My recent trip to Belgium unleashed my inner chocoholic, so when I got tipped off about the 13th Annual New York Chocolate Show, you can be sure that I was first in line to storm the barricades in search of what would melt my heart. Here were my favorites:
Heather Kenzie and Jennifer Love met while taking classes at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition. Possessing a drive-off-the-cliff spirit in line with Thelma and Louise (without the actual cliff), the two developed and launched a line of all-natural organic chocolate bars. There were lots of vendors touting the whole “organic, raw, eat-me-I’m-good-for-you” thing, but in my book, theirs took top honors for that perfect combination of bittersweet and mouthfeel. Or maybe that was my last relationship.
Amazon organic cacao producers and artists combined forces to form the Kallari Association, a self-governed coalition created to support sustainable income for the Kichwa people. The 850-plus families now produce, market and sell fair-trade chocolate from one of the most stunning locales on earth while preserving their rain forests and land. The community retains 100 percent of wholesale profits to support education, health, and community viability initiatives.