Chocolate from Limerick
While I was meandering around the Galway branch of Sheridans on my recent trip to the capital of the West, I came across some beautifully packaged chocolate from a Limerick company called Cocoa Bean. The blocks first caught my eye as I thought they looked more like gorgeous notebooks than chocolate bars. And then I looked at the flavourings…oh, they were truly mouthwatering! From spice, rose and pistachio to star anise and earl grey tea, they just sounded like my kind of (dark) chocolate. But, what with the chocolates not having any prices on them (always a bad move, when you’ve to actually ask the price of the product) and having to purchase food for dinner, I forgetfully managed to leave without grabbing a few bars to test drive.
I was even more annoyed when I went to their website and discovered some more of the chocolate flavours: lime zest and black pepper, tamarind with star anise and ginger, jalapeño with oak. Their site says that they have plenty of stockists in Dublin so I must take myself on a trip to Avoca or Donnybrook Fair and see if I can spy those bars again. I swear I’m not getting obsessed with chocolate these days…
Wait — But are these fair trade? ;)I miss you Caroline — Somehow you feel further away, now that you’ve moved –BTW — My site URL’s changed, to a simpler greenlagirl.com. Just an FYI for the next time you update your links 🙂
Thanks for that green LA girl! Consider yourself updated now.
Regarding Cocoa Bean, nope – they’re not Fair Trade but, as my school friend pointed out when we were looking at the bars, they are a small Irish company and worth supporting.
But wait, just been wandering around on their website again and here’s a quote: “We source our packaging from within the European Union. Our wooden boxes are made in a small workshop in England by a family run business. Our bright cartons and catering packs are made and printed in Belfast and our labels are printed in Limerick and Dublin. A husband and wife team in Tipperary print our stickers. It fits our ethos of quality and traceability that we are not buying off the shelf packaging in order to get the cheapest price. No one is being exploited and we are able to build up good personal relationships with our packaging suppliers.”
“The Noble Ingredients award that our chocolates have been given not only ensures the quality and purity of ingredients but also is a guarantee that the chocolate is grown, harvested and processed using organic principles and ethical trading practices.”
Have you ever come across a Noble Ingredients award? I’ve just mailed Cocoa Bean and asked them what it means.
Hi Caroline,I’ve been trying to contact you on your email but i think your mailbox is full!Our Noble Ingredients Award has been awarded to acknowledge the fact that our couverture chocolate only contains the ingredients that chocolate should contain, cocoa solids, pure cocoa butter, sugar (our couveture uses cane sugar rather than beet sugar which is less refined) and pure madagascan vanilla pod (rather than the chemical flavouring vallinin). There are no added vegetable fats which are added to a lot of other chocolates to replace the expensive and more tempramental (but oh so sexy) cocoa butter. The chocolate we use doesn’t even contain lecithin (with the exception of the Valrhona couveture we use in our chocolate crunch clusters). The NobleIngredients award effectively celebrates the purity and quality of the chocolate. Although our chocolate is neither organically certified or Fair Trade it is fairly and ethically traded and grown to organic principles. We work with small family owned plantaions and companies who are dedicated to the highest quality and are passionate about what they do. As a result a fair price is paid at every level to ensure the maintenance of these standards. There are not the community investment policies in place to actually pay for fair trade status. In the same way we cannot call the chocolates organic as everything we use would have to have this certification and where possible we source our flavours and ingredients from small local producers and the wild.Hope this is useful, (i’ll also get Aoife at Sheridan’s to get her price gun out!). May I suggest that you try our Wild collection of chocolate – 10 mini bars of incredible dark chocolate for the more adventurous palate – I think the flavours might appeal to you. I have attached the packaging to get your mouth watering! I know that Douglas Food Company in Donnybrook and Morton’s of Ranelagh and Sheridan’s Pembroke Lane have them in stock at the moment.All the best and look forward to hearing what you think of the chocolate.EmilyCocoa Bean
Hi Emily! Thanks for all the information – sorry you couldn’t get through to my inbox. It’s spam central at the moment. It sounds like you really have done a lot of work on sourcing your ingredients. I like what you had to say about your packaging too: “We source our packaging from within the European Union. Our wooden boxes are made in a small workshop in England by a family run business. Our bright cartons and catering packs are made and printed in Belfast and our labels are printed in Limerick and Dublin. A husband and wife team in Tipperary print our stickers. It fits our ethos of quality and traceability that we are not buying off the shelf packaging in order to get the cheapest price. No one is being exploited and we are able to build up good personal relationships with our packaging suppliers.”Now all I have to do is get myself down to Sheridans or the Douglas Food Company or Morton’s…sure, isn’t it chocolate time? Or was that Christmas time?