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Featured Chocolate Site

bella luccè: globally inspired beauty

I discovered the bela luccè site while perusing this week's chocolate news, and liked it instantly. The company's founder, Lela Barker, was inspired to make healthy cosmetics after learning that certain ingredients in mass-marketed beauty products are carcinogenic. Most products are made by hand in small batches to ensure quality. Packaging includes 100% recycled paper, and also recycled plastics. Last but not least, the company donates a portion of its proceeds to charity.

Website

The site is simple, easy to use, and beautiful without looking like it's trying too hard to be cool. The pale blue color used in the non-symmetrical background is repeated in design elements throughout the site, which gives it a "together" kind of look. The photographs are beautifully done, and the handwritten font gives each page a lovely yet casual appearance.

Products

I singled out the company for their line of Peruvian chocolate bath products and cosmetics, which includes: a renewing masque, chocolate sugar scrub, moisturizer, bath bubbles, and bath oil. The products sound totally luxurious, and are even made with environmentally friendly Dagoba organic chocolate.

How to Buy

The retail chart shows you where to pick up bella luccè products in your area--or purchase on the web by visiting the site's main page below.

The bella luccè

Chocolate Recipe

Finally I've found a collection of recipes I know I can trust. Nick Malgieri, the director of the baking program at New York's Institute of Culinary Education, has a recipe page on his website. Here's one for a chocolate ginger pound cake, which sounds divine! If you try it, let me know what you think!

Chocolate Headlines

Lindt&Sprungli Goes Single-Origin

Citing consumers' desire to know more about where their chocolate comes from, L&S will release the "Excellence Origin Collection" featuring chocolates from beans grown in Ecuador, Peru, and Madagascar.

This is great--the more consumers know about where their chocolate is coming from, the better able they will be to make informed decisions based their personal ethics.

Food Navigator

Girl Stabs Mother Over Improperly Made Cocoa

The ten-year-old from England flew into a rage because her cocoa had "skin" on it. She grabbed a knife and stabbed her mother in the head.

I'm frightened at how frequently I see reports of violence committed over incidents that seem to be of miniscule importance. Clearly there are much deeper issues going on under the surface, but for some reason, chocolate seems to drive the occasional flare-up.

The Sun

Consumer Ethics is Driving the Demand for Organic Cocoa

As customers become willing to spend more for organic products, it enables farmers to grow their cacao in ways that are healthier for them and for the environment.

Historically, cacao has been a crop that is saturated in pesticides. Cacao is a very sensitive plant with many pests, and the only inexpensive way to protect these delicate trees has been to do massive spraying. However, a willingness to pay more for organic cocoa allows the farmers to opt for pest management methodologies that are more time consuming but less damaging. Although to many that cost might seem too high, it's infinitely lower in the long run.

Food Navigator

Chocolate Recipes in the News

No cake mixes, margarine, or instant pudding allowed...

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake--The Wichita Eagle

Chocolate Shot Cookies--The Quad Cities On-Line

White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies--AZ Central