“ Brand: Traidcraft / Type: Gourmet Lines „
I was lucky enough to receive this hamper as an early Christmas gift. My partners mother's contribution to Christmas as she and her other son spent the day with us. It arrived totally out of the blue as a complete suprise, and a very welcome one.
The hamper came packaged in a huge cardboard box and was surrounded by plastic air-filled bags to protect the contents. I quickly removed the goodies and placed them in our 'Christmas cupboard' with clear instructions that all small fingers were banned (Second eldest HonestBob would have eaten the lot otherwise).
My attention then turned to the wicker basket that the items had arrived in. It measures 48cm long, 33cm wide and 32cm deep (measurements are approximate due to only having a 15cm ruler to hand!) and is made of hogla fibres woven by Bangladeshi craftspeople. The basket is flexible, yet sturdy, and has a handle at either end, making it ideal for use as a laundry basket (which, given my profile picture, I clearly needed!)
Now for the contents:
Fairtrade Iced Christmas Cake - Reviewed separately, but generally OK for those that don't like their cake rich
Divine Fairtrade Mint Thins - Nice dark chocolate but the mint fondant centre had a strange after taste.
Organic Dark Chocolate - stongly flavoured, lovely
Organic Milk Chocolate - Not particularly creamy so not a favourite
Half Coated Fairtrade Chocolate Christmas Tree Biscuits - A lovely novelty that looked good on the plate but too thinly coated with chocolate for my chocoholic tastes,
Divine Delights Brazil Nuts - A good covering of chocolate. I had to fight to get some of these!
Fairtrade Belgian Finest Selection Chocolates - I'm keeping these until after Christmas when we have a big kid free weekend (mean aren't I!)
Chocolate Chip Shortbread - These were lovely (I put them in the children's lunchboxes as a pre-christmas treat). Not a lot of chocolate chips, but a nice buttery taste.
Dark Roast Coffee Beans - I've yet to try these as I don't have a coffee grinder. I'll re-edit when I've purchased one and taste tested.
Traditional Fairtrade Christmas Pudding - I'm afraid I prefer homemade Christmas pudding laced with enough alcohol to kill a small rodent. This didn't do it for me and I was grateful I heated two different puddings on the day.
I've checked on the traidcraft website and this retailed at £50. It's expensive, but I do feel it is a reasonable price considering the contents, the basket and the knowledge that the producers of the goods have been paid a fair wage.
Here is a cut & paste from the Traidcraft website about the producers of the baskets:
Fair Trade Producer Details
"Jahanara Cottage Industries was founded in 1954 and is one of the oldest organisations in Bangladesh. It was started with the aim of rehabilitating local women and to provide dignity through labour. Jahanara now has two schools, which train rural women in painting, weaving, knitting, woodcarving and basket weaving."
I feel that's a good enough reason to purchase this basket. Even with my quibbles about some of the contents, everything (that I've released for consumption!) has been eaten and enjoyed by the majority of its recipients.