I haven’t tried any raw chocolate for a while and when Kendra from Rawr Chocolate reminded me it was time to try some, I jumped at the opportunity – especially as I’ve been eating so much rubbish during the World Cup. So she sent me over a few bars, but I thought I’d give this Passion bar with Goji Berries & Vanilla a go first.
There’s been much talk about the health benefits of goji berries including benefits to the cardiovascular system. But it was my spot of tendinitis and the documented benefits of goji berries for inflammatory diseases that I thought I’d push this bar along the queue a bit. Now I’m not going to dream of saying that it’d cure my achy foot, but if the bar itself makes me happier, then I’m more than delighted to report on that.
The raw chocolate market has certainly taken off the last couple of years or so and probably reflects our general desire to know about the provenance of our food more than ever before. The odd pizza, curry and Subway aside, I’m particularly keen to know that the food that I eat isn’t filled full of rubbish. This is partly why I’m keener than ever to review bean-to-bar chocolate producers and those that have very few additives involved with the creation of their chocolate. And so, I’m sat in front of this bar of raw chocolate. What do I think?
Well the packaging is rustic and matches the ethos of the bar. It looks as if they’ve stayed well away from the high-gloss products of the big chocolate gift manufacturers and kept it down to earth and simple. But they’ve certainly managed to keep a very decent amount of nutritional information present. Not only do you get the ingredients but you also get the typical values per 100g information that I’m sure the bar’s target audience would be keen to read.
Under the outer wrapping and inner foil there was a bar of chocolate that was more solid than I thought it’d be. Previously the raw chocolate I’ve reviewed was more Wispa-like in texture. This had a much greater density – which actually made it look and feel more like a “normal” bar of chocolate.
One thing I did like was the little pieces of goji berry poking out. It gave the bar even more of a rustic feel. Also there was a magnificent shine to it that I don’t previously recall as being present with the other raw bars of chocolate I’ve tried.
All raw chocolate seems to have a real dry earth aroma. I have no idea what causes it, but it seems to be the easiest way to identify a raw bar of chocolate over any other without actually trying some. It is the texture that gives the game away in the most obvious fashion. There’s a sort of soft, cakey texture that seems to bend like a fig roll biscuit. But strangely the chocolate doesn’t melt at mouth temperature all that easily. Only after you’ve chewed and managed to break the structure does it melt on its own accord. As it does, it leaves little gritty pieces. This isn’t a negative point, just a feature of raw chocolate.
In terms of flavour: it’s mild, slightly sweet but with a nice smooth taste that belies its lack of processing. It’s very enjoyable. Of course, it won’t compete, in my mind, to the finest of “normal” chocolate. But if you’re looking for a chocolate bar on a hot day without feeling all oily and sticky then this is the bar for you. I’m not entirely sure how it can leave you feeling this way as the most prevalent ingredient is cocoa butter, but it manages it.