Monday, October 31, 2016

Should we be baking on All Hallows Eve?

A little miffed whilst sitting at home in France tonight, my kitchen door is being knocked on every few minutes whilst my neighbours children come trick or treating.  I'm thinking of what is (not) happening in Abengourou right now, there's no trick or treating and receiving bon-bons is rare!
Cocoa tree
However there are those children that are in the bush, working on the plantations that produce the cocoa to be made into chocolate for cheap Hallowe'en sweets; it's another annual prime time for chocolate companies to make a good profit.  This afternoon I went out and bought sugary non-chocolate sweets (I'm sure their parents won't thank me!) that are more likely to make our local dentists rather rich!

I don't want to be seen as someone who is scorning this age old tradition, I throw myself into it every year making sure all the children in this small village in France have something when they come to my door.  But in my confusion, I've just researched it further as I really don't know much about it or where it came from.  Interestingly there's no mention of chocolate but more talk about the aforementioned sugar in the form of toffee related products.  In France they mention that they used to put out milk by the graves of loved ones, with our holiday 'Toussaint' (All saints) tomorrow it makes sense.  Ireland now have a baking tradition for Hallowe'en with a fruit cake.

The Hallowe'en food list from Wikipedia

So why has chocolate become a part of the trick or treating game?  I'm just thinking of the supply chain, which starts in our neck of the woods around Abengourou and across Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, thankful for organisations like Slave Free Chocolate who are trying to assist via chocolate companies, CREER in Abengourou  to do more monitoring and educaton for the children involved in child labour.

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