13 March, 2010

Flourless Chocolate Espresso Cake from Gigi's

Late afternoon, low blood sugar, long workday and grey skies. Tomorrow brings daylight savings time and we lose an hour until we find it next fall. This purchase was lovely, although my companion was more critical than I of the flavor. He claimed it was too bitter, that it tasted of burnt coffee beans. We agreed that the texture was melt in your mouth so we did find some common ground. My practice seems to be bearing fruit in that today I ate two bites and then put my fork down and retrieve a "to go" box. The second portion, over half is sitting in the refrigerator and I feel content, simply to know that it is there waiting for me while I research the slave trade on the Ivory Coast: 12 year old boys indentured to harvest the cacao beans consumed by an impressive percentage of the world. Yes mixed into our chocolate consumption is the monster we call child slavery. At 12 my mother insisted I babysit her friends children. I was paid fifty cents an hour. The boys work for about a year to pay off their contracts of $38. Monstrous. I paid $5.50 for this slice of cake. I wonder how much of that made it back to those boys, assuming the chocolate wasn't fair trade, organic and that the source was unconfirmed. The irony of slaves imported to the new world to harvest various crops and the crops, such as cacao, imported to Africa to be cultivated and harvested by slaves in their own back yards. Perhaps we decide it was less expensive to take the cacao to the labor force than the brutality of bringing the labor force/forced labor to the New World. The chain from source to product makes it a challenge to be certain that the laborers have been paid a living wage. And unless you are purchasing a product from a place like the Wedge how do you know where those ingredients have come from to reach your plate? And how does one simply trust, with confidence that personal happiness, and indulgence has not been the source of someone else's suffering? The garnish of whipped cream, the woman behind the counter, the dishwashers in the back room: no separation, each holding the hand of the one next in line all the way back to the origin, where ever you choose to define the beginning. Intimately connected in our experiment, across oceans and back again. Looking forward to breakfast and sending those boys my concern. Is it safe to assume that the girls are involved with other services?

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