This is an African world first.
And it’s divinely delicious.
African Infused Chocolate Jam is a wickedly addictive, voluptuous, chocolatey jam made from fruit, sugar, magnificent 70%-dark chocolate, and infused with fabulous African flavours.
When we started creating these recipes, we set ourselves one criterion: it has to be good enough to entice the angels to come tumbling out of heaven to get a taste. It has to make you want to the clean the last smidgen from inside the jar with your tongue. So far we have developed four flavour combinations that meet this standard:
AFRICAN INFUSED Chocolate Jam with baobab fruit & orange
If you could break off bits of heaven, melt them and bottle them, this is what it would be like. Taste the lemony-flavoured fruit of the baobab tree – the Tree of Life – paired with tangy orange and voluptuous dark chocolate. Savour it on a croissant, on a cheese platter, or with bacon.
Our African Infused Chocolate Jam is sort-of, kind-of, almost sin-free. (Nothing that tastes this good could be completely without any vices, and we don’t claim to be eco-angels, but we do try to do the right thing.)
So here’s how you can salve your conscience while you indulge your senses:
We’ve are converts – chocolate snobs – so there’s no milk in this chocolate! Three of our flavours are vegan-friendly and the one that contains honey is vegetarian-friendly.
We buy single-origin coffee from aficionado Michael Bayer and his Beanery team in Hermanus. Their mantra is that their beans are bought with conscience and roasted with care – they buy their beans directly from the coffee farmers in Africa and bring it straight to Hermanus without the usual middlemen.
We buy baobab fruit which has been sustainably hand-harvested from wild-growing trees in southern Africa.
OK, did we mention ‘virtually’? In fact, we tried to make a low-sugar jam, but it tasted yuck. And we’re also not keen on all the artificial chemicals that are needed to make a jam sugar-free. So, our jam contains sugar. Lots of it. (Sorry.) Hence we’ve got to admit that our Chocolate Jams are not free of sin. But then, who of us are?
The chocolate (oh, the chocolate …)
We’re very proud to say that the 70%-dark chocolate that goes into African Infused Chocolate Jam is ethically sourced from African farmers. This chocolate is as good (in our opinion, better) than the most expensive Swiss or Belgian brands.
More than two-thirds of the world’s cocoa beans are grown in Africa. Yet 99% of what we find in our shops here has been exported to Europe or the States where it’s been converted into chocolate and then re-imported back into Africa again. By the time it gets here, the middlemen, buyers, sellers, processors and certifiers have taken huge cuts of the profit and typically the farmers earn a pittance. But not with this chocolate. Our friends at Afrikoa buy the beans directly from two farming families in Tanzania and ship it straight to Cape Town where Antonino and his team make world-class African chocolate. And the farmers earn 250% more than they would have done the usual way.
No Funny Stuff
All our products are made by us by hand in Stanford, without adding any preservatives, artificial colours or flavours.
“What you see before you, my friend, is the result of a lifetime of chocolate” – Katharine Hepburn
Here are some of the fabulous flavours with which our Chocolate Jams are infused.
As a kid in Zimbabwe, Di grew up buying baobab pods, breaking them open and sucking on the seeds which are surrounded by a dry, creamy-coloured pith (which tastes like lemony sherbet with a unique tropical tang). Little did she know then that today this pith (sold as baobab fruit powder) would be recognised as a superfruit. Weight for weight it has four times more Vitamin C than oranges, five times more potassium than bananas and way more antioxidants than acai, goji berries and blueberries. In fact it’s recognised as one of the most nutrient-dense fruits on earth, growing on trees which can reach more than a thousand years in age. Best of all, it tastes amazing.
We are blessed to live and work in Stanford, near Hermanus in the Western Cape, surrounded by fynbos. This area is a biodiversity hotspot within the Cape Floral Kingdom, which is in turn the smallest and most eco-rich of our planet’s six Floral Kingdoms. We’re also blessed to have hard-working honeybees who collect nectar from the huge variety of indigenous flowers and turn it into the most sublime honey. And to top it all we have The Overberg Honey Company down the road who specialise in fynbos honey from this area.
The African bird’s eye chillies that we use in our Chocolate Jam with strawberries & a hint of chilli are not indigenous to Africa, but they have become naturalised and now grow wild across large parts of Africa. This is a particularly hot chilli (also known as piri-piri), but we use just a touch in each batch, so the overall heat ranks only about a 2 out of 10 on the Richter scale.
We often associate coffee with exotic lands – Brazil, Mocha Java, Colombia and Jamaica, yet did you know all coffee came from Africa originally, where it still grows in the wild? Arabican coffee (Coffea arabica), the most prolific cultivar representing more than 70% of the world’s production, originated in Ethiopia. We’re using beans grown in Rwanda and roasted down the road in Hermanus. It is truly celestial.
We, the African Infused Gourmet Foods team, are based in Stanford, a little village near Hermanus in South Africa’s Western Cape.
Our logo, the guinea fowl resplendent, reminds us that Africa has so much to offer the world. Guinea fowl are indigenous to the continent, yet only a tiny fraction of the world’s commercial production of this game bird takes place in Africa. The French, for example, farm and consume more than 50-million birds a year and if you wanted to buy a guinea fowl to cook for dinner, it would be easier to find one in Paris, London or Rome that it would be in Cape Town. While our logo represents our desire to discover and celebrate the riches we have in our own backyard, the guinea fowl is also Di’s spirit animal. Not only is this bird quintessentially African, but seen through the eyes of artist Marian Binder, she’s also over-the-top, kick-ass fabulous:
African botanicals have already started appearing in a range of wonderful drinks: Inverroche gin (soooo good), ever-popular Amarula liqueur, rooibos and honeybush teas, Rooibos Espresso, and recently aloe-and buchu-based beverages have started to gain the world’s attention. We’re proud to be part of a movement making world-class African products.
Get in touch, we’d love to hear from you!
African Infused Chocolate Jam
African Infused Chocolate Jam is a wickedly addictive, voluptuous, chocolatey jam made from fruit, sugar, magnificent 70%-dark chocolate, and infused with fabulous African flavours – yum!