On the Jewish food scene: Chocolate for Purim by Rabbi Rachel Esserman

My father, who was so non-observant that he never went to High Holiday services, would declare his Jewishness on Valentine’s Day – saying that because it was not a Jewish holiday, he wasn’t going to buy anyone a present. Some folks consider the day a secular holiday, although their rabbis have been known to frown on that. For example, decades ago, when the Sisterhood of the former Temple Beth-El of Endicott was planning a Valentine’s event, the Orthodox rabbi, who was spiritual leader at the time, was horrified.

So, when I received information about Divine Chocolate that was aimed at Valentine’s Day, I knew that if I wanted a sample, I needed to find another angle. First, though, I e-mailed to ask if the chocolate is kosher. The answer? In addition to being the only Fairtrade chocolate company in the world co-owned by cocoa farmers, it is indeed kosher with a Triangle K certification appearing on all its packages. 

The PR person was happy to send me some samples and I was even happier to receive them. What came were two packages: one of milk chocolate hearts (dairy) and the other of dark chocolate hearts (vegan). In the opinion of both myself and The Reporter bookkeeper (who was in the office when I stopped in to pick up the chocolate), they were absolutely delicious. The milk chocolate is smooth and melts in your mouth. The dark chocolate is satisfying and a great way to scratch your chocolate itch with a much lower sugar intake.

Then I thought, how can we share this chocolate without celebrating a non-Jewish holiday? “Of course,” I said to myself, “Purim comes at the end of February this year.” Now I know that we give gifts of food for the holiday, but, since we are supposed to feast on the day, what better way to conclude a meal than with chocolate? The hearts are also perfect for shalach manot packages, whether you want to put in a few pieces (the hearts are individually wrapped) or a whole 2.8 ounce box. Or if you’re just looking for an excuse to eat chocolate, you can buy some for yourself. Either way, Divine Chocolate lives up to its name. 

For more information about Divine Chocolate, visit its website at https://shop.divinechocolateusa.com/.