We all love chocolate! But how about RAW chocolate? Is it a myth or a truth that the raw aspect makes you healthy, more loving and happy? There is hardly one lifestyle magazine who is not reporting sth about the benefits of raw chocolate. When I had a small rawfood store, raw chocolate was the best selling product. Clubbing with raw chocolate? Amsterdam got it! A chocolate club, where you can dance all night long on raw chocolate drinks (no alkohol served). And Lovechock – the first successful raw chocolate bar in The Netherlands – made it big in several European neighborhoods, even you get 100g normal organic chocolate for almost half of the price.
So first of all why do we love chocolate?
When I think of a dark chocolate bar I float in a dreamy, sexy, seducing atmosphere. Red lips take a bite and the tong is licking melting pieces. Yamm! In every chocolate advertisement happy people share happy chocolate for happy moments! And as a child I always wanted the famous eggs from Ferrero: Kinderüberraschung. The outside is covered with chocolate and cracked open you’ll find a fun game or a smurf. Goodies you like! So in my conditioned mind my chocolate world is pinky red! Happiness, good times, celebration… you name it… Every year its at your birthday table, you bring it as a present, its a treat after work, you embrace the silent presence next to the counter. How would life look like without chocolate? BORING!!!!!!! Lets have a closer look to RAW chocolate.
There is one big ambassador for raw chocolate: David Wolfe. In his book “naked chocolate” he sums up all benefits of raw chocolate. A must read for every chocolate lover! He states that raw chocolate is the number one source of magnesium of any food on the planet and contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world. In the raw version it is exceptionally rich in: Chromium, Anandamide (the bliss chemical), Theobromine, Manganese, Zinc, Copper, Omega-6 fatty acids, Trytophan and Serotonin.
That sounds good, but how can I know that my cacao beans are processed under 40degrees and contain all that goodness? At the the Hippocrates Health Institute website you can read this process is commonly faked: “Shook the cacao trees when it became known that most cacao products labeled as “raw” were actually cooked. During the processing that all cacao must undergo to make it palatable, it is often heated to the point of being considered “cooked.” Recently, one company came forward, ostensibly, to set the record straight. They admitted all the cacao products they’d sold up to this point were not really raw, then went on to claim they now manufactured the only truly raw cacao products.”
To be sure you purchased raw cacao there is just one way: to contact the brand and ask about their way of manufacturing. I personally let myself guide through taste and color. To me the chocolate bars from Pana chocolate Australia are outstanding. The taste is deep and smooth, bitter without being astringent, infused with truly natural herbs or berry aroma. I couldn’t detect any unpleasant artificial vanilla, cinnamon or peppermint. All good! Please check out their page on Facebook. It is truly art what they celebrate in down under! Unfortunately they have no European branch office, yet. So you pay 5euro for 50g ;(
Booja Booja is another brand which suprised me a lot. The first time I got it in Berlin at Veganz. The raw “Hunky Punky” chocolate ice-cream was super yammie and had a real nourishing effect on me. I felt totally satisfied afterwards with no bloating belly or toothache.
And there are many brands which sell the whole chocolate beans or crushed ones, named cacao nibs. For me it is always a surprise to open the package. How will the beans turn out? Are they dark, purple or more sandal colored? To be honest I haven’t found the perfect cacao bean yet! And it gets more and more difficult to walk through the jungle of suppliers. To a greater extend people open a webshop and sell “raw cacao”.
But this doesn’t have to discourage us to enjoy now and than a handmade chocolate bar. However make sure you choose organic! Happy chocolate time! (Chocolate photos from Pana Chocolate)