I am almost sorry to raise the subject again but I recently came across Sungods Superfoods (www.sungodsuperfoods.com.au
) being flogged in my local supermarket. Raw cacao nibs from Bali was the product, overpriced and claiming to cure all that ails ya. Anyway, curious, i bought some as i wanted to find out how raw we are talking. I have had a few experiences with Bali cacao, a nice fermented batch which made some pretty nice chocolate and some absolute shit, mould covered unfermented beans.....just wash the pulp off and dry, apparently quite common in Indo. Tasting, then roasting and tasting led me to the conclusion that the nibs were unfermented and unroasted. Then i thought what is all the hoo ha about raw chocolate being fermented, who cares if fermentation goes too hot, just skip a step, wash the pulp straight off the bean, dry the sucker and you are done. You have raw cacao without having to quibble about the fermentation temperature with the added bonus of not having exposed the beans to a multitude of unchecked possibly pathogenic microorganisms and as far as i can tell it still tastes aweful, so perfect!
So are there two catagories of 'raw cacao'? Which is better, dare i say 'raw-er'?
I can probably have a go at this, the unfermented would be raw-er, but the fermented probably tastes marginally better. But as for more heath-filled, fermentation probably breaks down the polyphenols a bit, so do we want shorter chains or longer?