Cacao is the primary ingredient in chocolate, but it should not be confined to bars and bonbons alone! We love seeing our customers taste its delicious crunch for the first time. With wide eyes and broad smiles, many exclaim, “Why hasn’t anyone done this before?”
CHOCOLATE VS. SNACKING CACAO – HOW DO I EAT IT?
Snacking cacao gives you the boost you need between meals. Its satisfying, super-seed crunch provides the energy and sustenance you need to keep going for the last mile of a challenging trail or the last hour of a demanding day.
By contrast, chocolate is a great way to wind-down – at the end of the meal or the end of your day. It always makes a great finale.
CHOCOLATE VS. SNACKING CACAO – WHAT DOES IT TASTE LIKE?
Both great chocolate and snacking cacao start with great cacao beans. Like other single origin and fair trade chocolates, our cacao is fermented and processed naturally (not Dutched / alkalized). Therefore, you might notice nuances ranging from coffee to banana to wine, in addition to chocolate.
CHOCOLATE VS. SNACKING CACAO - WHY DOESN’T EVERY CACAO BEAN TASTE THE SAME?
Snacking cacao is like farm fresh produce. Consider the difference between enjoying a handful of plump, fresh berries and throwing that same handful in the blender for a smoothie. When blended, differences between individual berries or cacao beans are impossible to taste.
Like fresh, seasonal berries, the cacao in your bag will have an overall flavor based on its harvest and small-batch preparation. But, you might also find slight differences from bean to bean!
CHOCOLATE VS. SNACKING CACAO – WHAT IS THE TEXTURE?
While good chocolate should be smooth, creamy and melt in your mouth, good snacking cacao should have a satisfying crunch that never melts – whether in your hand, your mouth, your car or even the oven!
CACAO NIBS VS. SNACKING CACAO – WHAT IS THE TEXTURE?
Snacking cacao is crunchy, but it feels much softer than a nib – more like a roasted almond. This is partly because it breaks along the veins of the bean when you chew it and partly because the light caramelized coating keeps them a little softer.
CHOCOLATE VS. SNACKING CACAO – WHY DOESN’T CACAO MELT?
Cacao Beans are the seed of a tropical fruit. Nature made them to thrive in hot, humid climates.
Have you noticed how warm, toasted nuts have an almost juicy quality to them? That’s because nuts have a high fat content and when you warm them, that fat melts like butter.
Now, think of an all natural almond butter made with only one ingredient – almonds. Almonds never melt. But when 100% almond butter sits in your pantry, the warmer the temperature, the more liquid it becomes. Ground very finely, the fat separates from the solids and turn to liquid which is why chocolate melts and snacking cacao doesn’t.
CHOCOLATE VS. SNACKING CACAO – HOW ARE THEY MADE?
The ingredients for good chocolate and snacking cacao are identical. Both start with great cacao that is grown organically, harvested at peak ripeness, fermented carefully and dried slowly in the farming community. Then, the differences begin.
Making chocolate is both incredible art and science. Countless courses and books have been dedicated to the subject. Concisely explained in Megan Giller’s book, Bean-to-Bar: cacao beans are roasted, removed from their husk, finely ground with sugar and molded into bars or bonbons. If only it were that easy!
The art of making snacking cacao is entirely focused on great cacao beans. Ours are delicately removed from their husk, lightly caramelized and roasted. They’re neither ground nor blended, so you can enjoy this super-seed in its complete, natural form.
CHOCOLATE VS. SNACKING CACAO – WHO ARE YOU PAYING TO MAKE YOUR SNACKS?
For chocolate, farmers earn income from growing cacao and delivering it to the port for export. For practical reasons, chocolate is made closer to its end customers because chocolate melts in the warm, tropical climates where cacao grows best. In this scenario, farmers typically make about 3-5% of the total value of your chocolate product because cacao doesn’t have much value until it’s transformed into something you can actually eat!
Snacking cacao does not melt which means it can be made where it’s grown! They can earn much more now because they do more of the work! Our partners currently earn 9% of the value of our snacks by peeling their cacao beans in their community. But, the real difference we’re actively working toward is creating the finished product locally. This will yield them up to 45% of the total value of the snacks for export. If that sounds low to you, we’ll save that for another conversation about shipping and retailing.