The Latin name for chocolate is ‘theobroma’, which means ‘food of the Gods’.
Well if it’s good enough for the Gods…
However, all chocolate is not created alike. Your average bar of Lindt isn’t entirely godlike, since regular chocolate is generally richer in milk, refined sugar and GMO soy lecithin than it is in cacao.
Ouch. Jove don’t live here anymore.
And, most importantly, the concoction of all chocolate that isn’t labelled ‘raw’ involves roasting the cacao beans to within an inch of their lives, thus stripping them of their nutritional prowess. And so the Gods swoosh back to Mt Olympus to dine on manna and unicorn milk instead.
But, cacao in its raw, unadulterated form is indeed an exceptional food.
Why is raw cacao so potent? Well,
So you can have your (raw cacao) cake and eat it too. Chocolate doesn’t have to be relegated to the status of ‘guilty pleasure’ – it’s right up there with spirulina in terms of its nutritional excellence. But – it’s chocolate!
Ann and I recently had the pleasure of visiting a raw chocolate factory. A delicious ‘Ann & Chloe and the Chocolate Factory‘ moment where we got to try a host of freshly made chocolatey delights, such as raw truffles in a myriad of flavours, raw chocolate bars, and chocolate-coated cacao beans. We also sipped on mind-expanding Xocoatl, a traditional chocolate brew from South America, which is a totally different experience to drinking normal hot chocolate. During the visit we learnt all about the benefits of raw cacao thanks to our wonderful hosts Frédéric, Angèle, and Marie, of Rrraw, le Grand Cru du Chocolat Cru.
Between nibbles of raw cacao beans and insanely good truffles, we were lead through their specialised raw chocolate production process, and Frédéric explained why ‘normal’ chocolate, with its roasted beans, highly addictive refined sugar, milk and GMO ingredients is anything but a superfood.
Frédéric explained that on a regular chocolate production line, the cacao beans are first roasted in order to render them stable and less bitter.
But of course the high temperatures turn this magic bean into a nutritional wasteland.
However, in the production of raw chocolate, fermentation is used to decrease the bitterness of the beans, and then special slow grinders turn the beans into yummy liquid cacao, without the use of any heat at all, thus preserving every iota of their nutritional saintliness. Huzzah!
And wow, the result is truly divine. Rrraw is really good at finding the right compromise between nutrition and taste, using indulgent ingredients such as nut butters and coconut sugar to give their chocolates just the right balance of yum and nourishment.
We tried, well… every product they have, and left the factory feeling pretty darn anandamided-up. Our faves? The Nuit Blanche truffles with coffee and guarana for me, and Ann’s choice would be the chocolate covered cacao beans.
So did this little escapade into chocolatey wonderland tickle your tastebuds? If so, good news: Rrraw is offering a 10% discount for Veggie Magnifique readers – that’s you! – in their online shop. Just visit www.rrraw.fr, fill your basket with chocolatey wonder, and enter the code “VEGGIEMAGNIFIQUE” at the checkout to redeem your golden ticket.
p.s. For more info on the superpowers of raw cacao, check out this speech by raw foodist David Wolfe :