Australian actor and major hunk Hugh Jackman recently announced he’s getting into the chocolate business.
As if anyone needed more reasons to like this guy.
His new line of chocolates, developed with his wife and fellow actor Deborra-Lee Furness, are organic, fair trade and kosher, and are sold at the Laughing Man Marketplace on Duane Street in Manhattan. Laughing Man, which opened last year, is a coffeeshop, event hub and a nice place to hang out and be happy. Oh, and Jackman is a co-owner of the place. In addition, 100% of the profits from the chocolate sales go to charities.
Does it get any better, any nicer, any more “aw, shucks” than this?
Well, Jackman isn’t the first to do this. He admits he was inspired by Paul Newman, whose Newman’s Own food line (which also includes chocolates) still earns a small fortune, having donated over $300 million to charities since its inception in 1982, according to the company’s website.
I have not tried the Laughing Man line of chocolates yet. I have tried Newman’s and I will say this, knowing I risk the ire of his fans everywhere: I am not a fan of organic chocolate, and Newman’s did not change my mind on that. I do like the other products in the line, though, so I hope that provides me with a bit of redemption.
The great thing about what Newman’s continues to do, and what Jackman is starting, is this: neither Newman nor Jackman got into the food business because they had to do it. Both had more than enough money, looks and resources to do nothing other than pursue their acting craft. That alone would certainly keep them busy. Both did it to provide money to charity, not to mention jobs to people who need them. Oh, and food fodder for the rest of us to taste, discuss and disagree on.
And speaking of tastes, a few more from my stash, in case your Valentine did not bring you anything good:
- Valrhona Le Noir Extra Amer 85%: smells sweeter than it is, has good snap, with a thick, dense chocolate taste and a slight raspberry finish at the end.
- El Ciebo 75%: I found this in Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market, and I was sorry I only bought one. Very intense fruit, almost to the point of syrup, with a slightly bitter chocolate taste. I’m usually a purist when it comes to chocolate, but I make an exception on this one.
- Valrhona 71% Noir Amer: A little sweeter-tasting than the 85% above, but not cloying. A single square is very satisfying.
- Lindt Blackcurrant: The first of the NYC bars that I bought last year. I’m not a fruit-and-chocolate person, really. The black currant flavor was pervasive in this bar; sweet, chewy bits that interfered a bit too much for me. I like Lindt’s 72%-85% range all by itself, but I’d never tried this bar before, so I wanted to give it a taste.