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It was a whirlwind journey to the southern most Toledo District of Belize this month. I tooled about Punta Gorda, day tripping into the rain forest, exploring the origins of chocolate. This is Mayan country where Cacao trees have grown for centuries. See my first article in The Chicago Tribune on Bean to Bar Chocolate and stay tuned for the next one in the Travel section on this cacao farm exploration Agri-trip. We now have many options to taste this amazing bean to bar product, thanks to the efforts of a few organizations.
One of the inspirations for this visit was this accomplished woman I met via email while researching the fascinating topic of cacao farming- Emily Stone of Uncommon Cacao.
Emily Stone in one of a kind: she has poise, confidence and energy like you’ve never seen, and that’s just the start. She is moving beyond what we term “fair trade”, addressing the most pressing issues in underdeveloped countries such as social justice, international trade issues, sustainable supply chain dynamics in additon to reforestation, sustainability and consistent quality/flavor metrics in the chocolate industry itself. The small farmers have had whiplash for decades due to corporate advances and retractions.
Please tune in to hear an incredibly motivating story of a girl on a mission. Pass this to your friends and share across social media. This really matters and while it’s not directly about wine, the model for “origin designated” chocolate, through the farming, fermentation, and chocolate making, parallels wine in more than a few ways.
Remember, please tune in regularly for great interviews with Sommeliers, Wine Makers, Wine Directors and Top Chefs. Also, virtually taste wines with top wine experts then go taste them yourselves. SommTalks is your weekly podcast for the inside scoop on the restaurant and wine scene. Please SUBSCRIBE here, on iTunes , on TuneIn Radio or on Stitcher. Send us your thoughts, ideas, and names of peeps you’d like us to interview.
You can check out the past few episodes but if you SUBSCRIBE , you’ll receive each new episode right to your device, whichever one you listen to your podcasts on. Share episodes across social media channels, as well, to let others discover our wine conversations. A few of the most recent include:
Wine Tasting Series:
SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series: Andrew Algren of Cherry Circle Room
SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series: Michael Muser of Grace Restaurant Chicago tasting Wines of Loire Valley
SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series: Charles Ford, The Bristol Chicago Tastes Pouilly-Fumé , Lake County Sauvignon Blanc and Canadian Pinot Noir
SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series with Erica Wosky of Petit Crenn San Francisco
More Intriguing Interviews:
Marco Caprai of Arnaldo Caprai in Umbria Talks Sagrantino di Montefalco
Parag Lalit of Sixteen at Trump Tower Chicago on Wine Pairing, Greek Wine, Burgundy
Ryan Baldwin of Blue Crane Imports on Wines of South Africa
Andrew Algren Talks Cherry Circle Room, His Wine List, Chicago Athletic Association
Liz Mendez of Vera, Chicago Takes Top Somm Award at Jean Banchet Awards
Charles Ford, The Bristol Chicago on Wine Inspiration and Teamwork
The Kitchen Chicago’s Shea Zimmerman Talks Sustainable Wine, Keggers and more
Jen Schmitt of Everest Chicago Talks Wines of Alsace, New Wine Discoveries
Israel’s Yarden Golan Heights Winemaker Victor Schoenfeld Takes us Far Away
Liz Martinez of Chicago’s Purple Pig Dishes on Old World Wines, The Menu
Catch you next time.