June 3, 2021. Frogs and cicadas and chocolate... oh my! There have been some unusual and exciting chocolate news stories lately, from chocolate-covered cicadas to the tracking of deforestation. Here’s a recap of several of the stories that caught our eye here at Tangle Chocolate.
Chocolate Covered Cicadas
There has been a lot of hype about the billions of Brood X cicadas that are currently emerging after 17 years of being underground. This phenomenon is happening in 15 states, from Tennessee to New York. Chouquette Chocolates in Maryland is smack dab in the middle of it and decided to take advantage. They are currently selling chocolate-covered cicadas in your choice of milk or dark chocolate coating. These cicadas are frozen, lightly boiled, air-fried, and seasoned with cinnamon. Once dipped in decadent chocolate, owner Sarah Dwyer claims the insects taste like "chocolate-covered potato chips.” This novelty product is so popular that there is currently a 10-day wait to ship, but the small team is not worried about running out since millions more of the insects are emerging daily. If these chocolate treats are not your cup of tea, but you would still like to partake in the cicada season, Dwyer also sells cicada-shaped chocolate—free of bugs!
Note: the FDA issued a warning yesterday, June 2, 2021, that people who are allergic to seafood should NOT eat cicadas. They have some similar proteins as shrimp and lobster and can cause anaphylaxis.
An Australian frog specialist named Steve Richards just identified a new species of frog named Litoria Mira. Richards found the cocoa-colored frog in the rainforest swamp of New Guinea back in 2016 and has been doing genetic studies since then to prove that the frog is, in fact, a new species. The frog's glossy brown appearance has earned it the nickname “Chocolate Frog.” The reason this frog remained undetected until now is that it has a keen ability to camouflage itself. The swamps where it lives are humid, brush-filled, and filled with malaria-ridden mosquitos. Apparently, most scientists refused even to embark on such a treacherous journey. Also, many may have confused this frog with the common Australian green tree frog which is also small in size and lives nearby. The Chocolate Frog grows to about 3” and was named after the Latin word for “surprised.” We love this little cutie!
As we know, deforestation continues to be a major environmental issue around the world. EcoVision Lab at ETH Zurich, sponsored by Barry Callebaut Chocolate, is creating a project to limit these deforestation efforts. By the end of 2021, The EcoVision Lab at ETH Zurich predicts to have mapped out the entirety of Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia according to their carbon stock. This new carbon map is created through high-resolution satellite imagery. This elaborate map differentiates between six categories of vegetation cover, meaning different colors are used to catalog vegetation density. Deciphering the density differences throughout these countries will help limit deforestation by prohibiting companies from entering these areas.
Barry Callebaut is a major cocoa processor and chocolate manufacturer and owns the world’s largest chocolate factory (which is located in Belgium). He believes all chocolate can be ethically and sustainably sourced by 2025. His ability to provide financial support on such an ambitious project could lead to real environmental change and the preservation of forests.
If you would like to learn more about this effort, click here.
While Tangle Chocolate does not sell any chocolate-covered bugs (or frogs, for that matter!), we do make delicious chocolate, including our signature 9-calorie dark chocolate slivers that melt on your tongue. See all of our fine products at https://tanglechocolate.com/ .