodiverse rainforest.
Dagoba’s commitment to quality is made possible by direct partnerships with cacao growers.
“This line has been years in the making because I had to search intently to find sustainably grown varietals and producer partners that meet our standards of quality, ecology, farmer equity and community—fulfilling the highest industry benchmarks,” says Frederick Schilling, the company’s founding alchemist. “This effort has not been easy, but the rewards we’re seeing for consumers, producers and the environment are more than worth it.”
Read More:Popular Organic Chocolates Go National
March 2nd, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
Lavender Sea Salt Caramels
When Martha Stewart was finalizing her Christmas gift list last year, she decided to go organic, choosing Lavender Sea Salt Caramels from Central Point, Oregon-based Lillie Belle Farms Hand Made Chocolates. The artisan chocolate maker supplied more than 250 lbs. of handmade lavender-infused confections.
“With all the chocolate companies out there, it was quite an honor to have someone whose entire business is centered on taste and style to choose our products as their holiday gift,” says chocolatier Jeff Shepherd. “We make each small batch by hand, using lavender from our garden, fresh Oregon cream, organic dark chocolate and a little sprinkle of Fleur du Sel from the coast of Brittany.”
The company combines fruits and flowers from its organic berry farm in Southern Oregon with the finest organic single-origin chocolate to craft decadent ganaches, toffees, bonbons and caramels.
“A year ago, we would not have been able to fulfill her order in a timely manner, but since we built our new kitchen, we were able to accommodate Martha and several other high-profile clients,” Shepherd says.
You can order assortments of Lillie Belle Farms’ organic chocolates—in flavors like coconut ginger, marzipan fig and chipotle ganache—by clicking here.
Read More:Martha Stewart Chooses Organic Chocolate Gifts
February 28th, 2006 - Barbara Feiner
On Jan. 2, I wrote about cocoa’s cancer-fighting properties. Now, when you shop for organic food, there’s another reason to pick up a tin of organic cocoa.
A study of elderly Dutch men indicates that eating or drinking cocoa is associated with lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of death, according to an article in yesterday’s edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.
Cocoa has been linked to cardiovascular health benefits since at least the 18th century, but researchers are just beginning to collect scientific evidence for these claims, according to background information in the article. Cocoa is now known to contain chemicals called flavan-3-ols, which have been linked to lower blood pressure and improved function of the cells lining the blood vessels.
Brian Buijsse, MSc, of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in Bilthoven, The Netherlands, and his colleagues examined cocoa’s relationship to cardiovascular health in 470 Dutch men ages 65 to 84. The men underwent physical examinations and were interviewed about their dietary intake when they enrolled in the study in 1985 and at follow-up visits in 1990 and 1995. The researchers then placed them into three groups based on their level of cocoa consumption. Information about their subsequent illnesses and deaths was obtained from hospital or government data.
Over the next 15 years, men who consumed cocoa regularly had significantly lower blood pressure than those who did not. Over the course of the study, 314 men died, 152 due to cardiovascular diseases. Men in the group with the highest cocoa consumption were half as likely as the others to die from cardiovascular disease. Their risk remained lower even when considering other factors, such as weight, smoking habits, physical activity levels, calorie intake and alcohol consumption. The men who consumed more cocoa were also less likely to die of any cause.
Although blood pressure is usually linked with risk of cardiovascular death, this was not the case in this study. “The lower cardiovascular mortality risk associated with cocoa intake could not be attributed to the lower blood pressure observed with cocoa use,” the authors write. “Our findings, therefore, suggest that the lower cardiovascular mortality risk related with cocoa intake is mediated by mechanisms other than lowering blood pressure.” The benefits associated with flavan-3-ols may play a role.
The link between chocolate and overall lower risk of death suggests that other mechanisms also may be involved. “Because cocoa is a rich source of antioxidants, it may also be related to other diseases that are linked to oxidative stress (e.g., pulmonary diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and certain types of cancer) ,” the authors conclude. “However, this merits further investigation.”
Sources for Organic Cocoa Powder
Green & Black’s
Read More:Another Reason to Enjoy Organic Cocoa