4 Places To Find Your Guilt-Free Chocolate Fix In Lebanon
You might have caught our fantastic blog on cacao earlier this week. No? Here’s the link. The short of it is that cacao is an amazing superfood jam-packed with health benefits (which you should definitely read all about), and it’s time you bring all its delights into your daily life! In Lebanon and across the Middle East, gaining access to some great quality raw, organic and fair trade cacao largely means heading to your closest organic or health food store. Lucky for us in Lebanon, those finally seem to be popping up all over the place!
However, aside from getting your pure cacao fix, dark chocolate with the highest percentage of cacao is the next best thing. You still want the occasional dose of milk chocolate? Go for it, but go for it guilt-free. That’s why we keep pushing for organic and fair trade, which is better for the environment, better for those producing it, and better for your health! Need a recap on why? Check out an even earlier blog we put out here.
So what does that mean in the Lebanon? Unfortunately, getting organic and fair trade certification is expensive, so a lot of small-scale chocolate makers who create incredible products with impeccable ingredients might not be able to have labels to verify it, but you can always ask questions and get to know your mom and pop shops better! After all, nothing like supporting your local businesses, and cutting out the carbon emissions of buying things transported long distances to feed your chocolate cravings.
But we aren’t going to get too precious about it right now because, as I mentioned, our local options that explicitly state ‘organic and fair trade’ are limited. Limited, but not non-existent! This little list brings delicious, decadent delights to your ethical and health-conscious fingertips.
1. Bare Organic Chocolate
Photo credit: http://www.bare-chocolates.com/
Bare Chocolate is a family business set up between brother and sister Tariq and May Mahmoud, who set their sights on creating all-natural, premium chocolate in partnership with a leading Swiss chocolate producer. It also happens to be organic, GMO-free, fair trade, with wrappers printed on recycled materials, and crafted to reflect our regional culinary flair! Each chocolate bar states exactly what it’s cocoa content is, they are environmentally and socially conscious, and incubated right in our backyard. What’s not to like? Find out where to buy your next batch right here: http://www.bare-chocolates.com/about.html
While not a regional brand, Vivani can likely be found at the organic store near you. They are also a family business, organically grown, transparent about their sourcing from eco-friendly agricultural practices, supporters of small-scale farming in developing countries, and simply delicious. With a fantastic selection of high-cocoa content dark chocolate, you can find out where to grab your next bar right here: http://www.vivani-chocolate.de/
3. Eshmoon Holistics
Photo credit: https://www.facebook.com/EshmoonHolistics/
Eshmoon has been making waves in the Lebanese chocolate world, and it’s easy to understand why. The brainchild of Samer Toutoungy, Eshmoon (named after the Canaanite God of Healing) is a brand of holistic products, a part of which are their incredible and meticulously developed line of chocolaty goodness. The ingredients used include organic and equitably sourced cacao, coconut butter, and locally sources molasses, honey, and oils. You can find chocolate spreads, chocolate pills (yes, pills), chocolate-covered dried fruit, chocolate bars, hot chocolate, and more, all gluten-free, sugar-free, and dairy-free. And you wouldn’t even know it when you taste it. It’s magic. You can find them at Lebanese local markets like Souq el Tayeb, and many of the organic stores. Check them out here: https://www.facebook.com/EshmoonHolistics/
4. OH! Bakehouse
Photo credit: https://www.ohbakehouse.com/
Last but not least in our little selection is OH!, which is exactly what you’ll say when you put one of their baked treats into your mouth. As they profess: “We…love the challenge of baking healthy bread and dessert without compromising the taste. We bake with love and passion, and all our products are gluten-free, dairy-free, and refined-sugar free. Baking with alternative and healthier ingredients is our forte”. It really is their forte. While not 100% organic, they aim to integrate as many organic ingredients as possible, and to increase their percentage in every way they can. We would like to mention that dark chocolate brownies are included in this menu, and did you see that cake?. In case you need more incentive check them out here: https://www.ohbakehouse.com/
That’s all for now folks! Let us know if we’ve missed any local chocolate suppliers that aim high on the organic and ethical production scale. We always love to hear from you.