Magazine article USA TODAY

Natural Pleasures with Organic Chocolate

Magazine article USA TODAY

Natural Pleasures with Organic Chocolate

Article excerpt

As an active member of Slow Food USA, Taza Chocolate, Somerville, Mass., strives to uphold the principle of "good, clean, and fair." It makes chocolate that is good to eat, clean for the planet, and fair to farmers. Taza is the sole U.S. producer of 100% stone ground artisan chocolate. Moreover, the company cultivates a direct relationship with its growers (whose farms are certified organic), cutting out the middleman and always paying a premium above Fair Trade prices for its cacao beans. Taza Chocolate is minimally processed to bring out the fruit and berry flavors inherent in the beans. Traditional stone mills are used to grind the cacao nibs, a method employed for centuries in Central and South America, nothing at all like the European-style conching where manufacturers intensely process the cacao mass to smooth out the texture and mellow the flavor. Taza Chocolate, however, due to the imperfect surface of the granite millstone, has unrefined cacao particles and sugar granules in the finished product. These pop with explosive flavor on the palate, lending Taza's bars their distinctive granular texture. …

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