The real price of raw chocolate

Recently, the culinary arts scene has seen a tremendous rise in the production and sale of raw chocolate. What exactly does it take for chocolate to be considered raw? Well, chocolate must never be heated above 140 degrees Fahrenheit to receive this designation. For those taking baking courses online, this high-quality ingredient could help make some tasty no-bake treats. However, raw chocolate can cost anywhere from $7 to $15 a bar, which is an expensive price to pay compared to the cost of American classics such as Hershey’s. Moreover, many culinary minds worry that raw chocolate increases the risk of foodborne bacteria.

Why is raw chocolate so costly?
The high price tag mainly comes from the quality of the chocolate, which is often pure, organic cacao imported from another country. Harvesting and using pure cacao to make a chocolate bar also leads to a smaller yield per tree, which drives up the price. Furthermore, raw chocolate takes a considerable amount of effort to produce, as workers must constantly monitor the temperature to keep the chocolate in its raw form. If chocolate reaches higher temperatures, the chemical make up of the cacao is changed and nutrients are lost. Raw chocolate is very rich in important nutrients, making it much healthier than the average bar of chocolate that is picked up in the grocery store checkout line.

Raw chocolate is also thought to have a more natural taste than processed chocolate, providing a diverse flavor profile. Raw chocolate producers therefore are confident that they are providing chocolate bars that are healthy and tasty – a winning combination for consumers.

Is it a superfood?
Raw chocolate boasts high levels of antioxidants, as well as a significant amount of zinc, magnesium, vitamin C and copper. Chocolate bars that have higher percentages of pure cacao are generally healthier. The higher the percentage of cacao, the darker the chocolate bar. Chocolate bars are usually a blend of milk, sugar and cacao, with nuts and other fillings sometimes added in as well. When considering the health benefits of chocolate, take into account the sugar content, whether or not it is organic and the cacao percentage to find the bar with the most nutrients.

As raw chocolate is a relatively new product in the United States, the exact nutritional benefits are yet to be determined.

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