Category Archives: Health and nutrition
- Als sociale wetenschapper heeft Anna Laven zich gespecialiseerd in duurzame economische ontwikkeling. Meer dan tien jaar is ze hiermee bezig bij het KIT Royal Tropical Institute. Een van haar expertises is duurzame cacao. Zo deed ze grootschalig onderzoek in de groeiende cacao regio’s van Ghana en Ivoorkust naar waarom en hoe huishoudens cacao verbouwen en naar vrouwenongelijkheid in deze sector.
- Philipp Kauffman is de oprichter en Chief Grower van Original Beans, een chocoladebedrijf dat de wereld beter maakt door chocolade. Original Beans heeft namelijk een Chocolate Foodprint: in 2018 beschermde het bedrijf samen met klanten, partners en boeren bosgebieden ter grootte van 24.300 voetbalvelden en betaalde 210% meer voor cacao dan de Fairtrade prijs. Tijdens zijn presentatie zal Philipp een aantal duurzame kwaliteitschocolades laten proeven. Ervaar dus zelf hoe chocolades van verschillende origine smaken!
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“Acidified red cocoa nibs are cocoa nibs which were not initially red but which have been subjected to an acid for a sufficient amount of time to become red”
Can We Use The Whole Cacao Pod?
So, if the cacao seeds are the only part of the fruit that ends up in our chocolate, does that mean the rest goes to waste?
We’ve already mentioned that pulp can be consumed on its own. Additionally, Eduardo tells me, “In Latin American countries, the cacao [by-products] may be used to feed livestock.”
Alfredo adds that “cacao pods uses are varied. In a cacao event in Thailand, they served a dinner with more than 70 different [cacao] servings that varied from soups, rice, meats, desserts, drinks and others.”
And Pedro explains that, even when the by-products aren’t consumed, they can still be reused. “The shell of the pod, once it’s been harvested normally, is left in the plantation because the Forcipomyia fly (principle insect that helps in the pollination of the cocoa flower) will lay its eggs in there. Then [the shell] is reincorporated in the soil once it’s degraded,” he says. “Other farmers make compost with the shells because they are rich in potassium and help to improve organic matter in the soil.”
Chocolate comes in many varieties much like wine. Many people can’t imagine pairing chocolate with a fine wine, but the complexity and differences of both can make for an exciting, flavorful match.
Choosing your pairs
It’s important to remember that most wine-pairing guidelines are just that… guidelines. There are no hard and fast rules. You may find that while you prefer dark chocolate with a nutty, roasty Cabernet, your equally wine- or food-savvy friend may go for a vintage Port. But if you’re a wine and chocolate-pairing novice, follow these quick tips to match your favorite decadence with just the right wine.
White chocolate pairings
White chocolate is mellow and buttery. Its flavor makes it ideal for softer wines like Sherry or an Orange Muscat. Some people also like it with a light (often white) Zinfandel.
Sherry increases the creaminess of white chocolate, while Orange Muscat picks up any light fruit tones that may be present in some white chocolates (depending on the maker). Zinfandel is actually a contrasting flavor because of its heavy tannin content, but some tasters appreciate the dynamic flavors. Overall white chocolates usually go best with dessert wines.
The creaminess of milk chocolate pairs with a Ruby Port, Pinot Noir or light-bodied Merlot (or other light-bodied, light-flavored wines). Dessert wines (Rieslings, Muscats, etc.) may also be a good complement. These types of wines pair well with milk chocolate because the mild tannin levels underscore the creamy flavor without overpowering it.
Dark or intense dark chocolate
Dark or bittersweet chocolate pairs with a variety of wines and often make some of the most interesting pairings. Since they’re often more complex themselves, they usually require a more complex wine to accompany them.
Look for a wine that’s a little more robust (maybe even a roast-y or nutty flavor). In fact, many wines, especially Cabernets and Zinfandels, often have their own hint of chocolate flavor. Try a robust Pinot Noir or full-bodied Merlot, a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Tawny or Vintage Port.
Wine & chocolate tasting
The best way to find out your favorite chocolate and wine combination is trial and error. Make it fun by hosting a chocolate and wine tasting with some of your friends. Just buy a selection of wines and fine chocolates and invite everyone to taste (starting with the lightest flavors first) and choose their favorites.