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Craft chocolate, bean-to-bar, reviews and writing. http://chocolatecodex.com Tue, 27 Sep 2016 23:55:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.22 86939105 This Week in Chocolate: Apr.10–17 http://chocolatecodex.com/week-chocolate-apr-10-17/ http://chocolatecodex.com/week-chocolate-apr-10-17/#respond Sun, 17 Apr 2016 19:47:50 +0000 http://chocolatecodex.com/?p=2344 The week in chocolate related news, politics and products. Catch up with what’s happened every Sunday morning.

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Our weekly roundup of chocolate related news, politics and products. See what’s happened every Sunday.

Leave the Gun, Take the Lindor Truffles

Did a Mafia drug network smuggle tonnes of stolen Lindor into Canada?  According to the article, $17.8 million worth of truffles were stolen. I once saw some tourists at Costco in Maui buying roughly the same amount.

A Chocolate by Any Other Name

‘Swiss Army’ chocolate is being forced to change it’s name. May we suggest ‘Leatherman‘ chocolate? 

WARNING!

According to the website foodpoisoningbulletin.com, fancy candy maker Sugarfina is recalling their milk chocolate malt balls due to undeclared peanuts. I know this is barely news, but I just love the fact there is a website called FoodPoisoningBulletin.com. Intense!

We Couldn’t Passover This One

I don’t care if it rains or freezes, long as I have my chocolate Moses?

Small Beans, Big Problems

In serious news, Côte d’Ivoire cocoa farmers have been hit by a price dispute. Exporters feel the beans are too small and refuse to pay the market price.

That’s all the news for this week! See you next Sunday.

ChocolateCodex_ThisWeek_Chocolate_News_2016_15-01
Chocolate-Codex-Contributors-Chris
Chris/Vancouver

Being the son of a chocolatier Chris has always enjoyed talking about chocolate as much as he loves eating it. He’s an artist and designer as well as a co-founder of the Chocolate Codex.

@cvonszombathy

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Wasabi Mendiants http://chocolatecodex.com/wasabi-mendiants/ http://chocolatecodex.com/wasabi-mendiants/#respond Thu, 14 Apr 2016 20:54:11 +0000 http://chocolatecodex.com/?p=2336 Wasabi Mendiants - An unusual combination that works!

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chocolate-mendiants

I’ve been practicing my tempering lately as I gear up for the Ecole Chocolat – Chocolate Making in Ecuador Program. I didn’t have any plans for the tempered chocolate, but while I was rooting around my cupboards I found some Wasabi Rice Crackers. I’ve had chocolate covered rice crackers in Hawaii. I’ve also had wasabi flavoured chocolate in the form of a Lindt Bar. Wasabi mendiants seemed like a fun experiment. 

The verdict? We loved them, the sweet/salty/crunchy/spicy/chocolate-y thing really worked!

Chocolate-Codex-Contributors-Jasmine
Jasmine/Vancouver

Jasmine co-founded Chocolate Codex as a way to share her enthusiasm for chocolate. She has a certificate in Chocolate making from Ecole Chocolat and she runs a foodblog called The Blenderist.

@theblenderist

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Instagram this Week http://chocolatecodex.com/instagram-this-week-34/ http://chocolatecodex.com/instagram-this-week-34/#respond Fri, 08 Apr 2016 19:24:12 +0000 http://chocolatecodex.com/?p=2314 Instagram is a gold mine full of chocolate related imagery. Every Tuesday we share our favorite Instagram photos from chocolate fans around the world.

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There are a lot of amazing chocolate pictures on Instagram.

 

These are our favorites this week!

 

Remember: #weeatchocolate. So do you!

Chocolate-Codex-Contributors-Jasmine
Jasmine/Vancouver

Jasmine co-founded Chocolate Codex as a way to share her enthusiasm for chocolate. She has a certificate in Chocolate making from Ecole Chocolat and she runs a foodblog called The Blenderist.

@theblenderist

The post Instagram this Week appeared first on Craft chocolate, bean-to-bar, reviews and writing..

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This Week in Chocolate: Mar.27 – Apr.3 http://chocolatecodex.com/this-week-in-chocolate-mar-27-apr-3/ http://chocolatecodex.com/this-week-in-chocolate-mar-27-apr-3/#respond Sun, 03 Apr 2016 11:00:46 +0000 http://chocolatecodex.com/?p=2323 The week in chocolate related news, politics and products. Catch up with what’s happened every Sunday morning.

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Our weekly roundup of chocolate related news, politics and products. See what’s happened every Sunday.

April Fools

Do you know how much I wish today was April 1st so I could fill this full of fake articles? A little bit of power goes right to my head. Did you get fooled? Like how this chocolate stealing crook used a fake gun to steal chocolate? Yeah: now that’s a segue. 

How to be a Chocolate Snob

Need help completing your full-blown snobbery? Here’s a handy how-to guide on what to look for when becoming a chocolate snob. For those moments when a Jersey Milk “simply musn’t do nowadays don’t you now.” (btw Sesame Lindt is the gateway drug imo. Get em hooked young!)

Japan opens up origin base

Tachibana supplies Japan with a lot of cacao and it gets 80% of it from Ghana. Soon they also will start getting beans from other countries; with a focus on sustainability and consumer education. I’m pretty excited for this. Have you had Japanese whiskey? Exactly. Premium stuff. If Japan nerds out we will all benefit.

University disavows Chocolate milk study

I practically ripped that headline from the article, but it says it so nicely. Do you recall that (bogus) study about the benefits of chocolate milk on athletes? The university is no longer standing by that study, to the point that they’re actually giving the money for the study back since it wasn’t, you know, really real. Chocolate milk: the new cigarette.

Slots!

No need for a Golden Ticket to enter this world of pure imagination. Probably some in-app purchases to stay though… just like a chocolate Vegas in your pocket! Without actual chocolate. You’ll have to BYOC to the experience. 

That’s all the news for this week! See you next Sunday.

ChocolateCodex_ThisWeek_Chocolate_News_2016_14
Chocolate-Codex-Contributors-Chris
Chris/Vancouver

Being the son of a chocolatier Chris has always enjoyed talking about chocolate as much as he loves eating it. He’s an artist and designer as well as a co-founder of the Chocolate Codex.

@cvonszombathy

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This Week in Chocolate: March 20–27 http://chocolatecodex.com/this-week-in-chocolate-march-20-27/ http://chocolatecodex.com/this-week-in-chocolate-march-20-27/#respond Sun, 27 Mar 2016 11:00:03 +0000 http://chocolatecodex.com/?p=2319 The week in chocolate related news, politics and products. Catch up with what’s happened every Sunday morning.

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Our weekly roundup of chocolate related news, politics and products. See what’s happened every Sunday.

Happy Easter

What happens when you combine Jesus, eggs, chocolate and rabbits? Easter. What happens when you pour molten aluminum onto a chocolate Easter bunny? It melts. And it looks really safe too.

Warm chocolate uncool

Since the world is getting hotter shipping chocolate without having it melt in transit is going to be an expensive challenge. Refrigeration isn’t cheap, it used lots of energy or insulation. We need a futuristic solution. Like magic space gas.

Futuristic problem

Speaking of futuristic solutions: the fungus that causes pod rot in cacao trees reproduces itself by cloning. Apparently this is a thing that happens when fungus are happy and healthy. So become a perfect person and you’ll just split into two! No fuss, possibly some muss.

The sun rises in the yeast

Bacteria, microbes and fermentation are amazing and give us so much of our staple food. Genetically sequencing yeasts has revealed a wide range of flavor making little beasts. Cacao and coffee yeasts having even more diversity than wine. They infect your food with flavor.

Vietnam gets ICCO status

Vietnam gets awarded status as a producer of fine flavor beans by the International Cocoa Organization, this brings the total to 18 (see the rest here) and they are the second country from Asia in the list. Clearly all the work being done in Vietnam is paying off.

That’s all the news for this week! See you next Sunday.

ChocolateCodex_ThisWeek_Chocolate_News_2016_13
Chocolate-Codex-Contributors-Chris
Chris/Vancouver

Being the son of a chocolatier Chris has always enjoyed talking about chocolate as much as he loves eating it. He’s an artist and designer as well as a co-founder of the Chocolate Codex.

@cvonszombathy

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Nanaimo Bar Macarons http://chocolatecodex.com/nanaimo-bar-macarons/ http://chocolatecodex.com/nanaimo-bar-macarons/#comments Sun, 20 Mar 2016 15:26:21 +0000 http://chocolatecodex.com/?p=2282 Nanaimo Bar Macarons bring are a Canadian twist on a French Classic.

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Nanaimo-bar-macarons

Im posting this recipe up on March 20th, Macaron Day 2016. I love a good made up food holiday, especially those involving sweets. These little goodies are the bastard love child of French Macarons and Canadian Nanaimo Bars – Nanaimo Bar Macarons. If you’ve never had a Nanaimo bar, I have to warn you that they are sweet enough to make you cough a little. You know what I mean? It’s not a bad thing, more like a wow-those-are-sweet-as-hell thing. 

Nanaimo bars traditionally have a bottom layer similar to a coconut brownie. To give the macarons a coconut flavour, I added a smidge of coconut extract to the macaron batter. I used a light hand, but if you love coconut you could add more than the 1/2 tsp the recipe calls for. 

The filling is a buttercream made with a couple of tablespoons of Birds Custard Powder. The custard powder is important, don’t try to skip it or you won’t be getting the full Nanaimo Bar experience. 

The top layer of a Nanaimo Bar is chocolate ganache. I thought I’d be a fancy pants and temper some chocolate and dip the shells instead. If you look closely at the photos you can tell I did a crappy job of tempering and they bloomed a bit. Looks like I need to practice my tempering technique.

I’m not going to kid you, this recipe is long. If you haven’t made macarons before you are going to want to read it over a few times before attempting. Macarons take practice and it’s a rite of passage to screw them up a couple of times before you master them. Trust me. I mess them up all the time. 

Happy Macaron Day! 

 

nanaimo-bar-macarons
Nanaimo Bar Macaron
Print
Macarons
  1. 150 ml of egg whites (approx. 5 eggs)
  2. 200 grams almond flour
  3. 200 grams confectioners' sugar
  4. 30 grams cocoa powder
  5. 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  6. 200 grams (1 cup) of white sugar
  7. 60 ml (1/4 cup) water
Custard Buttercream
  1. 60 grams butter, softened
  2. 2 tbsp custard powder
  3. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  4. 250 grams icing sugar
  5. 2 tbsp milk
Chocolate Top
  1. 250 grams top quality dark couverture
Macarons
  1. Sift the almond flour, confectioners sugar, cocoa powder into a large bowl. You may have to work in batches, using a rubber spatula to push the mixture through. Once you've sifted it all, give it a whisk and make sure it is evenly blended.
  2. Pour 75ml of the egg whites into the bowl of your stand mixture and set aside.
  3. Stir your coconut extract into the leftover egg whites and pour it over the almond flour and confectioners' sugar mixture. Mix thoroughly with a rubber spatula until the mixture is completely even. Set this mixture aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and water and bring it to a boil over medium heat. Bring the temperature of this mixture up to 245F. This can take several minutes but keep a close eye on it because you don't want it to overheat.
  5. While the sugar is heating up, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until they form medium-firm peaks then turn the speed down to low.
  6. Once the sugar has reached 245F, remove it from the heat and pour it into the mixer carefully. It might splatter a bit, but don't worry about it. Do not scrape down the bowl. Once you've poured it all in, turn the speed up to high and beat it for approximately 8-10 minutes. The mixture will be glossy and fluffy.
  7. Grab the bowl of almond mixture and then dump in the meringue. Give this a thorough stir, scooping and turning the mixture over until it is evenly mixed. When it is ready, the texture should be lava-like and fall off your spatula in thick ribbons.
  8. Put half of the mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch tip.
  9. Squeeze the batter onto the silpat or parchment in 1.5 inch rounds. This may take some practice. The mixture will settle a bit, so don't worry if they are a bit uneven on top.
  10. Once you've filled the tray, you need to remove any air bubbles. The best way to do this is to pick up the tray and drop it back on the counter. This is loud and obnoxious, but it works. Do it twice for good measure.
  11. Refill the pastry bag and repeat the process until all the batter is portioned out.
  12. Set the trays aside to set for 30 minutes or so. A gentle fan blowing over the trays can help the process along. They are ready to bake when you can touch them gently without them sticking to your finger.
  13. Preheat the oven to 350F with the rack set to the middle. This number is a guideline, it may take some tweaking to get the temperature just right.
  14. Bake the first tray for 6 minutes then rotate the pan and continue baking for 6-9 minutes.
  15. They should be slightly dry around the edges, you might need to sacrifice one to check if the bottom is cooked but don't try to pull them all off too early. Instead, slide the silpat or parchment off the pan and let them cool completely before pulling them off.
  16. Repeat the process with the second tray, making any temperature or time adjustments necessary.
  17. Once they have cooled completely, match them up into pairs based on size.
Custard Butter Cream
  1. Cream the butter, custard powder and vanilla together in your stand mixer on medium until completely smooth.
  2. Add half the powdered sugar to the mix and then add one tbsp of milk, combine until smooth.
  3. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and milk and combine until smooth.
  4. Cool in the fridge slightly until ready to pipe macarons.
Top and fill the macarons
  1. Temper chocolate (see notes) and dip the top half of each macaron in chocolate. Allow the chocolate to dry before filling.
  2. Using a piping bag, fill the macarons with a generous swirl of buttercream and sandwich the macarons together.
  3. Store in the fridge.
Notes
  1. For chocolate tempering method, visit Ecole Chocolate's informative tutorial: http://www.ecolechocolat.com/en/chocolate-tempering.html
Craft chocolate, bean-to-bar, reviews and writing. http://chocolatecodex.com/

What we used today

Chocolate-Codex-Contributors-Jasmine
Jasmine/Vancouver

Jasmine co-founded Chocolate Codex as a way to share her enthusiasm for chocolate. She has a certificate in Chocolate making from Ecole Chocolat and she runs a foodblog called The Blenderist.

@theblenderist

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This Week in Chocolate: March 13–20 http://chocolatecodex.com/this-week-in-chocolate-march-13-20/ http://chocolatecodex.com/this-week-in-chocolate-march-13-20/#respond Sun, 20 Mar 2016 11:00:29 +0000 http://chocolatecodex.com/?p=2277 The week in chocolate related news, politics and products. Catch up with what’s happened every Sunday morning.

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Our weekly roundup of chocolate related news, politics and products. See what’s happened every Sunday.

Happy Macaron Day

It’s Macaron Day here in Vancouver. That’s right: we all get the day off work. Jasmine made some very Canadian macarons. She’ll be posting them on our Instagram today so have a look @chocolatecodex 

Just Add Diamonds

How do you make a $49,000 Easter bunny? Skill and a nuanced palate, that’s how. Oh and diamonds. You’ll need diamonds.

No Girls Allowed

Yorkie bars used to say “it’s not for girls” right on the packaging. Now they say “man fuel for man stuff”. This wasn’t always the case though and here you can see how the bar developed from mere ideation to confrontational marketing. XX chromosomes need not apply. Go eat a girls chocolate bar. Something light and crispy like a Mr.Big.

Liquid Twix

Some monster has made Twix into spreadable Twix. It’s not a recipe: it’s a product. It’s probably an oil product and will give you diabetes but, on the other hand, it’s got biscuit chunks in it. I’m sure eating just one cup is fine. 

the $100 Chocolate Bar

What constitutes a $100 chocolate bar? Read this article on Woodblock Chocolate to find out. Actually, I got a hot tip that’ll net you another $49,000 on top of that. Meet me at the clubhouse after school and I’ll fill you in.

No girls.

That’s all the news for this week! See you next Sunday.

ChocolateCodex_ThisWeek_Chocolate_News_2016_12-01
Chocolate-Codex-Contributors-Chris
Chris/Vancouver

Being the son of a chocolatier Chris has always enjoyed talking about chocolate as much as he loves eating it. He’s an artist and designer as well as a co-founder of the Chocolate Codex.

@cvonszombathy

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Instagram this Week http://chocolatecodex.com/instagram-this-week-33/ http://chocolatecodex.com/instagram-this-week-33/#respond Fri, 18 Mar 2016 20:06:10 +0000 http://chocolatecodex.com/?p=2271 Instagram is a gold mine full of chocolate related imagery. Every Tuesday we share our favorite Instagram photos from chocolate fans around the world.

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There are a lot of amazing chocolate pictures on Instagram.

 

These are our favorites this week!

 

Remember: #weeatchocolate. So do you!


 

Preparando nuevas sorpresas… #beantobar #craftchocolate #chilegourmet A photo posted by OBOLO Chocolate (@obolochocolate) on

 

A special place #cacao #sourcing #beantobar #craftchocolate #cacaoverapaz #guatemala

A photo posted by jesse (@cacaovivo) on

Chocolate-Codex-Contributors-Jasmine
Jasmine/Vancouver

Jasmine co-founded Chocolate Codex as a way to share her enthusiasm for chocolate. She has a certificate in Chocolate making from Ecole Chocolat and she runs a foodblog called The Blenderist.

@theblenderist

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This Week in Chocolate: Mar. 6–13 http://chocolatecodex.com/this-week-in-chocolate-mar-6-13/ http://chocolatecodex.com/this-week-in-chocolate-mar-6-13/#respond Sun, 13 Mar 2016 11:00:36 +0000 http://chocolatecodex.com/?p=2266 The week in chocolate related news, politics and products. Catch up with what’s happened every Sunday morning.

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Our weekly roundup of chocolate related news, politics and products. See what’s happened every Sunday.

Chocolate Love

Although Maria Sharpova was busted on a drug test her high end chocolates are still going to market. Which does make sense since it’s not like performance enhancing drugs are banned substances when it comes to financing luxury candy. Also: the title is a tennis joke. It doesn’t make sense but I just had to.

Chocolate as guinea pig

If you weren’t aware: chocolate is very absorbent so it’s good to keep it air tight and separated from anything that smells. It’s actually used to test whether or not packages are keeping things fresh or spoiling what’s inside. You can flavor chocolate this way too. Great for April Fool’s.

Fair trade unfair for women

This article is lengthy but focuses on how money from fair trade practice only partially compensates for the work done by many women in many producer countries, Ghana in this case. As Western buyers so much of the machinery between raw good and refined product is covered over. Articles like this are disheartening only because they’re so sobering.

Stopping the Ghanian Underground

In this case it’s literally stopping mining prospection on land where cacao grows. You can’t mine for cacao, and it’s becoming more and more valuable. Nature’s other diamonds. God, I hope this means I can still afford it in 20 years. Cacao nibs on wedding bands. I can already see it. Argh.

US/Canada State desserts

To hell with the dinner; what’s for dessert? 22 plates of riffs on American and Canadian classics. Including a takes on buttertarts and Nanaimo bars, a Canadian tooth destroying classic, and chocolate coconut slices – I’m guessing that’s American. There are deers and bears but no mousse moose.

That’s all the news for this week! See you next Sunday.

ChocolateCodex_ThisWeek_Chocolate_News_2016_11
Chocolate-Codex-Contributors-Chris
Chris/Vancouver

Being the son of a chocolatier Chris has always enjoyed talking about chocolate as much as he loves eating it. He’s an artist and designer as well as a co-founder of the Chocolate Codex.

@cvonszombathy

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This Week in Chocolate: Feb.29 – Mar.6 http://chocolatecodex.com/this-week-in-chocolate-feb-29-mar-6/ http://chocolatecodex.com/this-week-in-chocolate-feb-29-mar-6/#respond Sun, 06 Mar 2016 20:19:34 +0000 http://chocolatecodex.com/?p=2245 The week in chocolate related news, politics and products. Catch up with what’s happened every Sunday morning.

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Our weekly roundup of chocolate related news, politics and products. See what’s happened every Sunday.

Bun-edict Yum-berbatch

Who else was there besides Putin? I can’t recall at the moment but there’s been a smattering of personalities cast in chocolate. Go get your Bun-berbatch. Or your Cumber-bunny. It’s pretty arresting looking.

Protect your Tomb…

…by 3D printing out these chocolate versions of the terracotta warriors that were made for Emperor Qin Shi Huang, circa 200BC. Just in time for Easter. You can die and then resurrect yourself and then you’ll have so much chocolate to eat all around you. Think positive.

Chocolate make brain good

The University of Maine have found proof that eating chocolate actually does improve cognitive ability. Plus, perhaps, a number of other positive changes. Chocolate as a medicine is hardly a new idea, and there’s always a health claim, but I love all them stats. Give me numerical data and chocolate: I need to feel smart today.

Chocolate Psychoanalytics

Next time you’re sitting with a therapist and they offer you chocolate be careful: they could be reading your secret desires. Did you take the nut cluster? Well maybe you’re nuts. Did you take the cherry cordial? Maybe you’re a masochist. Who knows? What an adventure.

The issue of Slavery

The US has banned the import of any goods produced using any sort of child labor. There’s no secret that some of the world cacao harvest is done with child labor, specifically children living in some indentured servitude. Just how exactly this international trade law will be enforced will no doubt be complicated in regulation and enforcement.

That’s all the news for this week! See you next Sunday.

ChocolateCodex_ThisWeek_Chocolate_News_2016_10
Chocolate-Codex-Contributors-Chris
Chris/Vancouver

Being the son of a chocolatier Chris has always enjoyed talking about chocolate as much as he loves eating it. He’s an artist and designer as well as a co-founder of the Chocolate Codex.

@cvonszombathy

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