Sunday, April 25, 2021

Raaka Chocolate - Oat Milk Unroasted Dark Chocolate Uganda 58% (bar) - Apr. 25, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Raaka Chocolate
Oat Milk Unroasted Dark Chocolate Uganda 58% (bar)
Good + 
Weight: .9 oz. (25.4 g.) / 1.8 oz. (50.9 g.) in total bar
Calories: 113 calories (per label) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $6.00 (sale) for 1 bar
Purchased from: Mollie Stone's Markets, Sausalito, CA

Welcome to Day #10 of Chocolate and R,S,T,U Theme Week, featuring chocolate items with origins and/or flavor inclusions that start with the letters R, S, T and/or U--as in Uganda (Africa).

Today's Oat Milk Unroasted Dark Chocolate Uganda* 58% Cacao (bar) was from Raaka Chocolate (Brooklyn, NY). 

Raaka's chocolate makers use unroasted cacao. Skipping the roasting process can yield smoother, brighter, fruitier chocolate flavors, and can sometimes preserve more delicate notes (such as green and/or floral).

The cacao used to make this chocolate came from Semuliki Forest Cacao, Uganda* (from more than 1,000 smallholder, organic farmers--over half are women). 

This area in Western Uganda is part of a rare (for East Africa) stretch of tropical, lowland forest that includes a National Park, a Wildlife Reserve, and many endangered species. Semuliki cacao is comprised of "mostly Trinitario and Amelonado" (cacao varieties). The flavor profile is described by Cacao Services (consultants in Uganda) as: "rich base cocoa with balanced fruit acidity and sometimes notes of brown sugar and panela."

The aroma of today's Raaka bar conjured up a hot bowl of coconut oatmeal with unsweetened dark chocolate pieces and a drizzle of maple syrup. 

The 58% cacao unroasted dark chocolate had a relatively rapid melt, with a thick and creamy mouthfeel, and a very slight graininess (oat flour) in the finish.

The dark chocolate flavor (from what I could taste) seemed bright and bold, slightly fruity, without being bitter or earthy. Oat flour or oat "milk" (as well as other milks) can be used to calm (or even neutralize) feral or spiky cacao flavors; but no lion tamer services were required with this friendly vegan bar.

Coconut added naturally sweet flavor as did a judicious amount of maple sugar. Vanilla bean added a bit of warmth.

Raaka tasting notes for the cacao/chocolate in this bar: "Chocolatey, panela, fig, cinnamon." 

Note: the inside of this Raaka Chocolate Semuliki Forest Cacao bar wrapper also included transparent trade information for the cacao, including the price paid to farmers: $4.50 per kilogram in 2020. This price includes post-harvest processes and transportation to the departure port in Africa.

Ingredients: Organic cacao beans, organic maple sugar, organic oat flour, organic coconut, organic cacao butter, organic vanilla bean.

Allergen-related information: Vegan, gluten free, soy free; Certified Organic and Kosher by NFC. 

Uganda is smaller in size than the U.S. state of Michigan, but has a larger population than New York and Florida put together. Agricultural exports include: cotton, tea, tobacco...and cacao. 

Most cacao grown in Africa comes from West Africa, specifically Ivory Coast and Ghana. However, cacao is also grown further east, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Tanzania, as well as Uganda.

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