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    Posted February 3, 2012 by
    Vancouver BC Canada
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Fair-trade chocolate challenge

    Fair Trade Wisdom Sweetens the Way


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Clara's submission was a winner of the CNN chocolate challenge! Read more about the winning entries.

    Clara Salamanca lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, where Nanaimo bars are popular. She heard about the iReport chocolate challenge from the assistant manager at the Ten Thousand Villages store where Salamanca volunteers. 'We sell fair trade chocolate, cocoa, sugar and coconut at the store and I had read several reports about projects in Africa that support fair trade and the elimination of child slavery. I thought it was a good way to contribute to this project and raise the profile of fair trade products.'
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    Clara Salamanca, a Vancouver-based cancer-cell biologist through the week and volunteer with the Fair Trade store Ten Thousand Villages on the weekend, baked this version of Nanaimo Bars using Fair Trade cocoa, chocolate, sugar and coconut.


    Clara has no trouble finding these Fair Trade ingredients since she is able to purchase them from the Ten Thousand Villages store on Granville Island in Vancouver, Canada which is close to the co-op in which she has been living for some time.


    A native of Colombia , South America , Clara chooses to bake with Fair Trade ingredients for the same reasons that she volunteers at Ten Thousand Villages and buys produce from local Farmer's Markets: because she believes every choice made as a consumer or citizen of the world has an impact on the lives of others.


    “I want to make a positive difference in this world. In my opinion, paying a decent, living wage to the people who grow our food and make the things we buy guarantees a secure and peaceful future for us all.”


    Vancouver’s City hall claimed “Fair Trade Town” status in 2010 after dedicated work by local Fair Trade activists and sympathetic councillors to meet the criteria established by Fair Trade Canada.


    While the origin of the “Nanaimo Bar” is uncertain, residents of the small town a ferry-ride away from Vancouver have quite happily claimed it as a local specialty.


    The photo features other Fair Trade products available from artisans with whom Ten Thousand Villages works in India and Bangladesh. The terracotta hand holding the Nanaimo bar is in an Indian classical dance hand gesture (or "mudra") representing wisdom.




    1/2 cup butter
    1/4 cup granulated sugar (fairly-traded)
    5 tbsp. Fair Trade cocoa
    1 egg beaten
    1 3/4 cup graham wafer crumbs
    1 cup Fair Trade coconut (fine)
    1/2 cup finely chopped locally-sourced walnuts


    Bottom layer: Melt first three ingredients in top of double boiler or in heavy saucepan. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut and nuts. Press firmly into ungreased 9X9 inch pan.


    1/2 cup butter
    3 tbsp milk
    2 tbsp vanilla custard powder
    2 cups Fair Trade icing sugar


    Second layer: Cream butter, milk, custard powder and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.


    2/3 cups Fair Trade semi-sweet chocolate chips OR
    4 squares Fair Trade baking chocolate (1 oz. each)
    2 tbsp butter or margarine


    Third layer: Melt chips and butter over low heat. Cool. When cool but still runny, spread over second layer. Chill in refrigerator. Use a sharp knife to cut. 36 squares.


    The recipe appeared in local Vancouver papers in the sixties. This recipe, as baked by Hazel Price, consistently won awards at the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver, Canada throughout the '70's and '80's.

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