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This chocolate is a purely indulgent treat. A group of farmers in Ghana formed the Kuapa Kokoo under which they asked fair trade price for their farmed cocoa in 1993, however by 1997 they decided that rather than going for a niche market they would go out against mainstream brands. I have been trying to buy more fair trade products as although the rates farmers are paid are still much lower than they should be, it is a better rate than for non fair trade brands - small steps in the right direction. You can now buy them is supermarkets across England - it is around 85p for a 100g bar in most although Asda doesn't often seem to stock it. This does make it a little more than many brands on the shelf - but it is fair trade and so you know the farmers will get more than for other branded chocolate (gives it some good points) and lets face it 82p is less than a sandwich (chocolate is much better!!!) There is a smaller bar made (45g), but I never see it!!!!! The wrapper is quite a thick - between card and paper. The milk chocolate one is a birght, light brown with gold simple pictures on in and the name in the middle (gold with a heart shaped v - very sweet). The fair trade logo is top left. The boring bit.... Ingredients - all possible products are fair trade! Fairtrade sugar Fairtrade cocoa butter Dried cream Fairtrade cocoa mass Whole milk powder Emulsifier: soya lecithin (non GM) Fairtrade vanilla (I never knew you could get fairtrade vanilla!) Calorie content is rather alot (541 in the 100g. This is fine if you have self restraint and can just eat a few squares. However due to my lack, a bar of this is quarter of my recommended calorie content!!!). There is some protein content (6.6g) however most is carbohyrates and fat. This bar is suitable for vegetarions (yay!!! - some chocolate has strange bovine product in!), also suited to coeliacs, those allergic to gluten and nuts (although there is a qualification made that althoug it is free from nuts it is manufactured in a factory where nuts, milk, gluten and wheat are present). Also free from preservatives I think this is overally a fairly healthy chocolate!!!! The good bit!!! On to the best bit. The eating of course!! The bar is sectioned in to fairly small squares, which are a nice chunk to put in your mouth. The chocolate goes soft quickly if not in a fridge (or somewhere very cool...) And in the mouth it melts very quickly over the tongue in to a thick liquid. The taste is rich for milk chocolate, but very pallatable and not too sweet. I can really really taste the vanilla in it, so for people that don't like it - this might not be the chocolate for you!! I think it gives it a lovely scenty taint. It is quite light and doesn't feel like a crushed dense taste at all. I can eat alot of this in one go.... maybe not the best thing!!! It is very versatile and does melt really well when mixed with milk and cream in a sauce (tipped over profitterolls (YUM)). It adds a richer twist to other cooking and cakes too. Also under lizseaman383 on ciao.
I bought a bar of Divine chocolate a few months ago from The Body Shop after it was calling my name from its pretty wrapper as it sat on the shelf. It wasn't cheap at almost 60p but I'd heard of the brand before and I was happy at the time to pay a little more to support fairtrade. Divine was launched in 1998 as the first fairtrade chocolate bar for consumers on a large scale. I'm not completely ignorant when it comes to trade and the economy, but I've learnt a lot since buying this chocolate thanks to their website. The cocoa used in Divine is from small-scale growers in Ghana, so the money we pay will be shared more fairly to them. I'm not sure how this compares to other chocolate manufacturers in terms of what they pay the other stages of production, such as the growers, but I would imagine most large companies are now altering their ways to be fairer too. As far as I'm concerned, regardless of what the chocolate tastes like, it can only be a good thing. It has raised awareness, helped start the money to flow to where it should rather than the deep pockets of the big wig multi-national corps. There are links with the Co-Op and Divine, who have won an award for 'guaranteeing a better deal for third world producers'. At the moment, I think Divine is available in the UK, USA, Scandinavia and the Netherlands. It definitely seems to be quite popular, even though it receives less media coverage than other big brands and less people seem to know about it. I was slightly dubious at first because it was a brand I hadn't tried before, but I would definitely say this is a trustworthy, reliable product which is high quality. Divine is sold in 2 sizes (to my knowledge). 100G bar and a single 45g bar. Divine isn't as easy to come across in smaller convenience or confectionary shops, but it is available in most supermarkets and does seem to be in several other shops too, for instance I came across some in Superdrug the other day. It's also sold in the Bodyshop, which complements the store quite well as they campaign for au natural and fairness. The 45g bar costs 45p in there, which is about the same as other chocolate bars lately. Gone are the days of 20p regular size Mars bars :( Unfortunately, I don't think these are sold in multipacks. That said, Divine is something I think I would prefer singularly anyway as it's quite rich and feels like a treat to eat. (100G is around 85-95p Tesco) The packaging for Divine is original and a bit different to the usual chocolate bars. It's foil wrapped underneath the outside paper layer so it's nice and fresh when you eat it, with no taste of plastic like you get with some wrappers. The patterns on it are West African 'Adinkra' symbols which are popular in Ghana. I found this quite interesting, and if you go on the website you can check out the symbols and what they mean. It may be a small detail and nothing to do with how the chocolate tastes, but in this case I think the background of the product is important. I'm not saying I would buy this just because it's fair trade. If it tasted like tacky christmas calendar chocolate I wouldn't have bought it a second time around. Personally, I tend to prefer Galaxy chocolate over Cadbury's as I find the latter a bit dry. Divine is about half way between the two, which I would say is a very good compromise! It's available in milk, white and dark chocolate, though I can only usually find one or two of these at most in the majority of supermarkets. I've bought the single size milk chocolate version, which is quite chunky though slightly narrower than Cadbury Dairy Milk. The chunkyness is appealing, and the texture is smooth and velvety. It's rich and sweet without being overly sickly, so I would say 45g is definitely enough to satisfy a chocolate craving. Each single bar contains 241 calories and 14.2g fat, which is quite a lot but around average for a rich chunky choc bar. It depends on how big a fan you are of chocolate, but for me, once I have one bit I always want a bit more, so I find this very moreish. Others will probably find just a few chunks of it will 'hit the spot'. It's divided into 6 chunky squares, so you can break off what you want. It's not too dry and didn't have any aftertaste like some chocolate I've tried, the only aftertaste is the delicious creamy chocolate! Overall I would definitely recommend Divine. If you've never tried it, or heard of it before, it's a brand that's doing something positive by ensuring fair trade whilst providing us with delicious chocolate. Can't complain about that really :o)
I received a free sample of this through the post for some reason a while ago and, never being one to refuse a freebie, particularly if it is of the chocolate variety, I tucked in with relish. It tastes great - a strong, high cocoa solids, chocolate of the sort that you don't need to eat a whole lot of to get that satisfied 'I've had a treat' feeling. It was the milk chocolate variety that I tried but, judging by the quality of that, I'm sure all the other varieties are just as good. The packaging (which by now was all I had left to evaluate) was very attractive - chocolate brown with a gold printed design and of course the fair trade logo which always make things look better in my good. Filled up with my sweet treat, I decided to read the leaflet that came with it and discovered something even better - the company is one of those deep down groovy businesses that proves that you don't have to be heartless and ruthless in order to turn a profit and produce a great quality product. The business owners work with a collective of Ghanaian farmers, ensuring that they are fairly paid and well looked after both themselves, and the community around them. So this is great chocolate (and if you don't count the damage to your waistline) there's not any guilt - now that is Divine!
Divine Milk Chocolate Bar - Heavenly Chocolate with a heart!! Where do I begin to sing the praises of this chocolate. Divine milk chocolate is made with the finest Ghanaian cocoa and cocoa butter which gives it the most smooth, creamy and delicious flavour! It truly is divine!! It is available in 100g and 45g bars although it's most commonly found in supermarkets in the 100g size (oh dear...more chocolate to eat what a shame!!) So you saw the title, am I promising guilt free chocolate consumption. Well yes the finest Fairtrade ingredients go into all of the Divine chocolate range including these luscious milk chocolate bars. Divine Milk chocolate is suitable for vegetarians and is also now certified Kosher. It does not contain wheat/gluten but as they are produced in a factory which does produce items containing wheat/gluten they are unable to guarantee that the chocolate is completely gluten free. The wrappers are elaborately decorated with traditional West African Adinkra symbols which appear on crafts and fabrics all over Ghana and each symbol has a different meaning. Inside each wrapper is the meaning of one of the symbols. Divine chocolate has brought an affordable range of Fairtrade chocolate into the UK mainstream market. It pays a Fairtrade price for all the cocoa used in the chocolate sold. It raises awareness of fair trade issues among UK retailers and consumers and aims to act as a catalyst for change within the chocolate sector. What is even better is that Kuapa Kokoo the farmers co-operative that supply the outstanding cocoa own 45% of Divine Chocolate Limited while the rest of the business is also owned by other ethical partners. The organisation Kuapa Kokoo aim's to increase power and representation within the market for the farmers. Bring social, economic and political empowerment. Enhance women's participation in all it's affairs and have environmentally sustainable production processes. All this from a yummy bar of chocolate.... Go on give it a try!!