Saturday, February 1, 2014

Fair Trade Nutella

The idea of buying fair trade products always made sense to me, but not enough to actually make me do it.  I had heard that purchasing certified foods ensured fair treatment and living wages for farmers, as well as better land-use practices.

Picture me with eyes closed, hands over my ears, chanting, "La la la la la la la . . ."

Then one night as I clicked around the web, I came across references to child slave labor being used to process chocolate in Africa.  I had finally reached my tipping point.

It's been over a year since I resolved to buy only fair trade chocolate.  I admit it's a lot more expensive than my supermarket baking bars and warehouse-store bags of chips (and harder to find, too).  I'm generally a price conscious shopper, but once I made up my mind that it was the moral choice, I didn't have to fight my frugality any more.

For one thing, it makes sense that it costs more to give the farmers a just income.  But the clearest point for me is that--hello--CHOCOLATE IS A LUXURY!-- and I live quite comfortably in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

My family has not complained about Mom's new plan, but they did miss Nutella.  I say DID because I finally followed through and made a batch from scratch.
 There are quite a few recipes online; I chose the ATK version.
 Their method of removing hazelnut skins is brilliantly simple.
Here's another link to the recipe with more chatting and better pictures.  Next time (oh, yes, there will definitely be a next time!) I'll try using 25-50% less sugar (1/2-3/4 cup instead of 1), but this Nutella is delightful.
Update:  My Nutella is runnier than what I see online, so I'll try decreasing or omitting the extra oil too.
UPDATE #2:  The first link (to the newspaper article) uses 8 times as much salt as the brown eyed baker's version!  I didn't notice and my latest batch is much too salty.  Use the lower amount (1/8 teaspoon) for starters.
Are you ready to switch to fair trade?

BTW, we now buy only fair trade coffee, too.  It's easy to find and tastes better than what I used to purchase--a simple way to start, perhaps?