Monday, May 7, 2018

Global Efforts Underway to Protect Susceptible Cacao Plants

With a background as a Microsoft project manager, Edward Anderton has guided Scarlata Chocolate in Seattle for the past six years as managing director. With a focus on quality, Edward Anderton and his colleagues source fair-trade, sustainably sourced cacao for products that range from truffles to Spanish-style drinking chocolate.

As reported in the New York Times last year, cacao is under increasing threat worldwide, as major producers are reliant on a “narrow set of clones” chosen for mass cultivation in the 1940s. The result is that nearly all cultivated cacao varieties are susceptible to the same blights, such as the fungal disease frosty pod rot, which devastated farmers on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast in the late 1970s. With each infected pod releasing approximately 7 billion spores, regional exports of cacao decreased by 96 percent within five years and the Costa Rican industry remains a fraction of its previous size. 

The most recent outbreak of the fungus was in Jamaica in 2016, and West African cacao plantations are also susceptible. Exacerbating the situation is that cacao trees require climates similar to those of rainforests, and these regions are set to shrink as global warming accelerates.

Fortunately, there are sustainability-focused efforts underway such as those spearheaded by the Cacao Genetic Improvement Program (CATIE), which is working toward creating a diversified base of cacao plants. For example, in one study a CATIE hybrid developed over an 11 year period experienced a five percent infection rate, far less than the 75 percent rate found in control varieties.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Mixed Wine Pairing Truffles Box from Scarlata Chocolate

The cofounder and managing director of Scarlata Chocolate, Edward Anderton oversees daily operations and explores new markets for a Seattle-based company focused on creating unique confections with dark chocolate. One of Edward Anderton’s many accomplishments with Scarlata Chocolate is establishing and maintaining partnerships with local wineries, thus allowing his company to host chocolate and wine pairing events.

One of the boxes sold by Scarlata Chocolate is a mixed box perfect for pairing the company’s different chocolates with wine. The Mixed Wine Pairing Truffles box is available as a box of 6 or 12 truffles and gives wine and chocolate enthusiasts the chance to try three of Scarlata Chocolate’s signature chocolates: the San Juan Salted Caramel, Pure Dark Chocolate, and Grand Marnier Burnt Sugar Orange.

Port wines, some merlots, and some Syrahs are a great match for the San Juan Salted Caramel truffle. Consisting of a soft caramel draped in 70 percent dark chocolate, this truffle’s name comes from the San Juan Islands sea salt adorning the top.

The company’s Pure Dark Chocolate truffle is a dark chocolate rectangle made from 70 percent dark chocolate. It also includes a bit of cream and touch of honey. Scarlata Chocolate recommends pairing this truffle with a red wine that has medium tannins and is medium to full-bodied. Bordeaux blends and Cabernet Sauvignon are perfect wines to pair with this truffle.

Finally, the Grand Marnier Burnt Sugar Orange truffle pairs best with dry Riesling or a sparkling wine. It’s made from orange essential oil and a small helping of Grand Marnier liqueur, and features a 39 percent milk chocolate shell surrounding a burnt sugar caramel.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tips on Organizing a Charity Auction

Edward Anderton co-founded Scarlata Chocolate in 2012 and now serves as the managing director of the organization. With a dedicated philanthropist at its helm, Edward Anderton's company donates premium chocolates to the Star of Hope to be sold in charity auctions.

Charity auctions are an excellent way to raise money. Here are a few key things to consider when planning one. 

A charity auction can be held as a silent auction, allowing bidders to remain anonymous, or in a traditional format involving an auctioneer selling items. Regardless of the form of auction used, guests should always receive a list of the auction’s items prior to the event to generate excitement and anticipation. Donated items such as coupons, gift cards, services, and items from local organizations and businesses are typically sold at charity auctions. 

An essential part of planning the auction includes choosing the venue and promoting the event by sending out invitations and advertising on social media. Other tasks to consider include deciding how payments will be collected at the auction and organizing a crew for clean-up duties following the event.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Some Recent Accomplishments of Star of Hope