Want to put a smile on my face? Hand me a dark-chocolate bar I’ve never tried before. Better yet, a quirky raw, organic bar like this 72% Midnight from Fearless Chocolate. That’s just what my husband did when he returned from a business trip to Vegas, where he enjoyed lunch at GoRaw Cafe, purveyor of Fearless Chocolate.
Company owner Jordan Schuster founded Fearless Chocolate only a few years ago, in San Francisco–a neighbor to our beloved Scharffen Berger and the popular Ghirardelli. What makes Fearless Chocolate different is that it is made with raw cacao—aka unroasted. The package states that the cacao is prepared at a low heat (under 118 degrees), “preserving the natural nutrients, enzymes, amino acids and antioxidents.” It is also sweetened with rapadura, essentially pure dried sugarcane juice, a traditional sweetener common in Latin American countries such as Brazil and Venezuela (where it is known as papelón) and the Caribbean.
What’s odder (and irresistibly charming) is that the packaging (and website) appear as nothing fancier than chalkboard drawings, underscoring the bar’s back-to-basics organic nature.
When I opened it, I noticed the bar is die-cut to suggest a bite has taken from it. The idea behind this is explained as follows: “this bite is given to folks who need to eat chocolate as much as you.” When I checked the website, it would seem that no giving has been done to date, although the company requests recipient nominations. Hmm, maybe locate pre-menstrual tension sufferers who would/could never pay $5.98 for a single chocolate bar? (Yes, you read that correctly. SIX bucks!) Or maybe package up those little bites for wee trick-or-treaters on a raw diet, who are never able to enjoy even a fraction of their loot?
But what does it taste like? It tastes like raw cacao, folks, and that’s a big compliment. My bar had no signs of bloom. It did not snap as sharply as a fine, roasted counterpart might, however. Its scent is earthy and nutty, and I could detect its included cinnamon, sea salt and vanilla. The texture is very grainy, from start to finish; This is to be expected, considering its production process.
Only a few squares in, and I am delighted by its wholesomeness and balanced composition. I am a person who keeps a bag of raw, organic cacao powder in the fridge, stirring it into plain yogurt with agave nectar at alarmingly frequent rates, so perhaps I am biased. My overall impression is that is a wonderfully delicious and nutritious treat. Surprisingly low in calories and sugar content, I daresay it’s pretty low-glycemic, although bars sweetened with agave are available by special order. Fearless Chocolate also offers the following varieties: Nice Rice Milk, Mynt, and Baanaanaa Waalnut, but for some mysterious reason, you can’t order from the Fearless website! And, it’s worthwhile to note that the company blog is powered by WordPress.