Food find of the month - Choc-affair, York
PUBLISHED: 00:18 14 February 2011 | UPDATED: 18:52 20 February 2013
Anything can be achieved for the love of chocolate as Heather Parry finds out during her search for a Valentine's Day gift
Chocolate and love are synonymous and a small company called Choc-affair do both brilliantly. Linda Barrie is the glamorous owner of the company based in York and she oozes not only energy but ethics too.
Choc-affair started when her two young daughters were milk intolerant. Traditional hot chocolate drinks were out of the question and so some innovation was needed. A few bars of dark chocolate, some spoonfuls of unrefined sugar and lots of soya milk later, delicious hot chocolate was created. Linda drafted in friends and family for tasting sessions and Choc-affair was officially born.
Choc-affair is a small family firm (brother-in law, Ian Dickons is now a partner) everything is packed by hand and they only work with certified Fairtrade chocolate. Not only is the chocolate Fairtrade but it is also very tasty. Oh yes; I speak from plenty of experience. What I particularly love about Choc-affair is that they are creative with chocolate everything from their original chocolate on a stick, which you stir into hot milk for a delicious and warming drink, to their lovely lollies dotted with sweets.
Whose heart wouldnt melt with their chocolate letters to spell out I love you? Their bags of chocolate chunks are worth trying; my favourite is Bergamot sounds weird but tastes amazing.
And the great news is that dark chocolate is firmly in the list of top 25 super foods Apparently the flavanols in dark chocolate may help lower blood pressure, blood cholesterol and heart disease risk. Dark chocolate is a useful source of magnesium and iron now theres a great excuse to reach for some right now.
You will know Linda when you see her. She has a 100 watt smile and will be surrounded by very tasty chocolate. From the adversity of her childrens intolerances she has turned the situation round to create Yorkshires own chocolate heaven.
I have no idea what Linda did before chocolate, I am just grateful that she is doing it now and hope she continues for a long time yet.
Heather Parry scours the county for distinctive products sold at Fodder, the Yorkshire Agricultural Societys farm shop and restaurant in Harrogate.