“The family that opens cans together, stays together!” – Dr. Tom Neuhaus aka Casanova
In sunny San Luis Obispo it can be hard to find anything that deviates from the main populace formula of rancher/farmer chic or college undergraduate hipster. So it was a treat for Jamie and I to find ourselves in the progressively artsy home of two pioneering Chocolatiers and their families, cooking up West African delights in the coziest, friendliest kitchen.
“This whole project idea is marvelous. Bringing people together, aaah. Food is so close to everyone’s heart!” – Eve Neuhaus
Tom Neuhaus and his wife Eve run Sweet Earth Chocolates – a fair trade, ingredient driven sweets company. But they really run a lifestyle brand complete with West African Fair Trade socio-economic information that will convince to drops your Mars Bar with a quickness. Their extended family includes daughter Elise and son-in-law Martin who help run COG, a coop grocery in Berkeley.
“Don’t be bashful! Just cook. just. cook.” – Casanova
While we were perfectly content to marvel at the trials and tribulations of 80’s rap and hiphop artists. Eventually the conversation covered topics ranging from Dutch & English colonists to finding a modern day Sir Isaac Newton. Son-in-Law Martin, humorously spanked out his laptop to fact find and fact check throughout dinner. Forgot the name of an obscure spice, explorer or 17th Century Canadian politician? No problem.
He’s got you covered.
Our dinner conversation went something like this:
What? A marsupial?
Thats the Italian way to roast a chicken.
450 degrees for 10 minutes
The Brits were the best. Everyone hated France, ya know.
The best African colonies were Nigeria and Ghana. They were British Colonies.
The KING OF BELGUM! BISMARK?!?!
Henry Stanley, you know Morgan Stanley, helped carve Africa. That’s how the Belgian got The Congo.
They smoked baskets of hands.
My great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was the food taster for King Louis the XIIII!
Well, juju comes from Togo. TOGO. JUJU.
For dessert we had homemade fair trade chocolate marshmallow men. Dinner couldn’t have ended on a more fun note. Bellies full of delicious West African Red Red, Plantains and Heads filled with even more delicious world topics and stories.
“We believe that capitalism comes in different flavors–not just the survival-of-the-fittest sort, but a softer, kinder, and more sustainable way of doing business that considers the needs of our planet and its people. Chocolate that’s better for the environment.Chocolate that’s better for the earth. Chocolate that’s better for the people.” – Sweet Earth Chocolates