Some 4000 years ago in the rainforests of Central America, the Maya and later also the Aztecs mixed grounded cacao beans with herbs and made a bitter tasting drink that they called 'xocolatl'. They believed that this medicinal drink gave wisdom and knowledge.
The cacao tree was called "Theobroma Cacao" by Linnaeus, Theobrom is Greek for “food of the gods' and in South America cacao was considered as such.
16th-century explorers took cacao beans to Europe and the famous Italian lover Giacomo Casanova (1725-1798) used chocolate as an aphrodisiac.
The chocolate casting process was invented in the 19th century and Dutchman Coenraad Johannes van Houten (1801-1887) perfected the art of pressing cacao beans, separating cacao butter from the solid components.
Plant-based chocolate makers have over the years created a method together with the growers to let the cacao beans dry and ferment in the open air and next the beans are heated in a clay tray oven at approx. 42 degrees Celsius. Then ice water is thrown over the beans which breaks the skin so it is easier to remove and the beans can be cracked into cocoa nibs or ground into cocoa mass, while the friction temperature is strictly controlled.
As a plant-based chocolatier I believe the best way to approach making chocolate is to try to keep the chocolate mass below 40 degrees Celsius. As a result chocolate contains much higher levels of antioxidants and tastes more round and whole than a chocolate mass that has been boiled with low fat milk and cacao powder with a low percentage of solids.
In plant-based, vegan and raw chocolate you find nutrients such as antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium, copper and vitamin C remain much better preserved.
Plant-based chocolate is a joy for our taste buds and our health. It is a natural stimulating and guilt free pleasure and does not only carry lots of nutritious ingredients and suitable for people with intolerances of wheat, gluten, yeast, dairy, lactose, alcohol, corn, soya and white sugar and plant-based chocolate fits into lifestyle diets like Vegan, Raw Vegan, Raw Food, Kosher, Vegetarian, Paleo, Candida, and FODMAP.
To make colored chocolate we use vegetables, herbs, fruits and flowers.
Plant-based chocolate is:
- organic- organic
- gluten free- dairy / lactose free
- trans-fat free
- pesticides free
- GMO free
- radiation free
- sodium poor
- no preservatives
- without artificial fragrances, colors and flavors
- prepared under 42 Celsius
- prepared with anti-angiogenesis nutrients
The way of tasting wine and chocolate has a lot of similarities, as with a good wine the temperatures for storing and testing chocolate must be respected.
The flavors of chocolate are best kept in a dry place between 10 and 16 degrees Celsius.
The ideal temperature to be able to taste chocolate is at room temperature in order to be able to observe the diversity of the flavors.
During the tasting you will appeal to all your senses, examining the aromatic qualities of the chocolate in question:
Use your nose to assess the different flavors, since it plays the most important role in tasting and is responsible for 90% of your taste experience
A plant-based, vegan and raw chocolate mass contains more than 300 chemicals including so-called triggers that cause the release of endorphins and serotonin, substances that give us a good feeling. It also contains stimulants, including small amounts of caffeine and theobromine, which make us alert and feel satisfied after eating chocolate.
Not only the taste is the pleasure, some lovers say that the creamy texture is the most important thing because this gives chocolate a special sensual quality.
The average chocolate consumption of an adult varies from about 5 kg per year in the United States to 9.5 kg per year in Switzerland. This means that an average person only needs 10 years to eat his own weight of chocolate.
But why do we eat so much and so much chocolate? It is delicious, tastes good, smells good and it feels very good when the rich, creamy substance melts on your tongue.
Every time we taste chocolate is a nice experience and that is why chocolate is also called 'feel-good-food'.