Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Further Evidence that Chocolate is Good for the Soul

Earlier this season, I noticed that some of our neighbors on Hutchinson Ferry have a small garden in their front yard which contains, among other things, banana trees. Now this is an inspiration to me. For one thing, bananas are practically the Antichrist of the local food movement. When are they in season? Who knows, as none of them come from anywhere closer than Mexico. But I'm excited by these hyper-local bananas for another reason entirely. Perhaps, if bananas can grow in Georgia, then I could grown cacao as well...

Realistically, this is probably one of my more ludicrous pipe dreams. And even if I could somehow pamper a cacao tree into fruiting in this phenomenally foreign environment, I wouldn't have a clue what to do with my beans: roast them? Eat them raw? Just add milk and sugar? Since bootleg, homemade chocolate is not likely soon to grace the menu of chez Serenbe, I am instead a huge fan of fairtrade chocolate. Several companies source their cacao beans from small farmers in Africa and Latin America to whom they have contracted to pay an equitable living wage. When you buy Fairtrade chocolate you are not only purchasing a far tastier piece of chocolate than the average Twix bar, you are also helping to prevent child labor (a common practice among large scale conventional cacao farms) while supporting small family farmer cooperatives.

With Halloween on the horizon, I encourage all of you to take a look at Reverse Trick-or-Treating, a website that will send you free samples of fairtrade chocolate for you (or your children) to distribute on Halloween. I'm sure no one will mind if you do a bit of quality control sampling before the big night...

1 comment:

Tyler Braithwaite said...

I buy my beans from farmers and I have tried to figure out how to make some cacao halloween handouts. But let me know if your Georgian cacao famr works out, I'll buy from you!