Take a bite out of Buddha
A pastor's daughter builds a business selling chocolates shaped like sacred icons.
(FSB) -- To Sarah Hart, chocolate is next to godliness. After learning that the cacao tree's Latin botanical name, Theobroma, means "food of the gods," she had a vision: edible gods and icons. With the help of a sculptor friend, her Portland, Ore., kitchen was soon populated with silicon molds for Buddhas in various poses, the Virgin of Guadalupe, Quan Yin, hamsa hands, Sacred Hearts, and Celtic crosses. Hart tempers and molds the chocolate, then paints it with edible 23-karat gold leaf. After selling her creations at the Portland Farmers Market, she opened an Alma Chocolate (almachocolate.com) storefront in 2006. With three employees and an expanded line that includes truffles, caramels, and bonbons, Hart still focuses on icons, which now include Ganesh and tattoo art. ("Mom" is a big seller.) Still, she says, "I have had people get mad and think that I'm being disrespectful. They don't know where I'm coming from." Hart is the daughter of a Presbyterian pastor and is a certified spiritual director. She says the edible icons illustrate a central tenet of Buddhism: Nothing lasts forever.click here.
From the June 1, 2007 issue