At Raw Shakti Chocolate, we honor the nutritional integrity of raw cacao by not roasting our beans. Our chocolate does not contain cane sugar, animal products, common allergens such as nuts, soy or gluten, or any fillers or emulsifiers. The chocolate maker has over 17 years of experience preparing raw foods and uses his knowledge to craft original recipes that offer medicinal benefits. Our bars are sweetened with one of the lowest glycemic sweeteners: coconut palm sugar. We stone-grind our cacao using a slow, hand-crafted process and wrap our bars by hand using packaging made from original, cut-out adhesive vinyl artwork.
We use raw, organic cacao nibs of the Arriba Nacional variety, purchased from small-scale growers at Pacari Farms, located in the Esmeraldas region of Ecuador. This cacao is shade-grown, which means it is grown under a canopy of rainforest trees and other plants. Shade-grown cacao is far more resistant to disease and helps to enhance biodiversity. We choose to support the growers at Pacari in an effort to preserve the traditional methods of cacao production. The farmers at Pacari ferment and dry the cacao beans at a low temperature, which enhances the beans’ rich flavor, complex fruity and floral notes and their nutritional properties. (For more information on Pacari Farms, visit www.pacarichocolate.com).
We begin by stone-grinding the cacao using a low- speed melanger, the alchemist’s stone. We maintain a temperature below 110 degrees and grind the cacao for 10 hours. This process ensures that our chocolate is abundant with a rich, complex and pleasurable flavor and is protected from variances in humidity and temperature. After stone-grinding the cacao, we add the herbs, fruits and/or spices, properly temper the chocolate, carefully pour and set it in molds, and wrap each bar by hand.
Our labels are made using original artwork, made with cut-out adhesive vinyl and printed on with vegetable-based inks. Below is an animation video created by Aitor Aretxbaleta using the artwork of Fernando Elvira, the artist who designed our packaging. The video depicts the vibrant plant and animal life within the Ecuadorian forest where our cacao beans are grown. Fernando’s artwork for this piece, and for all of our labels, was elegantly done using cut-out adhesive vinyl.