I have always been a fan of dark chocolate sauces poured over ice cream, drizzled on cake, in trifles, or blanketing fresh fruit. Grown Up KidStuff, a company that devotes itself to chocolate and caramel sauces, uses dairy products from a family farm whose cows are treated with neither antibiotics nor bovine growth hormones. The sweeteners are cane sugar and molasses from a company that supports an elephant sanctuary, and their two Ghanian cocoas hail from a firm involved with the International Cocoa Initiative and the World Cocoa Foundation, which promote sustainable farming practices, farmer training, and support and development of farmer cooperatives. The company also supports local prairie restoration, to return the prairies to their original beauty, and to help prevent the loss of native species and birds. (I believe National Geographic did an article on the prairies about a year ago.)
No matter how great the provenance of the ingredients, the most important thing is: How does it taste? I sampled their full line, which currently consists of four sauces. The original is a thick, dark chocolate that is very satisfying and versatile. Their chocolate sauce with Grand Marnier has a hint of orange that adds extra interest and no discernible alcohol taste. I started fantasizing about warm chocolate mousse cake plated with this sauce and drizzled with some actual Grand Marnier. Sometimes, more is more, even if Mies van de Rohe spins in his grave every time I say it. I love their spicy chocolate sauce with its layers of complexity and heat. And, even though it is not chocolate, I want to mention their caramel sauce, a super rendition of this rich classic.