If you've known me for a second, then you know I love chocolate.
And it's actually a family thing.
The Girard family is known for their love of See's Candy (you better believe I jumped for joy when they opened their first store in NYC). We even joke that a right of passage in our family is to be able to identify the interior of each candy before biting into it.
So my love for chocolate and it's raw form, Cacao, runs through my blood and ancestry.
Cacao has been used by the Mayan and Aztecan cultures for centuries as a ceremonial beverage to help increase longevity and emotional connection. In fact, the active ingredient,
Theobroma, translates to "food of the gods".
And we may already be familiar with the many health benefits of chocolate from the powerful antioxidants which help to reverse the signs of aging, to its’ ability to lower blood pressure.
But did you know that cacao comes from the seeds of a beautiful plant?
Grown in the jungle, what we know as chocolate is actually a processed product which comes after grinding the dried seeds of the cacao plant into a paste and adding sugar.
The ancient cultures would combine the rich paste with water, spices and honey
for a delicious and decadent beverage.
Many have asked if they can substitute Cocoa Powder while making this beverage.
The truth is that to make the powder much of the fat, is removed. But many of the antioxidants and minerals within cacao are fat soluble and so the fat which is included in a raw cacao paste actually helps us digest and metabolize the ingredients a bit better.
I love what Florencia Fridman has created with her company Cacao Lab, bringing not only delicious cacao to the world, but also ceremonies rich with history, song, stories and intention.
I highly recommend trying out one of her expertly blended cacao's
for your at home routine or family ritual.
Cacao is meant to be sipped and savored.
Cacao asks us to slow down and consider that long chain of
farmers and merchants who brought us this gift.
Cacao is an experience to be shared.