News

  • First Nibs- August

    August was moving month here at Raaka Chocolate. We’re up and running at our brand new facility in Red Hook, Brooklyn, so stay tuned to our blog for updates about the new space and how you can visit it. This month, we decided to make chocolate that represented our transition into our new factory, as well as our transition from late summer to early fall.   Maple & Nibs (Bolivia, CIAAB, 75%) For this bar we took Bolivian cacao and aged it for six weeks to tone down its umami-ness, then sprinkled in maple sugar from Bascom Family Farms in...

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  • Chocolate Disparity

    A staggering clip from a documentary produced by VPRO Metropolis TV has been circling the Internet this week. The clip shows a cacao farmer from the Ivory Coast tasting chocolate for the first time after many years of farming, highlighting the massive disparity between chocolate consumers and cacao farmers. “Cacao is a multibillion dollar industry, that divides the world between beggars and gluttons”, the narrator explains. He’s sadly on the mark in regards to the majority of mass-produced chocolate; the industry has historically been implicated in human rights violations, including unfair wages and the employment of child labor.  The doc specifically focused on cacao farmers along the Ivory Coast, from where many of the larger chocolate makers source their beans.

     

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  • Indigenous Chocolatiers: The Kuna People

    Both Mayan and Aztec cultures revered cacao as a gift from the gods, consuming it ritualistically, attributing strength and vigor to its ingestion. Modern science has proven their observations to be correct, revealing cocoa’s stimulating properties and beneficial effects on brain and circulatory health. One of the most touted confirmations of cacao as a health food comes from a group of studies on the Kuna people, an indigenous culture of Central American Indians in Panama. Like the Mayans and the Aztecs, the Kuna have long been sipping on several different variations of a cacao based beverage, which they call Siagwa.

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  • Growing Ethically: A Look at Maya Mountain Cacao

    We created Raaka to make chocolate that reflects the human element in every bar. Chocolate, a source of joy for many in the West, is often the product of great injustice throughout the developing world. The chocolate industry has historically exploited the two most crucial and meaningful foundations of its business: the farmers and the land.  In the past decade, several major chocolate producers have been linked to child labor and poor wages, while the monoculture model of the cacao farm has been responsible for rampant deforestation. 

    Maya Mountain Cacao is helping to change the industry.

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  • First Nibs - July!

    It’s summer, so this month's limited edition bars are all about trying to capture nostalgic summer flavors in chocolate form. Campfires, grilling, ripe berries; what’s not to love about summertime? Read more about these delicious bars here!

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  • Celebrate summer with Raaka S'mores!

    It’s officially summer in the Northern Hemisphere, and everyone is looking for ways to stay cool and fresh while enjoying the sunshine.   Since cacao has a melting point of around 95 F (36 C), and softens in the mid to upper 80’s, the summer heat presents some challenges to our daily nibbles. Why not compromise with the heat and enjoy the unique bliss of melting chocolate in the form of a S’more?

    S’more’s are a uniquely American tradition, synonymous with summer campfires and weekend getaways. The S’more was discovered in 1927, when it first appeared in the publication of Tramping and Trailing with The Girl Scouts. The genius behind this idea, of melting rich chocolate with gooey marshmallows between the honeyed crusts of two graham crackers, remains unknown.

    But we do know it sure tastes good with Raaka Chocolate. Read on for a recipe!

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  • Raaka featured on Fox 5 NY!

    Fox 5 NY recently produced a short exposé on the trending "Made in Brooklyn" label, featuring our very own Nate Hodge! Reporter Stacey Delikat presents Raaka as an example of an authentic Brooklyn made food. 

     

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  • Jeanne Calment: 122 Years of Chocolate.

    By her own estimations, Madame Jeanne-Louise Calment, the oldest person who ever lived, enjoyed 2.2lbs of chocolate a week.  Depending on how strong the Madame preferred her cacao, she consumed the equivalent of two bars of Raaka chocolate per day. 

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  • Raaka Box- June

    This month's edition of Raaka Box features tropical and fruity flavors to welcome the arrival of summer. Take a look at June's bars below and explore past month's Raaka box flavors here. Mangosteen & Pomegranate Seeds (Oko Caribe, Dominican Republic, 74%) The month of June brings Mangosteen season upon the New York City area. This is the one time of year when this delicious tropical fruit, native to southeast Asia, is readily available in our city. We grind the tastiest mangosteen we can find right into our chocolate to enhance the natural sweetness of Oko Caribe cacao. This bar contains no cane sugar. Instead, it is sweetened...

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  • Eating Chocolate for Healthy Brains and Happy Hearts

    Cacao is a superfood; although people love its seeds dried, fermented, stone ground and transformed into traditional chocolate treats, don't confuse it for candy. In fact, in the past ten years of extensive research into cacao, scientists have uncovered health benefits previously unknown.

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