Top Pick Of The Week

January 13, 2009

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Cacao Nib Truffles

Truffles made from organic raw cacao, covered with raw cacao nibs, have intense, bittersweet chocolate flavor. You are mano a mano with the cacao. All photography by Corey Lugg | THE NIBBLE.

WHAT IT IS: Chocolate truffles, brownies and other products made from raw cacao.
WHY IT’S DIFFERENT: It’s “primitive” chocolate without fancy designs that simply tastes terrific. It’s also organic and vegan.
WHY WE LOVE IT: It tastes healthy, primal, vigorous and delicious...and it’s better for you!

Uli Mana Raw Cacao: Organic, Vegan, Terrific!

Page 2: What Is Raw Cacao?


This is Page 2 of a four-page review. Click on the black links to visit other pages.




What Is Raw Cacao?

The raw food movement has had its proponents since the early 20th century. Followers believe that a raw food diet cures ailments, extends longevity and bestows general energy and wellness. Adherents don’t eat any foods or beverages cooked at temperatures higher than 120°F, believing that heat destroys enzymes that abet wellbeing.

Traditional science does not support this concept, and to date there have been no conclusive studies that support the premise either way. But our purpose here is not to debate the benefits of a raw food diet or claim superior knowledge either way. Rather, we’re going to explain what raw cacao is, and then introduce you to some delicious chocolate products made with it.

In the production of regular chocolate, the cacao beans are fermented, then oven roasted (like coffee beans) at high temperatures. (Read a full explanation of chocolate production.)

With raw cacao, the temperatures are vastly reduced:

Cacao Beans

Photo of cacao beans by Hector Fernandez | Fotolia.

  • The beans are lightly fermented—less than 15%, compared to a 100% fermentation with regular cacao beans.
  • They are then lightly roasted at temperatures that don’t exceed 120°F (and are often usually 104°F), as opposed to standard roasting that can be as high as 300°F.
  • While regular cacao is one of the highest antioxidant foods, some studies suggest that raw cacao has up to 1/3 more antioxidants than that which is conventionally processed, since the low processing temperature keeps more antioxidants intact.

It also, according to the concept of raw food, preserves more vitamins and minerals. Because raw cacao is purchased by people who are health-conscious, the raw cacao we’ve seen is also USDA-certified organic. That means, among other things, that the products are grown with no chemical pesticides and contain no preservatives or artificial ingredients.

For these reasons, and the fact that Uli Mana’s products are sweetened with lower-glycemic agave syrup (also called agave nectar) instead of refined white sugar (you won’t taste any difference), this is better-for-you chocolate. You won’t sacrifice any indulgent delights: All of us at THE NIBBLE swooned over every bite. The difference is in style: no bonbons with gorgeous cocoa butter designs, no molded hearts and butterflies, but lots of great taste.

Uli Mana paraphrases the great Greek physician Hippocrates, who said, “Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food.” They suggest, “Let thy dessert be thy medicine.”

Continue To Page 3: Uli Mana Raw Cacao Chocolate Products

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