It’s quite possible that I eat more chocolate than you do. Recently I tried a bar of Raaka Chocolate — and as it happened when I first tasted decent espresso and wine, my tasting scale for good chocolate changed. I came to realize that not all chocolate is milk chocolate and that well-treated cocoa beans are capable of bringing far more sophisticated and prolonged delight than any sugar- and additive-infused bar from a local supermarket. Luckily, Raaka Chocolate, based in Brooklyn, is making all of its bars right here — of course, I couldn’t miss a private tour of the factory.
Cacao beans imported from the Dominican Republic.
A pod harvested from a cacao tree that contains the beans.
Raaka’s beans are single origin — which means all beans are harvested at the same farm.
A special machine removes the bean’s husk and leaves the nib which will become the main ingredient of the chocolate bar
Husks serve as good fertilizer.
The grinders are where beans are crushed along with additional ingredients — each grinder will make 500 chocolate bars.
Three days later the smooth silky mixture is poured into a container and then moved on to the tempering machine.
The tempering machines make sure the chocolate mixture stays even before being poured onto a plastic mold.
Fruits and spices that will be added to the bar.
My favorites: Bourbon Cask Aged, Cabernet Sauvignon, Strawberry Basil, and Coconut Milk.