I was at Brooklyn Flea yesterday in what used to be the old Williamsburg Savings Bank across from the Atlantic Avenue Terminal. Even if you aren’t a shopper, it’s worth poking your head in just to check out the interior. Certainly looks more like a cathedral sans religious statuary and stained glass. Ornate marbled floors, patterned windows galore, and vaulted ceilings. Even the bank vaults are still in place and you’ll climb through one downstairs to reach more clothing stalls. What a bonanza for collectors and vintage shoppers!
I arrived just in time for my lunchtime hungries to kick in so naturally my eyes began to rove in earnest for any signs of food which I heard do exist at this market. Lo and behold, walking to the back of the grand first floor, I spotted a sign with an arrow pointing to food. In the back right corner, specialty foods along with copious samples were being doled out. Definitely not a place for lunch but enough to get your appetite whetted with super tiny but decadently frosted cakes from Kumquat Cupcakery, McClure’s Pickles, and refreshing bubble teas from ThirsTea. But what really grabbed my attention with the Fine & Raw Chocolate table. Some samples melted in your mouth like truffles only they seemed to be healthier…not as sweet and you could feel the grit of pure cocoa on your tongue.
The goodness begins at the source. Fine & Raw Chocolate sources fair trade cacao from a small cacao farmers co-op that grows heirloom organic varieties which don’t cannibalize the rainforest ecosystem. Chocolate is made over low heat to preserve it’s flavor and absolutely no artificial ingredients or fillers are added. Even the wrappers are made from recycled paper and the inks are vegetable based.
Did you know that the nutritional benefits of chocolate are usually destroyed during mass production? Since it is heated at a higher temperature, the naturally occurring oils become transfatty creating free radicals. All the enzymes and up to 80% of the vitamins and minerals are destroyed and most flavanols are stripped out since they are usually more bitter. You can count on exactly the opposite with raw chocolate from Fine & Raw Chocolate. Let’s call it the antithesis of Hershey’s.
photo courtesy of Steve Mirsky