While at my local health shop the other day, I came across a new chocolate bar called LoveChock. Selling at £2.99 for 40g, it is expensive, but very high quality.
Founded by Laura de Nooijer, LoveChock was 'born out of passion'. Already an advocate of raw foods, Nooijer discovered the secrets of raw chocolate while travelling Mexico and Brazil. She established the company in 2007, using only organic ingredients supplied by small cacao farms. Since 2011, all her LoveChock bars have been produced in a Sheltered Workshop, in which handicapped people work under supervision.
From the food to the packaging, everything is sustainable, using recycled cardboard to wrap these elegant little bars in.
If you are asking 'what is raw chocolate?', it is when cacao is cold ground (instead of roasted) at a temperature of below 49ºC, meaning all the nutritional value and beneficial qualities, such as the antioxidants, are retained.
LoveChock is based in Amsterdam, but sells all over Europe; it has a number of flavours, including Goji & Orange, Almond & Fig, Pineapple & Incaberry, Mulberry & Vanilla, and Cherry & Chilli.
All of these are made with 100% Ecuadorian cacao, and coconut blossom nectar. This is a natural alternative to sugar, and has a low glycemic index.
I chose the Almond & Fig. It has a chalky, but pleasant texture, and not at all bitter. Because it is raw chocolate, it does not melt in the mouth in quite the same way, but lasts longer. The pieces of fig and nut are a good combination, and add to the bar, texture-wise as well. The bar also has cinnamon, vanilla, and lucuma powder, which is a superfruit from Peru and Ecuador. It has a similar flavour to maple syrup, and a smooth creamy texture. It is also known as 'Inca Gold'.