Il cioccolato equo e solidale

Una leggenda azteca narra che l’albero del cacao sia nato dal sangue della principessa Xoco. Questa fu lasciata dal suo sposo a guardia di un tesoro. Quando arrivarono i nemici la principessa non ne svelò il nascondiglio e per questo venne uccisa. La madre terra non potè restare indifferente alle sue gesta e in suo onore creò l’albero del cacao, che ha semi amari come la sua sofferenza e al tempo stesso forti come il suo coraggio.

Il gusto del cioccolato equo e solidale non è diverso da altri tipi di cioccolato di alta qualità. I principale ingredienti che lo compongono sono: la pasta di cacao, lo zucchero, il burro di cacao, il latte in polvere (che venne introdotto sul mercato da Henry Nestlé), lecitina e aromi.

Il cacao è un albero tropicale, con frutti di forma allungata che racchiudono semi simili a mandorle. Il cioccolato è ottenuto dalla lavorazione di questi frutti, detti cabossidi. Dopo la raccolta i semi vengono raccolti e fatti fermentare. In questa fase la polpa biancastra cola liberando le fave. Successivamente si stendono le fave in ampi spazi, per lasciarle asciugare e seccare. Lo scopo dell’essiccazione è quello di fermare i processi fermentativi e poter conservare le fave nei sacchi in fase di stoccaggio. 

La fase successiva nella lavoravione del cioccolato è quella della torrefazione o tostatura. Le fave di cacao sono sottoposte per un tempo che varia dai 20 ai 40 minuti a getti di aria calda. A questo punto le fave di cacao sono pronte per essere raffinate. Durante questo processo si ottengono tre prodotti: il burro di cacao, la massa di cacao ed il cacao in polvere. 

Si dice che il cioccolato faccia bene perché ricco di antiossidanti, purtroppo questo vale solo per il cioccolato fondente, che è ricco di flavonoidi. Maggiore è la percentuale di cacao, maggiore è la presenza di flavonoidi. In commercio ne troviamo di tutti i tipi, fino al 99%, gusto decisamente amaro!

Il 75% del cacao prodotto nel mondo viene dall’Africa. La Costa d’Avorio e il Ghana sono i due più grandi produttori. Paesi ricchi abitati da gente povera. Visto che il prezzo del cioccolato è quotato in borsa, le multinazionali comprano ingenti quantità di cacao quando i prezzi sono bassi, per poi rivederli quando i prezzi salgono, ottenendo il massimo del profitto a discapito dei produttori, che sono costretti a svendere il loro raccolto. I contadini africani in questo modo non traggono alcun beneficio dalla coltivazione degli alberi del cacao.

Sono convinta che i flussi migratori e la povertà di tanti paesi sia cosa di tutti, poiché dipendono anche dal modo di vivere del mondo occidentale, e noi, in quanto consumatori siamo tutt’altro che impotenti. Solo attraverso una ridistribuzione delle risorse ed una riduzione dei consumi potrebbe esserci un mondo più equo, basterebbe volerlo davvero.

Molte multinazionali si sono date una parvenza green cominciando a produrre prodotti biologici, ma è indispensabile non dimenticarsi dei lavoratori dietro questi prodotti, garantendogli salari dignitosi. Poco prima di Pasqua TV2000 ha intervistato Paolo Pastore, direttore di Fairtrade Italia. Nel reportage raccontano la storia di Komi Agbokou, imprenditore ed attivista politico del Togo. Proprio lui ci parla di quei giovani africani che si ritrovano in una morsa: la mancanza di tutele nei campi in Togo o lo sfruttamento in Europa.

Vi lascio il link della puntata per chi volesse approfondire il mondo Fairtrade.

La coltivazione del cacao richiede una manodopera importante, troppo spesso sottopagata. Purtroppo i grandi marchi di rado sono chiari sulla tracciabilità del prodotto, cosa che nel commercio equo e solidale non accade.  In etichetta troviamo la provenienza ed i nomi delle cooperative che lo hanno coltivato.

Non facciamo che la ricchezza di una terra diventi una maledizione, anziché una risorsa, per chi la abita. Scegliere di comprare prodotti del mercato equo e solidale può fare la differenza.

Nicla

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