Esa Weinreb, founder of The Underground Truffle, fell in love with high-quality chocolate as a child growing up in Europe. Weinreb has fond memories of her Sicilian mother cooking rustic pasta dishes while her French father made amazing desserts. She has fond memories of watching them work in the kitchen and being rewarded with samples of their creations.
Although Weinreb grew up eating a broad spectrum of fantastic European and Mediterranean foods, she didn’t realize at the time was that creating delicious food was part of her DNA.
Weinreb moved to the United States when she was an adolescent and was quickly introduced to the harsh reality of the American industrialization of food. Chocolate was no longer the rich, dark, earthily stimulating treat she’d become accustomed to in Europe as a child. She came to think of American chocolate as very sweet, waxy candy with no chocolate flavor.
“I was never able to develop any sort of appreciation for ‘candy bars’ and as I became an adult I would actually return from my travels to Italy and France with a suitcase full of high-quality European chocolate to be given as gifts and ration until the next trip abroad,” Weinreb recalls.
Due to her inquisitive mind and love of food, Weinreb wanted to understand the reasons for the superiority of the European chocolate not only from a quality of food basis, but also as a historical and cultural basis.
She learned about the discovery of cacao as a sacrament among the indigenous peoples of South America during the era of European Colonialism as well as the profound chemical affects that the bioactive elements of cacao have on the human brain. Weinreb also learned about the fantastic antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that cacao provides.
After years of focused research and experimentation, The Underground Truffle was born in Weinreb’s kitchen with the goal of creating delicious chocolates and truffles made from the most wholesome ingredients available.
Weinreb uses organic ingredients, no refined sugars, no chemical additives or preservatives, no dairy and incorporates low or no-heat production methods. The Underground Truffle sources cacao from sustainable farms where its respected and its farmers are fairly compensated. The company also prides itself for its love of the environment using only biodegradable and sustainable packaging.
Sounds amazing, right?
Come and taste for yourself at the Sustainable Tasting event from 6 to 8 p.m. on May 18, 2017. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Food Policy Council board member Erin Illman is hosting the event at her home. The address will be provided to attendees.
The event is free for members and $25 for non-members. Please RSVP for the event via EventBrite.