Mention the word “chocolate” and the emotions it evokes are many; delight, decadence, indulgence, treat, comfort and of course deliciousness. But it is also associated with being unhealthy and calorie laden.
Honestly this really depends on the kind of chocolate we choose to eat. Like every plant based food, chocolate too is an ingredient which comes from the cacao tree. A cacao plantation is not without its share of challenges. Cacao trees thrive best in a tropical climatic zone, with short spells of high temperatures and a frequent rainfall pattern. The South of India is ideally suited for cacao cultivation and in recent years there have been several organic cacao farmers.
‘Paul and Mike’ are farmers and fermenters who are keen to remove certain myths associated with chocolate. They practice sustainable farming and are working towards showcasing the tree to bar concept of producing fine quality chocolate.
Chocolate is difficult to visualize as Health food, but can be absolutely made a part of our regular diet when every ingredient used in its making is clean food from the soil; not engineered in labs. Why not have chocolate made with natural ingredients which are sourced in a conscious manner and those which don’t harm the body. At Paul and Mike they want to educate consumers about the difference between chocolate made using pure cocoa butter, without any processed cocoa solids or even cocoa powder!
The cacao bean contains about 50 % of cocoa butter. This is what gives that smooth unctuousness and delicious mouth feel to the chocolate. When the cocoa butter is removed, the residue consists of cocoa solids and powder. So when chocolate tastes chalky or does not melt easily, then it obviously does not have a high content of cocoa butter.
When the cacao trees are grown with care and without any harmful chemicals or pesticides, the quality of the cacao bean is naturally much finer than that produced by a cocoa company, interested only in mass production. The taste of fine beans comes through in the underlying flavours of the chocolate.
At Two Brothers Organic Farm the thought process is always to do right by the land. Entering into a collaboration with chocolate producers like Paul & Mike is extending that same thought into supporting other farmers who care for the environment.
This special Organic batch of chocolate made by Paul and Mike uses Handmade Jaggery and naturally grown native Peanuts from Two Brothers Organic Farms. Read more about the TBOF handmade Jaggery and other handmade processes we follow to make Ghee, Peanut Butter etc here. Diwali is the perfect time to unwind and treat ourselves to delicious bites, surrounded by loved ones.
It was Parul Tewari ( a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach) a supporter and customer of TBOF who came up with the idea of a special edition, Refined Sugar-free batch of Chocolate. She then reached out to both TBOF and Paul and Mike to discuss her idea and implement it. Parul explains,
"Healthy doesn't have to be hard" was the underlying belief on which I birthed the 'idea' of a chocolate with clean, chemical-free ingredients. But without the tireless efforts from TBOF and Paul and Mike, which included several months of trials to get the very best product to you, this vision would have been a mere dream. We have put our heart and soul into creating a chocolate made with the finest, indigenous ingredients, sprinkled with equal measures of love and honesty.”
The two kinds of chocolate made exclusively under the TBOF x Paul and Mike collaboration has two variants - Organic Jaggery Nibs & Peanut Chikki. Peanuts and chocolate are a match made in heaven. How wonderful to be able to eat chocolate which has a positive impact on the ecosystem!
Paul & Mike source their cacao beans from organic farmers in Idukki, Kerala. Their vision is for their chocolate products from sustainable cacao farms to have a huge impact in reducing carbon emissions by the year 2023. Is that not a vision which we should all support? And that too by eating chocolate! A win win from every perspective.
When choosing a chocolate bar made with such awareness, it also makes traceability a much simpler task. Each ingredient has a farmer behind it; the jaggery, peanuts and the chocolate.
Rather than allow eating to be a mindless task, it gives so much satisfaction when the food we eat has a direct impact on upliftment of the farmer. Does it matter whether they grow millets or cacao beans? What matters is that they are out there on the field, putting their blood, sweat and toil on sustaining the earth so that we all get to enjoy the benefits of good food and a cleaner planet.
We are conditioned to think that the best chocolate comes from Switzerland or Belgium whereas the people winning chocolate awards for fine chocolates, in global Chocolate shows ,are from smaller corners of the globe. Give Indian chocolate a chance, allow it to tell you the story and then share your experience.
Buy Jaggery Block : https://twobrothersindiashop.com/products/two-brothers-organic-farms-amorearth-jaggery
That bar of chocolate will leave an unforgettable memory both on your tastebuds and in your heart.