Delectable and ethical Easter treats

OCHO cocoa is sourced from Pacific Island farmers.

Much to the delight of children, bunnies and sweet-toothed adults everywhere, Easter is an edible time of year. But, for those “good eggs” wanting to feel better about their Easter chocolate purchases, all hope is not lost as the Wanaka Sun found a few satiating ways to satisfy that almighty holiday craving.

“A lot of Easter treats are made with compound chocolate where the largest ingredients are actually fat and sugar,” said Anna McDonald, OCHO Otago Chocolate Company marketing communications specialist.  

OCHO, which McDonald said is definitely not the typical Easter chocolate, consists of more than 50 percent cacao; the company even makes a 100 percent cacao chocolate bar, which is derived from nothing but cacao beans.

The Dunedin-based craft chocolate maker measures some of its success through a sustainable value chain so it can trace the beans used down to the farm where they were grown, which also helps ensure the growers receive a fair price. Beans are also fair-sourced from New Zealand’s Pacific Island neighbours to reduce the distance the company has to travel, thereby staying conscious of its carbon footprint.

Wanaka locals can find OCHO chocolate at Soulfood Organic or buy it from ocho.co.nz; the company recently launched a milk chocolate bar just in time for the holiday weekend.

Readers can also fill their Easter baskets will other feel-good treats found locally at Wholefood Haven and at Albert Town’s Pembroke Patisserie.

Wholefood Haven is seasonally stocking The Chocolate Workshop’s unique, locally handmade Easter treats. Customers will find raspberry marshmallow half eggs, small dark chocolate bunnies with a hazelnut centre and milk chocolate bunnies while supplies last. The organic food store is also selling Banjo’s carob eggs that are gluten-free, palm-oil-free and with no added sugar, which are positioned across from the shop’s seasonal selection of gluten-free hot cross buns.

The Chocolate Workshop’s freshly made Easter creations are also showcased at Pembroke Patisserie, which sells the Wanaka-based chocolate maker’s frog-shaped treats year round. The small artisan chocolate treats will be packaged at the bakery in cardboard or paper boxes.

“In general, if you want to avoid palm-oil products made for shelf life a long-time in advance, avoid big brand names and look at the ingredient list,” said The Chocolate Workshop owner and Wanaka artisan Tanja Schwindt. “High quality chocolate won't have vegetable fat in it, but it comes at a cost. Quality over quantity.”

For other certified or Fair Trade items, visit the organic or health food sections of your local grocery stores or shop at organic grocers.


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