Really Good Chocolate

Slow Food Bucks County is hosting a Valentine’s Day tasting event of Kallari Chocolate, an Ecuadorian Fair Trade company that produces chocolate from the cacao they grow. The event will begin at 11:00 am on Saturday, February 14th at the Northampton Library, located at 32 Upper Holland Road, Richboro.

As Kimberly Kaufmann, Leader of Slow Food Bucks County, explains:

Ordinarily, ‘Fair Trade’ chocolate is made by large North American and European owned companies that pay a fee to a third party to be certified. Cacao beans used by conventional chocolate companies are warehoused or stored for years before they become chocolate. During this time, the beans are exposed to insects, worms, mold, and fungus all of which reduce the potency of the antioxidants and polyphenol compounds.

By purchasing Kallari Chocolate, Kaufmann says, consumers are taking a giant leap ahead of standard Fair Trade practices. Buying directly from the producer achieves higher income for all the local farmers involved.

Kallari Chocolate (pronounced kai-YAH-ri) produces chocolate from cacao beans harvested by a cooperative of Quichua farmers. A profile in the New York Times gives more background about this unique enterprise:

The cooperative uses an unusual blend of cacaos that grow on the Quichua land — fruity Cacao Amazónico, nutty Criollo, Forastero Amazónico, Tipo Trinitario and, most important, a rare variety that flourishes around their homes, Cacao Nacional.

“They have a certain smell and taste that is herbal, flowery but also savory, like black pepper,” Tomas Keme, a Swiss chocolate expert who consults for Kallari, said of the Cacao Nacional beans. “It’s the same taste I find in a Californian cabernet.”

So join us and other Bucks County chocoholics on Saturday, February 14th. There will be a member of the Quichua present to explain the Kallari operation and plenty of chocolate to taste. Slow Food Bucks County is asking for donations of $10 per person to pay for the Quichua family member’s travel expenses to the US.

RSVPs would be greatly appreciated at

Think of it as doing good AND eating chocolate. Kaufmann puts it best when she says,

By paying a bit more for a little taste of heaven, end-consumers of Kallari chocolate play a small role in increasing the standard of living in a developing nation, and are in return rewarded with a higher quality product.

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