Loving Earth is a Melbourne-based company that makes chocolate from the highest quality organic ingredients they have literally found and brought back from their community development work and sojourns around the world. They buy their cacao from an indigenous community in Satipo, Peru who belong to the Fair Trade Federation.
If that’s not worthy enough, they’re also developing three other projects for communities that include harvesting Gubinge (no I don’t know what it is either) in Broome, Western Australia; finding and installing a cacao press for the Mayan network in Xoconusco, Mexico so that they can cold press cacao licor into powder and butter; and finding a similar press for the cacao growers in Peru to increase their capacity and include more growers in their collective.
So what is raw chocolate exactly? It is suitable for vegans because it does not contain any sugar or dairy and is uncooked, unprocessed chocolate that is only sweetened with agave syrup (a natural, low GI sweetener). By ‘uncooked’ it means that the cacao is never heated above 40-45C from the time it is picked to when it is eaten and tests have shown that it has up to four times the level of antioxidants as conventional chocolate.
We decided to try their raw organic ‘plain’ chocolate, albeit with lucuma and maca (no, I don’t know what they are either but they sound like two guys I went to high school with), as Christian had given us a taste of algave syrup and it was a pleasantly thin, dark, sweet treacly liquid that they use instead of processed sugar. Being Australian and USDA-certified organic also lent it extra greenie cred.
As you can see, the chocolate doesn’t have the standard glossiness of commercial varieties and instead has a slightly powdery coating.
Biting into it the differences were made even more obvious. The cocoa and other powders were evident, giving it a taste similar to a dense chocolate brownie or flourless mud cake. It wasn’t overly sweet, so the cocoa could feature clearly and be appreciated as a single ingredient. Overall, the taste was ‘cool’, like a tiny million little bubbles were being activated, causing a refreshing mouth-feel that felt like the tightly compressed ingredients were gradually coming loose as they relaxed, melted and separated in my mouth.
The ingredients are therefore not your predicted sugar, cocoa butter, milk, vanilla but ‘organic raw cacao butter, organic raw cacao powder, organic agave syrup, organic lucuma powder, organic maca powder and Himalayan crystal salt‘. The only thing I didn’t like reading was that it contains 50.5 grams of fat per hundred grams – eek! Still, at least it was giving me energy and that extra winter warmth (or coat?) I’m always looking for.
This is the best and most unique of the fair trade, ethically-driven chocolate I’ve tasted so far and provides a really inviting alternative to the big-wigs of the industry. I’m looking forward to trying their other flavours that include Goji berries, Peruvian purple corn, Camu Camu, activated almonds and cacao nibs.