EZA Fairer Handel GmbH (to give them their full title) “is a fair trade organization dealing with marginalized producer groups from developing countries. It was founded in 1975 and since then it has been by far the most important fair trader in Austria” – according to their website.
I picked this bar up while I was in Vienna and was delighted to see that it contains fairly traded produce. I for one am well aware that cocoa farmers and other producers have had a rough ride in the past, and that their crops have been devalued while we pay premium prices as end consumers, so if I can buy Fairtrade, I generally will. (Thankfully there are more Fairtrade products making it onto UK shelves too).
Anyway, at 35% cocoa I was thinking “skinny, slightly more upmarket Fruit & Nut“, in a good way. In my gluttonous youth I devoured more than my share of Fruit & Nut bars (my Dad had a friend who had a Cadbury’s connection. We had tons of Dairy Milk, Fruit & Nut and Creme Eggs) * and so I half expected a stroll down memory lane with this bar. However I was wrong, and in the best way.
Unlike Fruit & Nut, the cashews and raisins were in tiny fragments, so there was to be no hamster-like hoarding of almonds in one cheek and raisins in the other (and you thought it was just you that did that, didn’t you?) so there was a constant fruit/nut taste being brought into play while the chocolate melted. But it was the taste of the chocolate that was so different. Rich and deep with creamy vanilla and caramel tastes, it was really rather good. According to the wrapper the raw sugar, cocoa butter and cocoa mass came from Costa Rica, Bolivia and Ghana. The complex flavours of the chocolate certainly suggest Ghanaian beans. Perhaps the sweetness of the raisins made a difference, but I didn’t taste too much sugar in this bar, and the last few pieces of nut and raisin provided an excellent citrussy finish.
A very tasty bar, and with 66% of ingredients traded fairly, one you eat knowing you’re giving other people a decent living wage.
*(Incidentally, does anyone else remember the tartan-wrapped, totally chocolate Border Creme Egg?)