Saturday, July 23, 2011

Alter Eco: Dark Quinoa

I had big plans for this blog post -- had those plans not been derailed by graduation, employment, and an obscene heat that is entirely inhospitable to chocolate eating, this post would have arrived sometime in April -- it would have documented a curious intersection of contemporary food trends and the Exodus of the ancient Israelites -- yes, that Exodus, which Passover commemorates.

Alter Eco: Dark Quinoa
Cocoa content: 61%
Notable ingredients: rice-quinoa crisps
Origin: Bolivia

So, remember a few months ago, when the weather actually allowed for breathing and long pants, when we gathered around the table to nibble on bitter herbs and denounce chametz, a few of us were obsessed with this New Agey (and yet still, ultra Jewy) question -- is quinoa Kosher for Passover? I don't think we ever really got a definitive answer, but that question stoked my interest in this bar. And then I let it sit on a shelf for a few months. That seems to be happening a lot around here recently.

Three months later, this bar represents nothing more than another chapter in the long tradition of rice crisps masquerading as other things in chocolate bars. Given that this company -- Alter Eco Fair Trade -- actually sells plain old quinoa sourced from Bolivia in addition to chocolate, I was expecting crunchy little pseudocereals instead of these uninspired rice puffs. Ok -- granted -- quinoa rice puffs -- but still, this bar was no more distinctive than your average Nestle Crunch bar.

Next week, another selection inspired by the days of yore -- perhaps not so yore as the release of the Israelite slaves from Egypt, but pretty yore nonetheless. This guy gets a C.

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