News / raaka

  • 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.

    From a Western perspective, it's both odd and mouthwatering to think of chocolate as a culinary staple. The bitter, stimulating bean primarily manifests itself as a confectionary bar which, in this form alone, demonstrates considerable range and complexity, enjoying harmonious relationships with teasea salt, and even bourbon. However, historically speaking, the concept of “chocolate” is relatively new. For much of this loving and fruitful relationship between people and the bean, cacao has been enjoyed as a ceremonial elixir.From a Western perspective, it's both odd and mouthwatering to think of chocolate as a culinary staple. The bitter, stimulating bean primarily manifests itself as a confectionary bar which, in this form alone, demonstrates considerable range and complexity, enjoying harmonious relationships with teasea salt, and even bourbon. However, historically speaking, the concept of “chocolate” is relatively new. For much of this loving and fruitful relationship between people and the bean, cacao has been enjoyed as a ceremonial elixir.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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  • 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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  • Raaka Box- Ahoy May-Tea!

    This month's edition of Raaka Box features herbal and green teas from around the globe. To complement the return of the sun, we're bring you some fun and lively chocolates: Bolivian cacao paired with Genmaicha tea, and a hibiscus and blueberry blend. Take a look at May's bars below and explore past months' Raaka box flavors here.

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  • Trip to Belize, Tasting the Food of the Gods

    A couple of weeks ago we returned from an inspiring trip to Belize. In tropical paradise, Cotton Tree Lodge and Taza Chocolate combined forces to host an educational chocolate week highlighting local cacao production. There we met with farmers and Maya Mountain Cacao and learned what the "food of gods" tastes like.

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  • Raaka Box- Herbaceous April

    This month's edition of Raaka Box features herbs and fruits native to Southeast AsiaAs the season unfolds, we’ve decided to bring you floral and citrus flavors that remind us of the abundance of spring. Take a look at April's bars below and explore past month's Raaka box flavors here.
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