Sjaaks's Organic Chocolate Nuts and Chews Chocolate Gift Box
Sjaaks's Organic Chocolate Nuts and Chews 9 Piece Assorted Chocolate Gift Box is a handmade gift box filled with their classic nuts and chews selection. They have created an assortment of chewy caramels and nut clusters guaranteed to please. This assortment will leave you excited, amazed and wanting more. All nine of these exquisite chocolate delights are dairy free, organic, and fair trade certified. A tree free handmade gift box filled with their signature nuts and chews selection. Sure to leave them happy!
Sjaak's Organic Chocolates Mission
Sjaak's Organic Chocolates aims to create the highest quality gourmet organic chocolates possible while simultaneously supporting a positive work environment, fair trade practices and encouraging sustainable agriculture through the use of organic, non-GMO ingredients. It is also the goal of Sjaak's Organic Chocolates to build a socially responsible, profitable business that can be carried on for generations to come.
Sjaak's Organic Chocolates Story
The Sjaak's Story began on the Southern beaches of Spain. This is where Jacques and Pam met and fell in love. They soon came back and settled in Eureka (northern ca.) where Pam had grown up. They began a Chocolate business that grew into a household name in their community. After years of building a thriving business, they realized that they needed to shift their attention to organic products. Being long time vegetarians (since 1970) and health conscious consumers themselves, they felt they needed their personal beliefs reflected in their business, thus the beginning of Sjaak's Organic chocolates.)
Sjaak's Organic Chocolates is a lacto-vegetarian operation. This means we have no eggs or gelatin in our factory. They take their vegan products very seriously and clean equipment thoroughly between batches, but take caution, trace amounts of dairy are possible. They do use various nuts in their products, if you have a severe allergy please use caution. They are a gluten free facility and we use organic soy in all of their products.
- needs shade and protection because of its frailty
- the pods are football shaped and are 6-12 inches long
- can live up to 100 years
- its pods grow directly on trunk or older larger branches
- its roots are shallow
- it grows to 15-25 feet
- 20-50 cacao beans in each pod
- it produces fruit (pods) in 4th or 5th year
- 400 beans needed for one pound of chocolate
- it needs high humidity - temperatures over 65 degrees and more than 80 inches yearly of rain
- farmers plant taller trees around cacao trees to provide shade and protection
- grows only within 15 degrees of the equator in the tropical counties of Africa, Asia, Central America and South America
- mostly grown on family farms of less than 15 acres
- 70% world's supply comes from West Africa
- approximately 1.2 million cocoa farms in West Africa
- 3 million tons produced annually
- 10 million people live on cocoa farms in West Africa
- the organic cocoa industry is working hard to ensure that abusive child labor is being eliminated on the farms
- Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon are countries that have the most family farms
- Sustainable cocoa farming that combines good farming methods with good economic practices is increasing
- Biodiversity is common by the planting shade trees that also provide useful products for the farmer
- Harvesting is done by hand because the tree is sensitive and delicate
- Pods are broken by machetes and seeds scooped from pod
- A good worker can break 500 pods an hour
- Harvested beans quickly change color from cream to purple
- Beans are put in boxes and covered after harvesting
- Dried cocoa beans then ferment for about 5 days
- Dried beans are then ready for shipping to cocoa processing countries
- Fermented dried beans become deep brown and acquire the rich aroma of chocolate
- Cocoa beans are roasted in large rotating cylinders
- The inside of the cocoa bean is called the "nib"
- Nibs are ground into a non-alcoholic liquid called "chocolate liquor".
- Chocolate liquor is the main ingredient in chocolate
- Giant hydraulic presses squeeze the cocoa butter out of the chocolate liquor
- The pressed cake that remains after the cocoa butter is removed can be cooled, pulverized and sifted into cocoa powder.
- Chocolate is made by mixing a variety of ingredients into the chocolate liquor
- These ingredients can be milk, sugar, cocoa butter in various amounts that determine the type and quality of chocolate
- The chocolate mixture is then finely ground between a series of heavy roller - this is "conching"
- This chocolate is poured into slabs to send to chocolate makers around the world
- These chocolate makers must then "temper" the chocolate which is heating, cooling and re-heating the chocolate to acquire the right consistency.
- The chocolate makers then take this chocolate and make a variety of confections.
Sjaak's Organic Chocolates is 100% certified organic. This means every one of our ingredients has been grown organically, using no pesticides, herbicides or any toxic chemicals. All ingredients are non-GMO (genetically modified). They never use any artificial colors flavors or preservatives. They believe in the inherent goodness of foods without chemical or other alterations.
Sjaak's Organic Chocolates supports the equality of all of the workers that bring our finished product to you. This includes not only the wellbeing of our immediate employees but also the cocoa farmers as far away as Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. Sjaak's uses cocoa that is fair trade, which means that the farmers and workers are insured a fair price for the cocoa and a safe environment in which to work. They never use cocoa that employs slave or child labor. Please look for the USDA organic seal and the Fair Trade seal on our products.