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Nui makes an intense and flavourful raw dark chocolate ($7.50 for 70g) that's made in Australia from Vanuatu-sourced, sustainably grown and Fairtrade-certified cacao. The 80 per cent blend is sweetened slightly with raw cane sugar and has a generous helping of solid cacao nibs for extra texture and punch. www.nuigeneration.com
Lindsey & Edmunds chocolate slabs ($16.50 for 175g) are a little bit fancy and a whole lot delicious. Australia’s first handmade certified Fairtrade and organic chocolates (Australian Certified Organic) have subtle, melt-in-your-mouth white, milk and dark flavours accented with a variety of tastes, including wild-harvested cape gooseberries and sour cherries. Made in Canberra. www.lindseyandedmunds.com.au
Green & Black's chocolates ($3.99 for 100g) with smooth and intense flavours such as the orange and spice infused Maya Gold and the velvety rich Creamy Vanilla White Chocolate, are an addictive delight. Made in Italy by a UK company, they’re certified organic by the UK Soil Association and though Maya Gold has always been Fairtrade-certified, most other varieties are soon to follow. www.greenandblacks.com
Alter Eco Swiss-made chocolates ($6.95 for 100g) are Fairtrade-certified and made with organic ingredients certified by Quality Insurance International. The range of darks, including Crystalised Orange Peel and a refreshing Mint are gorgeous, and the Milk Cajou, with its cashews and raisins, is particularly morish. www.alterecopacific.com
Plamil eco-aware chocolates will have vegans rejoicing. The hand moulded premium range ($3.25 for 50g) includes a scrumptious Rum-flavoured Chocolate and Raisins and a bold Dark Chocolate with White Mint Chocolate chips. They're made in a renewable energy powered factory in the UK, certified organic by the Soil Association and available through www.veganperfection.com.au.
For more ideas for guilt-free indulgence this Easter, check out the April/May issue of G magazine. Also look for local companies Scarborough Fair, Cocoa Rhapsody, Chocalatier and Organic Times, and from abroad Askinosie, Oxfam, Booja-Booja, Endangered Species, Dagoba, Kaoka and Artisse.
Did you know?
- Chocolate is produced from the roasted beans of the cacao tree, whose botanical name, Theobroma cacao, means ‘food of the Gods’.
- Chocolate was first discovered around 600 AD by the Mayan Indians of Central America, who made a spiced cacao bean drink called ‘chocolatl’.
- It takes an entire year’s crop from a single cacao tree (20-30 pods) to make 450 g of chocolate.
- Though native to Central and South America, around 70% of the world’s cacao is grown in Africa. The Ivory Coast and Ghana are the world’s largest producers.
- Over 3.5 million tonnes of cacao beans were produced globally in 2008/2009.
- 53,000 tonnes of cacao beans are imported into Australia each year.
- Australians eat around 120,000 tonnes of chocolate confectionary each year – almost 6 kg per person!