With so many vegans, vegetarians and raw foodies around there is a natural market for raw chocolate, though plenty of flexitarians and omnivores enjoy it for its primal earthiness. In my experience, these products vary wildly, and to complicate matters further, my desire for the raw stuff waxes and wanes. I was a joy-filled creature when I tasted the five sample bars Lulu sent me. Always one to love being surprised by new tastes, I found myself reaching for another bite, and another, and another.
Lulu’s handcrafted raw chocolate has the added benefit of a low glycemic index. It is sweetened with coconut sugar, the nutrient rich sap of coconut palms. This nectar pours forth by “tapping” the blossom of the tree before it matures into a coconut. The 78% Raw Love Bar has 4.6 grams of sugar in 28 grams, one ounce. (My only quibble is their contention that half an ounce of chocolate is a serving. I can’t imagine eating less than an ounce of chocolate at a time, but then I am an un-12-stepped chocoholic.)
Have you ever craved a bit of mesquite in your chocolate? If so, Lulu has your number. Two of her bars, the Maca Love (50%) and Chocolate Maca Chunk (62%, with a higher cacao content than its sibling because of the addition of nibs) have the unique addition of Mesquite. Think of charcoal broiled chocolate—only kidding. Actually, the smokiness adds a heady layer to an already mind-boggling chocolate ride. Wlldcrafted Maca has a reputation for increasing libido, stoking energy, improving mood, and decreasing anxiety. (Wikipedia)
Here’s what Lulu’s website says about Maca: “It has often been called ‘the herbal viagra.’ We use only pure vanilla bean, never extracts. Vanilla is the fruit of an orchid flower! It is also a breatharian plant and often grows in cacao trees. Mythologically, they were great lovers and make a perfect yin-yang union.”
Lulu sources her chocolate through Pacari in Ecuador, and the roasted cacao comes from Claudio Corallo in Africa.
My favorite, the Coconut Cin Bar, is as beautiful as it is delicious. An abstract design of thin coconut shards tops 75% raw cacao, with the addition of a subtle amount of cinnamon, it’s positively addictive. The coconut’s texture and flavor enhance an already powerful chocolate experience.
Aztec Crunch (75%) is a nib-adorned slab that delivers a super intense chocolate hit with crunchy nibs. Its partner, the Raw Love Bar (78%) guarantees that same chocolate rush in a purer incarnation.
I was also given a tiny vial of Pure Edible Cacao Essence with an invitation to wear it as a tantalizing scent or use one drop to add exotic flair to my favorite recipe or drink. For those of you who quaff Chocolatinis, this would take your cocktail up a few notches. Personally, I love the idea of chocolate as a fragrance. The perfect gift for a chocophile. And for you men who buy those pheromone enhanced scents to attract women, here’s one guaranteed to do the trick.