Part of the process
The treat we all love so much derives from the fruit of the Theobroma cacao tree, the name of which means 'food of the gods'. Its ripe pods are opened to reveal rows of cacao beans surrounded by a sweet white pulp.
The beans, with their pulp, are scooped out and, commonly, covered with banana leaves before being left to ferment and develop that distinctive chocolate flavour, finally being sun-dried on bamboo mats.
For most chocolate, the cacao beans would then be roasted at temperatures of over 100°C. However, in raw chocolate production ingredients are never exposed to temperatures of more than 45°C.
This preserves more of the beneficial nutrients present in the cacao nibs, and the rich, complex flavours that can be altered by heating at high temperatures.
The nibs are then removed from the hard shells of the cacao bean and ground to produce chocolate liquor - chocolate in a pure, liquid form.
Choc-full of nutrients
Raw cacao is considered a superfood for its high concentration of enzymes, antioxidants and minerals including iron, magnesium and zinc. It also contains the mood-boosting amino acid tryptophan.
A brief history
Chocolate has been revered for thousands of years, enjoyed and used for ritual purposes by the ancient Mayans and Aztecs in the form of a bitter elixir blended with spices.
It was discovered by Christopher Columbus in the sixteenth century and brought to the West via the royal courts of Europe, where it was sweetened with sugar and vanilla.
The Victorian age brought us chocolate as we know it now, and the rest, as they say, is history.
More raw benefits
Crafted from pure, simple, natural and high quality ingredients, raw chocolate is lactose and gluten-free, without unhealthy hydrogenated oils or artificial additives, and sweetened with low GI agave syrup.
With the inclusion of other superfoods such as goji berries, blueberries and hemp seeds, raw really is the healthiest way to enjoy chocolate.
The lower temperatures used to make raw chocolate mean less energy is needed, making for a more environmentally-friendly product too.
Raw chocolate treats
We stock a huge range of tempting raw chocolate treats. Here are some to choose from:
The Raw Chocolate Company Organic Cacao Nibs are deliciously dark, crunchy and bitter. Try adding to cereals, smoothies and desserts or simply enjoying them as a healthy snack.
Pacari has blended organic cacao nibs with salt to produce its Single Origin Ecuadorian Chocolate Salt & Nibs. Salty, sweet, crunchy and smooth all at once, these are a real treat for your taste buds. Pacari also produces an unusual Raw Chocolate Bar with Lemongrass.
One of our best-sellers, The Raw Chocolate Company's Raw Chocolate Coated Raisins are simple yet irresistible - plump, juicy organic raisins dipped in raw chocolate and dusted in cacao powder. Their Raw Chocolate Coated Mulberries are equally delicious, with the added benefit of superfood status.
For a further superfood-boost, try the Healthy Heart Chocolate Superfood by Conscious Chocolate, with maca - a Peruvian root similar to ginseng - and nutrient-rich wild blue-green algae.
IQ Cinnamon & Cayenne Raw Superfood, made from the finest Criollo cacao beans and pepped up with spices, is reminiscent of the original Mayan and Aztec recipe for chocolate.
You won't be short of get-up-and-go with Gorgeous Chocolate Heart Company's Berribals - squishy, energy-packed balls of raw cacao, cranberry, apricot, cherries, pistachio and omega-rich chia seeds.
Treat guests to the sophisticated Rawr Foods After Dinner Mint Chocolate Bar, a raw version of the classic after dinner mint with organic peppermint oil.
Kids and adults alike will enjoy Mulu Raw Chocolate Buttons, which are chemical-free, gluten-free and ethically-traded.
Our full range of raw chocolate is available in our webshop here.