Who does not love the warm, heady embrace of superior quality chocolate melting on the tongue? There are literally thousands of recipes involving chocolate, from your favourite chocolate chip cookie to a $250 French Madeline chocolate truffle.
But what is this mysterious elixir that can be a sophisticated aphrodisiac, or comfort food eaten in pajamas?
Chocolate comes from the Cacao tree. Many people would not recognize the large pods that grow on the trunk and limbs of this tree, much less the beans inside, as chocolate. And in fact, there are two different versions of this product: cacoa and cocoa. Cacoa is the raw version of chocolate (think cacoa butter, nibs or powder) that is made by cold-pressing the unroasted, fermented, dried cacoa beans, while cocoa powder is made by roasting the fermented, dried cacoa beans.
We carry Organic Traditions Cacao butter, for eating or making your own potions, as well as Navita's Cacao powder.*
Try making your own chocolate by combining 4 ounces of cacoa butter, melted gently in a bowl over hot water, with 1/4 cup cacoa powder, 2 tbsp honey, and a quarter teaspoon vanilla. Pour into molds and refrigerate until hard.
*To order any of these products mentioned, call us at 1-877-366-3437. We'll be happy to ship them to you!
This year, Canada's National Organic Week runs from September 19-27. The largest annual celebration of organic food, farming, and products across the country, Organic Week showcases the benefits of organic agriculture and its positive impact on the environment.
Food has become a cultural driver in North America. Consumers are being asked to think about their food a lot more, to "think before we eat." That new food awareness is driving a clear movement to form connections and focus on the community around food. Knowing where our meal comes from gives us a sense of confidence and traceability in our food choices. Adding the benefit of organic provides another level of accountability and assurance that we are consuming an ethical, healthy product, for ourselves and/or our children.
Certified Organic food must meet strict national standards. It is the most heavily regulated and scrutinized food system in Canada. But the benefits are huge. Choosing organic substantially reduces your exposure to chemical residue. Precious water reserves are managed much more carefully on an organic farm, which must be inspected annually. Organic agriculture builds healthy ecosystems and higher biodiversity, while using only half the energy required by other farming methods. And organic is the only nonGMO standard overseen by the Canadian government - organic standards forbid the use of GMOs in seeds, animal feed, and in the ingredients of processed organic food and products.
Embrace Organic Week this year by cooking an organic meal. Organic farming is good for rural Canada, and it tastes great, too!
--with files from thinkcanadaorganic.ca and organicweek.ca