Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Homemade Nutella

Ali and I are doing some Nutella making. Leila is out of the house for school camp, so it's just the chocolate-loving-boys and me. (Though she loves Chocolate, too. However, you've never seen anyone use Nutella as sparingly as she does on her whole grain toast.)
Why homemade when the store bought is so delicious? At the end of last year I read something about cocoa production that made me lose my taste for certain sources. Apparently, there is a lot of forced labor, child labor, and slavery. The idea of 8-year-old kids (Ali's age!) being sold and sent to another country to harvest cocoa was too much. Here's a link that talks about this. While some large companies are working toward using slave free chocolate, most of them aim for a date pretty far away- like 2020! Meanwhile, I want my chocolate! Since this is literally putting my money where my mouth is, (or my chocolate where my mouth is) I'm doing my best to find fair trade* sources.  Costco says that it's chocolate is from sustainable, slave free farms, so I buy their brand of chocolate chips. At Trader Joe's I found single source cocoa from Colombia, which, while perhaps not free trade, is not where the abusive slavery practices have been documented. (Also, I love to buy products from Colombia and support growers there. Most of my coffee is from there, partly because of that, but also because I just like the taste. Sometimes my dad brings me coffee from Guatemala, too, which I drink with gusto.) I then ordered hazelnuts online from Amazon- that was probably unethical, but right now I'm not focusing on boycotting businesses that are putting other businesses out of business, so maybe that's okay.(?)
If you are trying to go fair trade, too, there are lots of companies that make an effort to buy from sustainable farms where the labor force is well paid. One that I like is Divine Chocolates, which sell through Serrv, and also at Whole Foods. UnReal candy also says that they use fair trade chocolate. Another option is organic chocolate, because apparently farms with an organic label have more oversight. Nestle says that it's KitKat bars are fair trade chocolate (maybe just available in Europe?) but when I googled this, their track record on other things kind of makes that a suspect marketing ploy.
*I'm using the term "fair trade" to cover a multitude of non-sins- slave free being the primary one.
The Nutella is good- not too sweet, but Ali says he likes it. The hazelnut flavor comes through well. It's a bit grainy, especially because I used regular sugar instead of powdered- Ali okayed it. There's a hint of cocoa, but a whole lot of chocolate chips in this. Not as healthy as the Nutella commercial wants us to think. It's quite thin so I'm keeping it in the fridge instead of outside. I think it will work well on toast, but I hope it doesn't get too firm in the fridge.

Ali kept calling it NUT-ella yesterday. So that's what I wrote here.

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