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Organic / Fair Trade
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Hans-Peter Rot
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January 19, 2005 - 2:53 am
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Well, sometimes manure is used for the cacao trees, and the other ingredients that go into the chocolate, i.e. lecithin and vanilla, might not be organic.

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alex_h
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January 19, 2005 - 8:26 am
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and the fumigation?
companies that produce chocolate where the beans are grown (el rey, santander, grenada...), ie w/o shipping, avoid this process.
does it make a difference?

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Hans-Peter Rot
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January 19, 2005 - 11:46 pm
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I guess it all depends on how loosely one defines "organic." If foods produced organically are supposed to be devoid of all chemical exposure, then I would imagine that most chocolate whose beans were exposed to fumigation (chemicals) are not organic. Newer chemicals are being developed, though, to replace the harsher ones currently used.

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Hans-Peter Rot
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January 19, 2005 - 11:48 pm
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Also, I'm not certain if shipping plays a huge role because beans do have to be stored, and dormant beans, whether on a ship or in a warehouse, are still exposed to pests.

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Sebastian
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January 20, 2005 - 1:59 am
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Most soy lecithin used in europe is going to be identity preserved (non GMO). It's not necessarily going to be organic, and i'd venture to say most of it isn't (though that's just an educated guess). I'd also venture that anyone not processing in the country of origin is fumigating. To my knowledge, there are currently two standards that define organic - one is US, t'other European. Very similiar, though I can't verbalize what the differences are (i'm sure I've got them at work somewhere).

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alex_h
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January 20, 2005 - 8:29 am
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not to worry, sebastian. i'm not really in need of specific details. just thought i'd ask out of general curiosity.

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Hans-Peter Rot
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January 20, 2005 - 4:44 pm
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Just a little tid bit, but coffee beans are treated in the same manner. Here's a web site reviewing basic differences between European and American regulations:

http://www.ota.com/standards/o.....eu_us.html

Do a bit more navigation on that site to find more information on the exact rules and regulations for America, Europe, and even Canada (click the "Standards" side bar on the lefthand side of the screen).

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chocoganic
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October 24, 2005 - 3:46 am
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For those of us in Canada, there is a brand called Cocoa Camino which is organic and fair trade. The cocoa is grown in Dominican Republic but not sure if it's made there as well. The taste is quite satisfactory to my unrefined palate.

My favourite so far is Vivani 70%, much better than the Green & Black's for sure.

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Hans-Peter Rot
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October 24, 2005 - 6:10 am
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I have not tried Cocoa Camino, but I know they have a 71% bar from Conacado, Dominican Republic. Domori has proved that this cacao can be transformed into extraordinary chocolate, so I wonder what Cocoa Camino has done with it. Here's their web-site if anyone is interested:

http://www.lasiembra.com/home.htm

Chocolate is rearely produced within country of origin, with the exception of El Rey, Plantations, Santander, Grenada Chocolate Company, and Malagasy. And the members of the El Ceibo cooperative actually produce their own chocolate in Bolivia.

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Hans-Peter Rot
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November 5, 2005 - 4:40 am
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Also of interest to (but not limited to) Canadians is Denman Island Chocolate:

http://www.denmanislandchocolate.com

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Dark Matters
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January 2, 2006 - 9:32 pm
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quote:


Originally posted by alex_h
then there's a strong fruity sweetness, almost like grapes, which i guess comes from the pure cane sugar they use. goes well with the chocolate.

there appear to be many different types/brands of organic cane sugar. rapunzel uses something called rapadura. maybe it's just their tag for something someone else calls different.



Rapadura is an excellent sugar and very good in chocolates; I'd agree that it can have a grape-like flavour. I believe Rapadura is sometimes eaten by itself in blocks in Brazil - if it's eaten alone it must be good! I'd be interested to know if anyone knows of any chocolates made with Sucanat sugar - that's another good organic chocolate which is dark and molasses-flavoured.
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Hans-Peter Rot
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January 9, 2006 - 3:07 am
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You're right about Rapadura being eaten as candy in Brazil. It's basically solid brown sugar packed very tighly, and sometimes other things are added, such as condensed milk and nuts. Since it contains molasses, it undergoes fewer production steps, and its flavor is very different than white sugars. I personally wouldn't want it in my chocolate since it imparts its own flavor, so in this view, one could view the sugar as an actual flavoring. Tasting chocolate in its purest form ironically requires the sugar to be extensively precessed to its most "refined" form, which basically is another way of removing all interfering flavors.

To add to this, I recently tried some Endangered Species bars, which are sweetened with unbleached water-filtered beet sugar. It's been argued that beet sugar is almost indistinguishable from cane sugar flavor-wise, but I honestly detected some vegetal components to the chocolate, resembling turnips and rutabagas.

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