Thursday, May 1, 2014

Raaka Chocolate - Vanilla Rooibos DR bar - May 1, 2014

Chocolate of the Day: 

Raaka Chocolate
Vanilla Rooibos bar
Good + - Very Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2 oz. (56.6 g.) in total bar
Calories: 140 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $7.95 (guess)
Purchased from: SweetE Organic, Mill Valley, CA

Today was Day #4 of Chocolate and Dominican Republic (DR) Theme Week.

Raaka Chocolate (Brooklyn, NY) offers a different take on a Dominican dark chocolate bar, with their Vanilla Rooibos bar.

I say "different" not only because this organic, 66% cacao bar contained flavor additions (organic vanilla, green rooibos tea and honeybush tea) -- the other DR bars this week have been "unflavored" single origin bars -- but, also because Raaka crafted this bar from unroasted cacao beans*, giving the bar a light almost floral, candy taste. (Tasting notes listed on the bar wrapper: cherry, toasted marshmallow.)

Most chocolate is made from roasted cacao beans; and roasting provides some of the characteristic robust flavors found in finished chocolate. However, Raaka stonegrinds their cacao and added ingredients, and processes their chocolate at lower temperatures, producing what they call "virgin chocolate."

*This bar contained a blend of cacao beans from both Bolivia and the Dominican Republic; and was vegan, gluten free, nut free, and soy free.

Loved the outer wrapper adorned in ink "doodles" -- like you might have done in class, only executed by a super-skilled graphics professional. I also thought Raaka's "Story" page was one of the best About pages I've seen for a chocolate company:

Raaka - Story
Not only are founders Ryan Cheney and Nate Hodge shown getting their hands dirty (literally), but they also give props to previous contributors -- a classy thing to do in any industry, but frequently given short shrift.

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