Just as Downtown Raleigh ushers in its newest chocolate factory, its first one wins a national award.
A few weeks ago, we were notified that local chocolate company, Escazu, had been nominated for a national Good Food Award, in the, what else, chocolate category. Today, they announced that they were one of eight companies in the country to win for their cocoa bars. Escazu won the award for their 60% Goat's Milk and 65% Costa Rica Bars. Escazu Chocolate received the award last night in San Fran and celebrated tonight with friends and customers at their new shop on North Blount Street.
Congrats to Escazu. It's great to see Raleigh's new 'chocolate scene' (if we can start calling it that) get some national recognition. Other North Carolina brands that won awards include Counter Culture Coffee, Farmer's Daughter Pickles and Preserves and Miss Jenny's Pickles. See the full list of Good Food Awards winners here.
Below you can see the description of the award and criteria.
A growing number of American chocolate makers are working closely with cacao farmers around the world and creating a transcontinental food community that is raising the bar on quality while stimulating farming economies around the globe. Eligible entrants craft Good Chocolate from beans or liquor using no artificial ingredients or genetically modified soy lecithin, and make efforts to know their cacao farmers, understand their supply chains and source sustainably grown cacao beans.
In order to be eligible for a Good Food Award chocolate products must be made according to the following criteria:
• By the company from bean to bar, or from liquor to bar. If from liquor to bar, the company must certify that a trained employee from the company was present and actively involved in the making of the liquor.
• Without artificial ingredients.
• Without genetically modified soy lecithin.
In sourcing their cacao, chocolate producers should make efforts to:
• Know their cacao farmers, whether it be in forging a direct relationship with them, or by understanding the relationship between the farmer and the supplier from whom the producer purchases their beans.
• Understand the growing practices of these farmers, in order to support cacao grown sustainably, without synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides or fertilizers.