Posts Tagged With: Francis Olaku

Spring Festival Event Review

A fight against the elements. A nightmare gazebo. Today marked the annual Spring Festival, and we were determined to man our tent despite the obstacles thrown our way. Armed with our campus grown ale, our Good Shed bread, honey, jam, and recipe cards we played the waiting game. Adjacent to us was a group partnering with Strada, where many types of Italian delicacies were sold, and the adjoining Pizza/ Italian dessert stand next to it. Each item beckoning for me to try it.

What was a slow start for our Sustainability stand gradually gained momentum as the event went further on. Many seemed disappointed that our bread oven wasn’t in operation that day, but we reassured them that it would be re-assembled for our next event. As a substitute, we had bread from The Good Shed which proved to be quite popular along with our campus grown-ale.

spring fest.jpg

One of the particularly amazing stalls was a fair-trade smoothie stand. Powered by an electric bike, you made your own smoothie (with the ingredients cut up by those that manned the stand). The faster you rode, the quicker you got your smoothie. The smoothies were ready in 45 seconds maximum, so you wouldn’t have been riding the bicycle forever. Anyone who didn’t jump on the bike missed out on some delicious smoothies.

To our left were regulars at the Spring Festival. Their produce was locally sourced and their most popular item, the venison burger. I’ve never had venison before, and I had wanted to try their stuff last year, but my funds were lacking at (the struggling life of a uni student) the time, so I had to postpone that desire. It was amazing! I would definitely buy venison burgers if I knew where they were sold.

To our right was a stand with an array of cakes such as a tantalising Oreo cake.

If I listed all the wonderful stands that I saw on the day, then we would be here all day. If you didn’t come to the Spring Festival this year you should feel ashamed. But you have to make sure you are there next year, deal?

By Francis Olaku

Categories: Student Green Office | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate Tasting Evening: Review (01/03/2017)

Over the course of your lifetime, on average you will have consumed 10,000 chocolate bars. I have probably long exceeded that amount, and I feel no shame about that. This evening marked the sequel to the last Divine Chocolate tasting that took place two years ago. The long distance relationship between myself and Divine chocolate had reached boiling point as I had not tasted her in so long. She was happy to see me again.

For those who do not know, Divine Chocolate is a Fairtrade company whose farmers have long since benefited from this process. They’ve invested in many ventures in their communities, some of which include adult literacy and numeracy classes for women for instance. If they didn’t receive the profits they did from their Fairtrade commission, who knows if we would still receive such quality chocolate.

choc tasting

The evening started in reverse order. First we got to taste some really “Divine” chocolate (see what I did there)? Then Divine Chocolatier Erik Houlihan-Jong led us on a chocolate historical odyssey that debuted in Mesoamerica, to its introduction to European audiences via Cortés. Erik’s larger than life persona made the history lesson worthwhile.

We were then given the low-down on how Divine chocolate gets made. The processes making me appreciate their elegant chocolate much more.

Next we indulged in a sensory tasting session. We were instructed to feel the texture of the chocolate. With Erik explaining why it felt the way we did. After that we attempted to listen to the chocolate. Like the last time I heard nothing, the chocolate bar was playing with my feelings. When we did the snap test then I knew that the listening test was a trick. We then got to the part you’ve probably been waiting to hear about. Drum roll please…….. The tasting. Erik had us push the chocolate through our mouths starting from our tongues. As the chocolate danced around my mouth, I was in a state of euphoric bliss. The chocolate and I were one. Had I ate the chocolate the way I usually did, I would not have appreciated the taste as much. It momentarily made me forget that Divine Chocolate do not sponsor me, but I got free chocolate and you didn’t which is all that matters.

Sadly the event ended. On the plus side, I bought some chocolate. I hope it will not be another two years until I’m reunited with my lover Divine chocolate.

We hope to welcome Erik and Divine Chocolate back to CCCU very shortly!

By Francis Olaku

Categories: Food, Student Green Office | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fanatic about Fairtrade: SGO’s Fairtrade Taste-Off

In the photo above: Megan with three of our amazing volunteers, Francis, Natalie and Elzy-Mae, without whom the SGO would not be what it is today!

Has it really been 2 months since our Taste-Off? How time flies! To promote Fairtrade Fortnight, the SGO ran a Fairtrade Taste-Off in Touchdown Café, giving you lovely students a chance to taste a variety of Fairtrade chocolate and vote for your favourite! Here is a review from the SGO’s wonderful Francis Olaku, who volunteered at the event. This is what he thought about it:

Monday 29th February was our free Fairtrade Chocolate Taste-Off. Fairtrade chocolate differs from regular chocolate because the farmers get paid a fair amount for the beans that they cultivate, that are in turn made into chocolate. They also receive many benefits from Fairtrade, an enhanced quality of life and further community benefits. We ran a stand for students in Touchdown Café to introduce them to the importance and benefits of Fairtrade. There were three types of chocolate to sample, ‘Divine’ Milk Chocolate, ‘Meaningful Chocolate’ Orange & Milk Chocolate, and ‘Divine’ Dark Chocolate with Almond and Raisins. For someone that usually loathes Dark Chocolate, I was surprised at how delicious this tasted. It was not as bitter as the other unpleasant Dark Chocolate I have tried. 

Surprisingly, the vast majority of students thought that there might be a catch involved- that we might charge them for the chocolate. When we explained that there was no catch, many came out of their shells and happily received the chocolate- with some taking a hearty amount, I might add! It was a delightful sight, as we all know how important chocolate is- one of your five a day, I heard.*

We also provided recipes that students could take away if they wanted. All in all, I thought that it was a successful event. Many who did not know about Fairtrade chocolate were able to find out more about it, and I believe that we’ve planted a seed in them. So next time, we hope they might choose the Fairtrade chocolate over the regular non-Fairtrade brand. 

*This may be a slight lie, even if there is orange flavouring in the chocolate. 

Written by student blogger and volunteer,
Francis Olaku


Categories: Student Green Office, Sustainability Engagement | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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