The past few weeks your Chocolate Priestess has been seeing news reports about a Swiss company who claims it has mad a chocolate that is both low in calories and which won't melt in higher temperatures. Several of these articles are linked at the end of this entry so once you finish reading my thoughts, please go read yourself.
The idea of cutting calories in chocolate has long been a dream and given recent concerns about so many folks in the world be too over weight, a dream that crosses the lines between chocolate lovers, businesses, doctors, and governments. Swiss maker, Barry Callebaut, claims this product, currently called "Vulcano" has 90% fewer calories. Barry Callebaut is the world's largest chocolate company so this claim could have a big impact around the globe.
Chocolate that can withstand high temperatures is also a long held goal. Since WWII, companies and governments have been searching for a way to make chocolate last longer because they considered including the treat to be a good boost to morale of the soldiers. Unfortunately most of the previous attempts haven't tasted very good and outside military use haven't fared well in the general market because of that fact.
One important thing I can't find evidence of in all this news: What does this "Vulcano" taste like? Some articles quote Barry Callebaut as saying the bars crunchiness outweighs it's flavor and that it will melt in your mouth. Let's be honest, as we know in The Chocolate Cult each sense is important to the full appreciation of chocolate. Texture and sound cannot replace taste but each must stand well alone and blend well to make a great product. It will likely be two years or so before any of us will get a chance to evaluate the product though if the company want to make us an offering we will try it and reveal it's full five sensory attributes.
Beyond the senses though, I'd like to know if Barry Callebaut is going to use fair trade cocoa that is grown in a ecologically sound fashion as well. All these factors can and should be used when we decide to buy a product. Yes, the business goal of making a product to expand your market is excellent but for truly long-term gain you must think of how you treat workers and the world while you do that. You must protect the land you use or you'll get less and poor quality cocoa. You must treat your workers well or get only weak skills that will also affect production and quality of product.
Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.
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