TheChocolateLife’s 2022 Holiday Gifting Guide
Gifts for the chocolate fan in your life – or for yourself. Note: Your purchase using some of the provided links and coupon codes supports TheChocolateLife at no extra cost to you.
Chocolate + Other Foods
CocoaSupply.com Freeze-Dried Cacao Pulp
Freeze drying is the best method to dehydrate and preserve fruit.
It keeps the natural color, flavor without adding any chemicals. As it is just the fruit pulp without water, it is shelf stable (just keep it dry – seal the pouch and refrigerate after opening is best), keeping transportation/shipping and storage costs down.
This cacao fruit pulp powder is 100% fruit, no sugar or anything else added. You can use it flavor ganaches, to make cacao juice (just add water) or granita ... or add an exotic flavor to a wide variety of sweet – and savory – dishes.
Also available from CocoaSupply are passion fruit, blackberry, hibiscus, naranjilla, and kale powders; cacao pulp puree in pouches; several cocoa powders; green coffee and vanilla beans; and more.
Bulk purchase options are available. Contact them directly for wholesale pricing.
Use coupon code TCLSEASON2022 to get 5% off (not including shipping) on every item on the CocoaSupply website. Valid through 12/31/22.
GoodSAM founder and CEO Heather Terry has been a friend and colleague since about 2008, before the founding of her first chocolate brand, NibMor.
I had the pleasure and privilege of traveling with Heather and the GoodSAM team to Colombia (photoblog link below) in July, getting the chance to take a close look at their supply chain work in the country, writing about those efforts for International Confectionery magazine.
If you like macadamia nuts (and I do!) I think you will really take a shine to GoodSAM’s – either roasted or raw. (I polished mine off in short order.)
If you’re interested in better-for-you chocolates, chocolate snacks, and baking chips and mixes that are sugar-free, non-GMO, vegan, keto-friendly, that support farmers who engage in regenerative farming practices, AND that are directly-traded – then GoodSAM deserves serious consideration for a place on your holiday shopping list this year. And don’t overlook the coffees!
Use coupon code TCLHOLIDAY2022 to get 20% off (not including shipping) on every item on the GoodSAM website. Valid through 12/31/22.
I’ve known the founder of Antidote - Red Thalhammer – since the year she started the company. Over the years I have seen continued and unwavering commitment to the core tenets of the brand, as well as exploration of flavor in combinations like Anise+Tomato and Orange+Earl Grey, Banana+Cayenne, as well as comfort food combinations like Cardamom+Coffee.
Made in Ecuador from Nacional cacao, the ingredients labels on Antidote bars – their motto is “Chocolate That Loves You Back” – are clean. All the dark bars are at least 70% and all bars are gluten-free while some flavors are also kosher and/or vegan.
Learn more about the Antidote story.
A more thorough review post is planned for the next week or so. Visit TheChocolateLife to read it.
Dignity Coconut Oil
If you’re like me, you have a jar of coconut oil in the kitchen. I use Dignity organic, unrefined coconut oil for cooking some dishes because it’s neutral in scent and flavor. And, if you’re also like me you can often find another jar in your medicine cabinet, too, for hair, skin, lip care, and more.
Finding a source of organic, unrefined, coconut oil that also gives back to farmers and the communities they live in, works to reduce illegal child labor – and that is produced in a way that causes a minimum amount of damage to the environment can be a real challenge. Dignity has met that challenge in my house.
Grace Farms Foods
Design For Freedom by Grace Farms is a movement to build a future free of forced labor by raising awareness and creating a new system for eliminating forced labor from the raw materials supply chain associated with the construction of our public spaces, homes, and schools.
I met Adam Thatcher, the CEO of Grace Farms Foods, in Colombia this past July. He was on the GoodSAM trip learning firsthand about the supply chain behind the coffee they offer.
Whether it’s tea or coffee you’re looking for yourself or to gift, Grace Farms offers a range of delicious options you can be happy to consume and proud to gift.
Learn more about the Grace Farms Foods story. If you’re ever in Connecticut, consider visiting Grace Farms in New Canaan.
Note – the link below is an affiliate link that supports TheChocolateLife.
16x20 Marble Slab
Perfect for hand-tempering chocolate and for use as a flat surface for slabbing frames and other tasks. Also great for a wide variety of baking tasks.
Other sizes available (larger and smaller) as well as one offering that includes a marble rolling pin.
Lavatools Javelin PRO Duo Ambidextrous Backlit Digital Instant Read Thermometer
Proper – accurate and timely – temperature measurement is critical in the confectionery kitchen. (As a general rule thermometers with a narrower ± accuracy are more expensive – check the specs when considering your purchase.)
Looking for an infrared thermometer? (This is the one I have.)
CakeSafe Spray Booths
CakeSafe Spray Booths are now better than ever! Keep your lungs healthy and your kitchen clean by letting the Spray Booths eliminate 99% of overspray. CakeSafe Spray Booths do not need external ventilation. Simply set up (they disassemble to save space when not in use), turn the booth on, and spray away!
Nine sizes (plus accessories) for cake decorating as well as spray brushing chocolate bonbon molds – choose the size that’s right for your needs, from hobbyist to professional.
Books - Chocolate and More
The Secret Life of Chocolate
The Secret Life of Chocolate is a book about chocolate. Not the sweet, mass-produced fatty confection most of us are familiar with. This is about old-school chocolate: pre-Colombian, Central American, bitter-spicy-foamy, intense, blow-your-socks-off chocolate. Chocolate beverages made with roasted beans, water, spices, and indigenous plants. Delving into the ancient history of the human relationship with the cocoa bean tree, Theobroma cacao, it dissects the pharmacological properties of chocolate to the fullest possible extent; and divulges the mythical and magical associations of human interactions with this incredible plant.
Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Live
Author: Simran Sethi
I had the great good fortune of being at a reading Simran gave in Asheville, NC shortly after the book was published, and so I missed her perspective on these topics during the event with Terry on Nov 8.
This book is on my must-read list for people interested in these topics.
by Rowan Jacobsen
Why does honey from the tupelo-lined banks of the Apalachicola River have a kick of cinnamon unlike any other? Why is salmon from Alaska's Yukon River the richest in the world? Why does one underground cave in Greensboro, Vermont, produce many of the country's most intense cheeses? The answer is terroir (tare-WAHR), the "taste of place."
Originally used by the French to describe the way local conditions such as soil and climate affect the flavor of a wine, terroir has been little understood (and often mispronounced) by Americans, until now. For those who have embraced the local food movement, American Terroir will share the best of America's bounty and explain why place matters. It will be the first guide to the "flavor landscapes" of some of our most iconic foods, including apples, honey, maple syrup, coffee, oysters, salmon, wild mushrooms, wine, cheese, and chocolate. With equally iconic recipes by the author and important local chefs, and a complete resource section for finding place-specific foods, American Terroir is the perfect companion for any self-respecting locavore.
Fermenting Food Step By Step
Fermenting Food Step by Step shows you how to master the fermenting process step by step. For thousands of years, cultures around the world have practiced fermentation as a way to preserve food, and only recently have we discovered the full scope of its incredible health benefits. Whether you’re creating ferments for the incredible flavors or for the amazing health benefits, Fermenting Food Step by Step will give you everything you need to make your own delicious fermented foods at home for everything from kimchi to kefir.
Discover Chocolate (2007)
By Clay Gordon
A connoisseur's guide to acquiring and consuming the world's best chocolates is a lavishly illustrated reference that provides information on cocoa-growing regions, makes recommendations for pairing chocolate with wine, and addresses the latest claims about the health benefits of chocolate. 20,000 first printing.