ruby gold

Pinks are pretty and sweet.  So, a ‘pink’ chocolate would be twice the treat.

Ruby chocolate, as is the preferred name, is the official addition to the chocolate colour wheel in 80 years [1]. The other categories are dark, milk and white, with any other colours derived from dyes.  I have gobbled a rainbow of chocolates in the past, but there is something magical knowing that an unadulterated chocolate exists in pink. Far from a snobbish affair, it’s instead a delight in remembering the little beauties around us.

The beauty buds from nature and pleasure. As is habit with the natural and pleasurable, chocolate too becomes a commodity. Chocolate, or rather, the cocoa, is mostly produced in poorer, developing countries while its consumption peaks in developed ones [2]. Harvesting cocoa can be a bitter affair, tinged with child slavery and unsafe work areas [3]. Though companies are quick to rewrite CSR statements to fit consumer consciousness, fair trade is not the norm for all chocolatiers. There is some progress, but fair trade certification draws uncertainty and companies are not required to publicize their product procurement [4].

Chocolate’s muddled history makes one wary of this ruby’s way forward. The beans used to make ruby chocolate come from Ecuador, Ivory Coast, and Brazil, all of which are already grounds rife with labour exploitation. Manufacturers are optimistic, however, that this chocolate will propel the rise of speciality chocolates and revive the glum chocolate economy.

Ruby’s gestation was over a decade, as researchers at Callebaut came across pink possibilities thirteen years ago. They tinkered with the pink, fruity treat before unveiling the polished product earlier this month.   Its birth should be celebrated as an innovation and a disruption. The last time a new chocolate was introduced, it was in the 30s, an era vastly untouched by today’s social conductivity.

Ruby’s inception comes at a time of heightened global awareness and connectivity. Making and eating this chocolate should, then, look very different; unlike its predecessors, it could start with a fresh, fair slab.  Its path shouldn’t reiterate the past as it fulfills its promise of sweet innocence.

Choco it out

[1] https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-09-05/chocolate-gets-first-addition-to-color-palette-in-80-years-ruby

[2] http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/economics-chocolate-180954224/

[3] https://beta.theglobeandmail.com/life/food-and-wine/the-fair-trade-dilemma/article24871950/?ref=http://www.theglobeandmail.com&

[4] https://nochildforsale.ca/ethical_chocolate/ ß Check this out for a list of some of their favourite fair-trade chocolates

  1. […] require us all to be smarter with our planet and the resources we use. I’ve written about the muddled commodification of chocolate earlier, and whether you like it or not, chocolate affects us on a global level. People around the world […]

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