Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Raw foods - unique flavours - cacao tasting, the 720 experiment

One thing to bear in mind when making raw recipes is that duplicating these recipes is not as easy as with the conventional cooked foods that we are used to. Each time you make something it will taste slightly different.

Often with cooked foods, for one.. many of the ingredients are processed and always taste the same.. if they are not artificial ingredients, chemical substances, then they are often bleached out - flour, sugar.. and at the very least, if you are using fresh vegetables, like in a soup for instance, the flavour is cooked out & reintroduced with flavourings, which are again often chemical flavourings. Not always.. and the fresher and more organic and the amount a food is cooked are all factors.

A perfect example of this is the cacao bean. I was really interested in this.. Michael (Chocosol) gets beans from different growers and different harvests. These and different fermentation processes make a big difference in flavour. He was telling me yesterday all the things which can change the flavour of the beans:
- different trees growing alongside the the cacao trees, different crops: ie: bananas, coffee, cinnamon.
-type of soil
-genetic diversity in the parcel of land
-ambient temperature during fermentation
-quantity of fermentation: how many kilos, how many days, etc
-stirring - how often
-material used during fermentation - for example a banana lined wooden barrel is better than it being lined with a nylon sack.
-washing or not washing
-sun-drying techniques
-age of tree
-if it was harvested during a dry or rainy season
-if there is more pulp in the pod, the beans will have a more fruity taste.

Cacao beans often have a nutty, fruity or winey taste. Nutty beans have often been roasted unevenly and the shell doesn't come off as easily - the fermentation process loosens the shell. The fruity beans may have been overfermented. A bean with a winey flavour is perfectly fermented - very high-quality. Michael is definitely a chocolate sommelier!
(& I get free cacao-tasting lessons..! : )

All raw foods are like this. Have you ever noticed how one strawberry doesn't taste like the next one.. even from the same patch or box. No two tomatoes taste alike. You notice this more and more as you go raw as 1- your taste buds get more refined and 2- you tend to eat more organic flavourful foods.

I wanted to start this post with a video.. Chocosol Chronicles - 720 Experiment - made by Matthieu - my Chocosol raw buddy. However, embedding is disabled so I can only put in the link to go watch it there.

pic from

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