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literary food blog, for readers with good taste.

Picnicking with Organic, Ethical Kallari Chocolates

Last night, we went to Movies in the Park with some friends. On screen at Grant Park was the perennial classic, Young Frankenstein, the strange and hilarious tale of Dr. Frankenstein's grandson, who returns to his namesake's home in Transylvania to continue his work. For this gathering, I made a variety of treats, some of which were thanks to Kallari Chocolates, who sent me a few bars of their 85% Cacao Organic Chocolate to try.

Kallari sells ethically-produced, organic chocolates with less than half the sugar you find in normal chocolate! Here's how the company describes itself:

We are Kallari, a coalition of 850 indigenous farming families located in the Upper Napo River region, surrounding Tena, Ecuador. Hundreds of ethical retailers across the USA have carried our bean to bar chocolate since 2006. All the wholesale profits stay in our Kichwa cooperative villages in Ecuador, so we can provide for our family needs and maintain our rainforests.

Not only is Kallari's mission great—they share 100% of their profits with farmers, and do smart things like processing the cacao in Ecuador just hours from the farms—the chocolate is pretty good, too. I found it to be a little chalky raw, but when melted down and hardened onto various savory and sweet items: holy yum.

The reason this merits a rare Tuesday post: Kallari is running a Kickstarter to fund their ingredients, packing materials and other steps in the process of manufacturing their first batch. Support them before time runs out on August 22!

Now, back to Movies in the Park and our mini-picnic.

Our lovely menu included an amazing (if I do say so myself) plum crostata, chocolate brownie cookies, a peach crumble that totally failed, a veggie tray, hummus, pita chips and mixed nuts. I'll share the plum crostata recipe soon. There was also a small grocery store cake. Did I mention this was a surprise party for Shiraaz's birthday (which was a full two weeks ago)?

Below are some glamour shots of and recipes for the things I made with Kallari chocolates. 


KALLARI CHOCOLATE-COVERED PRETZELS

Ingredients

  • 1 bar 85% Cacao Organic Chocolate

  • 15 pretzel rods

  • sprinkles (optional)

  • crushed pecans (optional)

Directions

Heat chocolate over a double boiler until nearly melted

Remove from heat and stir with a spatula until all lumps melt away

Set aside to cool for 10 minutes (this helps the chocolate set up)

Dip pretzels in chocolate

Set on parchment paper-lined baking sheet for 5 minutes

Roll in sprinkles or crushed pecans

Set on clean plates and refrigerate at least 30 minutes



KALLARI CHOCOLATE-COVERED CASHEWS

Ingredients

  • 1 bar 85% Cacao Organic Chocolate

  • 1/2 cup salted cashews

Directions

Heat chocolate over a double boiler until nearly melted

Remove from heat and stir with a spatula until all lumps melt away

Set aside to cool for 10 minutes (this helps the chocolate set up)

Dip cashews in chocolate

Set on parchment paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate at least 30 minutes



KALLARI CHOCOLATE BARK

Ingredients

  • 1 bar 85% Cacao Organic Chocolate

  • sunflower seeds

  • chopped dates

Directions

Pour melted Kallari chocolate onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet

Using a spatula, smooth the chocolate to an even thickness

Sprinkle liquid chocolate with sunflower seeds and chopped dates (or any toppings of your choice)

Place baking sheet in freezer for at least 30 minutes

When frozen, break apart and store in freezer for anytime snacking or gifting


Thanks again to Kallari for supplying these lovely chocolates. Don't forget to support their Kickstarter before August 22!

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