Friday, February 24, 2012

Raaka Virgin Chocolate, the flavours of relaxation

Through the old farmhouse window I can see the snow blowing sideways in gusts.  It is that sort of painfully white sky brightness outside that can only indicate a cold, damp and windy day that can make you shiver to your soul.

Inside, however, is a different story.  The electric heaters are on, warming up the rooms that the oil heater cannot reach, or that are so poorly insulated that they require extra measures.  I have a cup of tea in my left hand while I type with my right, and two empty chocolate bar wrappers are resting next to the laptop.  Yes, today is a good day. Well, inside at least.

Those two chocolate bars that I so much enjoyed were Raaka Virgin Chocolate's Vanilla Rooibos bar and the Blueberry Lavender chocolate bar.

Although both contain only 67% cacao content, they both tasted much darker and had more bitterness than your average 60-something percent chocolate. I guess that is because the beans are not roasted, which can take away some of the bitterness, thus the reason for the name `virgin chocolate`. Also, the combination of organic chocolate, the flavours, and the rough texture of this minimally processed chocolate that gives it that bitterness.  Its roughness is not a bad thing though.  Although the chocolate was not smooth, I was not expecting it to be, since it is made by a craft chocolate maker who believes that less processing is better.  And it offers a new and interesting tasting experience.

The flavours of the chocolate in both bars were similar.  The Vanilla Rooibos tea was subtle, as was the blueberries and lavender in the other bar, so the flavours of the cacao beans stood out beyond the flavours added to them.  There were not many dried blueberries in the bar (I think I counted four), which was nice because it did not overwhelm me with chewiness or blueberry flavour.

I like that this company cares about the environment through its recycled packaging and organic nature of its chocolate, and also cares about the cacao farmers, proudly stating on the packaging that cocoa farmers receive at least $500 per metric tonne above market price.

I also like how they sell their chocolate.   I bought this as a four-pack and it came in a lovely sack made of natural materials.

Here are the package details:

Raaka Virgin Chocolate Vanilla Rooibos, 67%, 1.25 oz
Made in Brooklyn (USA)
http://www.raakachocolate.com/
Ingredients:  Organic cacao beans, organic turbinado sugar, organic cacao butter, vanilla rooibos tea.


Raaka Virgin Chocolate Blueberry Lavender, 67%, 2.5 oz
Made in Brooklyn (USA)
http://www.raakachocolate.com/
Ingredients:  Organic cacao beans, organic turbinado sugar, blueberries, organic cacao butter, lavender.

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