It’s not easy when a chocolate company tweets one and ask if one will try out their products. Ok so, sez one, one supposes if one must….
The very nice people from Magic Mayan Chocolates in Kilfenora, Co.Clare sent me on some samples to try out. Now, I have to tell, you, the idea of raw chocolate didn’t really appeal to me at first. What’s that you say? what’s raw chocolate?
According to an article in the Ecologist (by Hannah Corr, 27th September 2011) the process for making chocolate is fairly simple: heat cacao beans, grind into a liqueur, add fat and sweeten. However, subtle alterations at any of these stages can result in wildly different chocolate bars. The fundamental difference between your commercial chocolate bar (such as Cadbury’s or Green & Blacks) and raw chocolate is this: the cacao in raw chocolate is never heated above 45°C, unlike commercial chocolate which is roasted at 130°C, meaning all the anti-oxidants, enzymes and nutrients remain intact.
So how does it taste? The first one I tried were the Tutti Frutti Pralines:
And so to the Crazy Caramel Bar. I wasn’t so crazy about this I’m afraid.
It might have got a bit battered in the post, but I think the packaging doesn’t look great. I suppose they are going for the “eco” look, the paper is recycled – and it looks it!
There’s a way to go in developing this bar further to increase the acceptability. The raw foodians may be happy with it but if you’re going to try to convert the mass population, then there is some work to be done. Raw chocolate may be high in nutrients, but it needs to taste good too.
The raw chocolate market is a niche one. As with any niche market, it takes even more hard work than usual to make sales, promote your product and convert people from the mainstream. I really admire the Magic Mayan chocolatiers – well done and keep it up!!
I’ll be buying the pralines if I see them in shops – hope to see them in Leitrim or Sligo soon!!