Scarlet Macaw by Charles Sharp, Wikipedia
This month we have an amazing survey of chocolates from across the equatorial belt: Peru, Malaysia, and Tanzania. This gives you a chance to savor the complexities and compare flavor notes from these very different countries with fine chocolate bars from award-winning, innovative makers. You won’t find a curation like this anywhere else!
As a naturalist, I like to consider the emblematic birds from each of these regions: Hornbills in Malaysia and Macaws and Toucans in Peru. The Kilombero Valley, where the cacao is harvested from in Tanzania, is bordered by the Udzungwa mountains which are regarded as one of the top three bird conservation areas in the African mainland and home to over 400 species of birds including African Marabou, Crowned Eagle, and recently discovered Rufous-winged Sunbird (see https://ebird.org/species/ruwsun2). By supporting fair market and higher-priced fine cacao from these regions, you’re part of the economy that prioritizes a living wage and sustainability for local people as well as maintaining habitat for bird and wildlife species for future generations.
“…I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.” Wendell Berry