“But because cocoa is manufactured into a luxury so dear to so many, so accessible as an everyday moment of bliss, it comes with a different kind of emotional power than, say, oil or grains. The implicit call to action here is challenging: it is a request that everyone who uses cocoa ask how they personally benefit from it, and how that benefit derives from their relative power. There are many calls for justice in this industry. To succeed, they will require the hard work of interrogating personal privilege when it comes to cocoa.”
How did cocoa go from being a highly masculinized beverage for Mesoamerican warriors, to a status symbol for European sociopolitical elite, to its current position as a highly accessible global luxury? How is it magically transformed from an alien-like tropical tree fruit to the glossy little packages on grocery store shelves? What does it mean to be an ethical consumer of chocolate?
In a relatively short read, Kristy Leissle covers everything from flavor profiles to gender inequality as she addresses these questions and offers the most up to date and nuanced picture of the historical, social, environmental, and economic factors that make up the global landscape of cocoa today.
This is an amazing resource for people hoping to better understand where chocolate comes from and the complexities of promoting sustainable production and trade justice for farmers.