Cocoa has a special effect on many people. It makes us happy! However, in regular chocolate you will find a lot of refined sugars, milk and additives. Do you want cocoa in its purest form? Then raw cocoa is a good option. It tastes like chocolate, but contains 0% additives or sugar. Raw cocoa is therefore not sweet!
The Latin name for cocoa is “theobroma”, or food of the gods. You can do wonderful things with this divine food. Cocoa nibs give your breakfast or baking a delicious bite. Cocoa powder gives your cake, pie, biscuit or bread a dark chocolate flavor. You can grind cocoa beans with a mortar or in a good blender. This way you also use the nutrients from the peel. With raw cocoa you experience all the benefits of chocolate, without eating sugar!
A cocoa tree produces cocoa fruits (duh). About 30-40 every year. The fruits resemble elongated papayas or melons. Each fruit contains about 20-50 beans, which are encapsulated by light brown pulp. The farmer removes that pulp after the harvest. What is left are “raw” cocoa beans. At this point, these are 65% water. To make them edible, they first have to ferment for a few days. In this process, that classic cocoa smell and taste is created. Then they enter the tropical sun. They dry in there until they consist of only 5% water.
Okay, that was the cocoa bean. How do they make cocoa nibs and –powder? They first remove their skin from the beans by breaking them open and sieving them. That is how the nibs are left. With the help of stone, they grind them into an ultra-fine paste in 10-12 hours. This paste passes through a sieve, so that the cocoa and butter separate. Then the cocoa goes through a sieve again, so that a powder is formed. This is why cocoa beans and cocoa powder have completely different nutritional values. Surprising, right?
As with most superfoods, it is important to keep the products dry and in a dark place. If you put the pots in the sunlight, the quality may decrease slightly. Sometimes the cocoa beans have a white haze over them. This is usually not a fungus, but is due to the natural fermentation process. Are you unsure whether the cocoa beans are still good after the expiration date? The quality may deteriorate if the smell and taste diminish and if the cocoa smells a bit like wood.
From South American Peru! As far as we are concerned, the ultimate chocolate land.