One of the most pertinent questions about raw chocolate is: What defines raw?
We are always learning and keeping current with the technical aspects of raw food and how to incorporate it into our chocolate.
According to contemporary thought, wet food (basically any fresh produce) can withstand temperatures of up to 118 degrees Fahrenheit and dry food (think dry nuts and seeds etc) can withstand temperatures of well up to 150 degrees F. This conversation is particularly focussed on what temperatures enzymes can withstand.
The following was published by thehealthyhomeeconomist.com:
“ … enzymes are only susceptible to damage by higher heat when they are in the wet state, therefore once the food is dehydrated/dried the enzymes become dormant, and can withstand much higher temperatures. According to our discussions with Viktoras Kulvinskas (*Godfather of the raw food movement*) on this matter he said that we were right, and that, quote: ‘dry enzymes can survive well up to 150 deg F.’ He has tested food he has prepared in his Excalibur dehydrators with an experiment he created, and found it to he high in enzymatic activity. We have also done some experiments by soaking various seeds. dehydrating them at different temperatures. and soaking them again afterwards to see if they will sprout. and they did, which proves that the enzymes are alive.’”
We use 150 degrees F as the temperature limit for our raw chocolate making.
News flash: Cacao is a fermented food! This is a fascinating fact as the fermentation process often exceeds temperatures of 118 degrees F.
Cacao has been fermented during the agricultural process ever since it was discovered. Fermentation is one of the most beneficial and magical processes a food can go through. Cacao's fermentation might be one of the reasons raw chocolate has so many health benefits.
Even the most die-hard raw food advocates will tell you how good fermentation is for food. What would raw chocolate be with out this fermentation process? Would it loose its magic?
Contrary to popular belief, and even though we have the best instagram on the planet, we don't have all the answers. What we can tell you is that we are curious and open to learning more about how to make chocolate culture more beautiful, more flavorful, more thoughtful and more creative!