4. Is it good? While we carry on highlighting that raw chocolate is one of the main sources of magnesium, the mineral so often lacking in the body of contemporary human beings, that helps maintain a balanced blood pH and regulates the heart rate with its important vasodilatory effect, our guest start looking perplexed again. “And...is it good?" “It's not only good, it's also organic, without refined sugars, milk free, lecithin free and gluten free." We get very excited, but we realize straightaway that the person in front of us is still perplexed and more confused. “Is it good?” this silent question keeps wandering in his or her mind. Finally, the proverbial light bulb goes on, and we understand what to do. Immediately, we stop talking and with a delighted smile we reach into our chocolate boxes, and we take out a piece with the tongs: “Would you like to taste it?”
This little bite melts smoothly in the mouth the tongue pushes it against the palate, it's the beginning of a love story that can last a lifetime and give birth to numerous seeds of well-being, awareness and passion.
5. “Why everyone asks me for raw chocolate?” “All these stories about healthy food and functional food give me hives! They all come from America, where everyone is obese! Chocolate is not a medicine: we are talking about taste! Making raw chocolate is not possible, I can assure you! You should see the cocoa beans we receive! We have even found chicken legs in them!"
We are attending the "Raw vs Roasted" conference in Milan, one of the most important events about chocolate. The famous chocolatier called on stage to defend the virtues of traditional chocolate, is calm and fiercely determined at the same time, while firmly affirming his vision of life and cocoa, - the audience is full of enthusiastic people, chocolate lovers and professionals - the chocolatier seems truly indignant. “I am telling you one more time, making chocolate at low temperature only a health hazard, it's impossible: I have seen the cacao beans arriving at my laboratory for decades, I know the conditions they arrive in and nobody can change my mind
After the speech, we continue the conversation with the chocolatier, and we end up in our chocolate booth. The chocolatier is now carefully rubbing our cocoa beans in his hands, as if they were rough jewels just pulled from the belly of the earth. He crushes them with thumb and index and keeps on rubbing them with his thumb on the palm of his hand, showing attention and respect. He tastes our 73% dark chocolate with coconut blossom sugar in complete silence.
The relationship that we just established among us is now friendly. “I did not mean to offend anyone or to say bad things about something that I don’t know. My intention was to bring clarity. Because everyone who comes in my shops asks me: do you have raw chocolate?”
6. A fresh raw material for a fresh product. Our reaction at the conference has already brought clarity, understanding, respect; maybe even mutual admiration. Because we love the art of chocolate in every single way. We are enchanted by the alchemy and the passion manifested for decades and decades by these great masters!
There is only one thing that we had to clarify, our chocolate cannot be made with their cocoa beans. Our chocolate is locally processed as a fresh product before being shipped to us in vacuum as paste, pealed cocoa beans or cocoa butter.
That’s the beginning of a different story.
7. Reinventing the wheel.
Away from the stage, I got to know the chocolatier better and somehow, we became friends. I could finally ask him the hundred dollar question:
“Have you ever thought that the cocoa beans you are using are not that good?”
It seems that you are not able to make a good quality product without roasting them. Don’t you think that the cocoa beans that you are receiving are not good?”
I feel like we have just reinvented the wheel. It’s obvious that chocolatiers, chocolate manufacturers in Europe and Western Countries, cannot produce raw chocolate because the raw material they receive
is already ruined.
The chocolatier stares at me but does not answer. I am aware that this is a delicate subject; and I know that an impetuous thinking just started. The conversation suddenly stops when I mention ochratoxins, and we go back to tasting our dark chocolate.