HERE. Their dark chocolate minis fit perfectly on the cards that you can use in this program. The card is pictured to the left, and the minis above. These tiny little candies measure 1.5 × 0.75 × 0.25 inches and are made of 55% dark chocolate. The cute little thing smells only like dark chocolate and has a very intriguing, almost fruity taste, which probably comes from the cane sugar in it. The chocolate is firm enough to make a very slight sound when I chew, and each of the three bites I make of it builds a good little buzz. Now, as I've said before, darker chocolate is an acquired taste that most younger children do not like, but in my neighborhood we get Trick or Treaters who are clearly in junior high or even high school, and of course the younger ones are usually accompanied by adults. That group would certainly be able to handle 55% cocoa. If you want to do something environmental and humanitarian for Halloween, check these out. Right now I notice on the website that they are having a sale on this product until October 23, 2009.
bigger 3.5oz chocolate bars, so I'm going to reveal those to you as well, Sisters and Brothers. My grandmother used to give larger bars of candy to her grandchildren on Halloween, or you might be thinking about the various winter holidays that are approaching. Each bar is shrinkwrapped in plastic underneath the paper wrapper that identifies each one, and the plastic has a guide on it to tell you how to open it; frankly, I found the plastic wrapping a bit obnoxious to open, even following the directions. The paper wrapper itself has information about Equal Exchange and their mission, along with a portrait of one of their worker-owners, four men and four women, covering one on each bar. Each bar measures 6 × 2.9 × 0.4 inches and has 24 etched squares in it so you can break it apart easily. The bars each have 2.5 servings in them and range in nutritional value from 216-230 calories, 8-12 grams saturated fat, 0-12 milligrams cholesterol, 0-40 mg sodium, 1-5 g dietary fiber, 7-17 g sugars, and 2-4 g protein in each serving. I'm going to reveal them in order from the least percentage of cocoa to the greatest amount.
There are two 55% bars, one with almonds and one with espresso beans, so I'll start with the nuts first to help separate the buzz from cocoa from the one you can get from coffee. The "Almond" bar smells like cocoa while the "Espresso" one has a very strong coffee scent that I can smell even when it is across the table from me. The "Almond" bar has visible slivers of nuts in it when I break off a section, but the scent is still of cocoa. The nuts add a crunch to the piece as I chew it, and now their flavor is revealed to mix very nicely with the dark chocolate. Since the "Espresso" bar has such a strong coffee scent, I'm going to store its leftover pieces in a separate container, because scents, like flavors, can cross food items. The flavor in this very crunchy bar is coffee with only a bare hint of the cocoa, so if you love coffee flavor you want this bar, but if you don't at least like coffee give this one a pass. Sisters and Brothers, this is intense coffee flavor, and I have to cleanse my palate before I can continue to the next set of bars.
I really love the fact that so far two of our Halloween Challengers are committed to fair trade and eco-friendly practices. Both Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative, and Taraluna, a woman-owned, organic, fair trade retailer, fit well within The Chocolate Cult's statement to use chocolate in moderation and with a purpose. I am impressed by both companies' offerings. If the Reverse Trick or Treating program, handing out minis for Halloween, or the 3.5 oz. bars from Equal Exchange sound good to you, Sisters and Brothers, then check them out. Remember the minis sale only lasts until the 23rd of this month.
Sisters and Brothers, may you too take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.