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?

Smoked Cacao with Sweet Corn (Papua New Guinea, 70%)

Raaka’s first bar made with cacao from Oceana. Most cacao is sun-dried after it is fermented. Due to the rainy climate of Papua New Guinea, farmers there take a different approach. The cocoa beans are dried by lighting fire boxes beneath them, infusing them with smokiness. Grilled sweet corn is one of my all-time favorite summer foods, so this bar attempts to emulate its flavors in chocolate.

Dos Dominicanos (La Red & Finca Elvesia, DR, 64% with 100% center)

Flavor and quality of ingredients are two obvious things that make up a fine chocolate bar, but a chocolate maker cannot afford to overlook texture and ways to make textures interesting. The base for this chocolate is a silky smooth 64% chocolate from the La Red coop of the Dominican Republic. The chocolate is then filled with a 100% crunchy cacao paste made from Finca Elvesia beans, also from the DR. A smooth ripe raspberry exterior flavor, and a crunchy cinnamon, clove-like center make this a chocolate I could eat all day.

Vanilla Rooibos (Dominican Republic & Bolivia, 67%)

Check out the Raaka blog for a vegan s’more recipe. My chocolate of choice for this recipe is our Vanilla Rooibos. It already possesses notes of toasted marshmallow that goes perfect nestled between the real thing and graham crackers. This is a necessary indulgence for all you ‘glampers’ out there.

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Happy tasting!