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News Sweets What's New

Introducing A New Kind of Chocolate Using 100 Percent Of The Cacao Fruit

Barry Callebaut Group, the same company that debuted a new fourth kind of chocolate back in 2017 called ruby chocolate, has just unveiled another new chocolate type that is a game changer in respects to sustainability and nutrition. Dubbed WholeFruit chocolate, this new type utilizes 100 percent of the cacao fruit.

For context, chocolate producers have used just 30 percent of the cacao fruit, which for the most part were the seeds or beans. The rest of the fruit, along with the husk and juice were junked and thrown out. “We take everything that’s in the fruit and utilize it in different products which are fresh and fruity,” commented Peter Boone, Barry Callebaut president and CEO of the Americas.”

Boone continues, “It’s also nutritious as we take advantage of all the nutrients in the cacao fruit. We have a bold commitment to work with smaller chocolate farms around the world. We want to pull them out of poverty by working with them on how to create, in the end, the farm of the future. Part of that is using the whole fruit of the cacao from their farms. So overall, we hope this brings prosperity to smaller farms as well as reduce the risk of child labor and puts less pressure on the forests affected by chocolate production.”

As the issue of sustainability in various retail sectors has inserted itself in the forefront of concern, as well as the public being more aware of their own consumption habits, WholeFruit chocolate’s hopes to address such concerns are a step in the right direction. Barry Callebaut’s Forever Chocolate initiative ensures to fulfill that plan.

In terms of taste, with the whole cacao fruit being used, the chocolate yielded a flavor akin to dark chocolate, with a fresh, fruitier complexity to it. The milk chocolate variety of the WholeFruit had the same similar characteristics in flavor, but with a more velvety texture and mouthfeel.

With regard to availability, 30 of the world’s top chocolatiers, pastry chefs, and artisans will have access to WholeFruit in May 2020. A wider launch for industrial producers is anticipated in 2021, with public retail soon thereafter.

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Drinks Fast Food

Starbucks Just Launched A Protein Cold Brew That’s Entirely Plant-Based

It appears Starbucks is trying to help you with those gains, as the coffee chain just released a duo of protein-packed cold brew slushes nationwide. The two new flavors are the Almond Protein Blended Cold Brew and the Cacao Protein Cold Brew.

Starbucks’ Almond Protein Cold Brew boasts a blend of the chain’s slow-steeped cold brew along withe Almond milk, plant-based protein, almond butter, and a banana date fruit blend over ice.

The Cacao Protein Blended Cold Brew features cacao powder, cold brew coffee, coconut milk, plant-based protein, and a banana date fruit blend over ice.

Each beverage has about 10-12 grams of pea and brown rice protein.

Photo Courtesy of Starbucks

I grabbed a couple from the Starbucks next door for my fellow coworkers to sip on.

“I think it’s a tastier, pricier alternative to post-workout protein mixes, which can be incredibly bitter and often taste very much like the flavoring agents they use,” said Constatine Spyrou. “This tastes clean, natural, and less bitter.”

He also added that he’d be happy swapping out protein powders at the gym for one of these post-workout, he’d just rather the beverage had double the amount of protein offered.

“It tasted like a reduced sugar banana shake,” said Ricky Zollinger, video producer and all around buff guy. “If I were to drink it, I would probably do it before a workout. Banana is a good source of energy and would also wake me up.”

Those who aren’t familiar with the taste of protein shakes may be surprised by the initial bitterness behind the beverage. Myself, the taste of the almond flavor definitely took me by surprise, but quickly grew on me the more I tried it.

Starbucks says the drinks will only be available for a limited time while supplies last. This will probably one of the final menu additions before the return of Pumpkin Spice items.

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Tastemade/Snapchat

15 Fun Facts You Probably Never Knew About Chocolate

If you have a stash of Hershey’s kisses in your bedside table or do thorough research on which dark chocolate is best for your heart, then you probably consider yourself a chocolate aficionado – or, at least, a super fan. But how much do you really know about the melt-in-your mouth candy we all adore or the ancient bean from whence it came? We’re about to find out. Here are 15 things you probably didn’t know about chocolate.

It’s technically a vegetable

Milk and dark chocolate come from the cacao bean, which grows on the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), an evergreen from the family Malvaceae (other members of the family include okra and cotton). This makes the most important part of the sweet treat a veggie. Eating your daily vegetables just got a whole lot easier.

White chocolate isn’t really chocolate

White chocolate truffles #whitechocolate #chocolates #chocolates

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Sorry, white chocolate lovers. Since this extra-sweet variety doesn’t contain cocoa solids or chocolate liquor, it isn’t chocolate in the strict sense. However, it does contain parts of the cacao bean — mainly cocoa butter — so that counts a little bit.

Cacao was once used as currency

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The cacao bean is native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. Archeologists say the ancient inhabitants of these areas started cultivating the bean as far back as 1900 BCE and that the valuable bean was used as currency in the Aztec society. Cacao beans would be traded for luxury items like jade and ceremonial feathers, or everyday items such as food and clothes.

Most cacao beans are now grown in Africa

Despite its Central American roots, nowadays most cacao (nearly 70% of the world’s supply) comes from Africa. The Ivory Coast is the largest single producer, providing about 30 percent of all the world’s cacao.

Napoleon loved chocolate

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The French leader demanded that chocolate be made available to him and his senior advisers even during intense military campaigns. He was famously known to choose chocolate over coffee when he worked late at night, often enjoying the sweet until 2 or 3 a.m.

Milk chocolate was invented almost 4,000 years after chocolate was first cultivated

The Mayans and Aztecs were enjoying the bitter cacao bean long before the dawn of modern society, but that “chocolate” is nothing like a Hershey bar you’d go pick up at the store. The most popular chocolate in the modern world (although its darker counterpart has become extremely trendy recently) is milk chocolate – however, this wasn’t invented until 3,600 years after ancient civilizations started enjoying cacao.

Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter created the tasty treat in 1875 after eight years of trying to make his recipe work. Condensed milk ended up being the key ingredient he was missing.

The invention of the first chocolate bar started a manufacturing empire


Credit: Flickr

In 1847, British chocolate maker Joseph Fry found a way to mix the ingredients of cocoa powder, sugar and cocoa to manufacture a paste that could then be molded into a chocolate bar unlike anything the world had seen before. Demand was immediately high, and the Fry Chocolate Factory in Bristol, England began pumping out the bars. In the following decades, over 220 innovative chocolate products were introduced to the masses, including production of the first chocolate Easter egg in UK in 1873 and the Fry’s Turkish Delight (or Fry’s Turkish bar) in 1914. In 1896, the firm became a registered private company and was run by the Fry family, with Joseph Storrs Fry II, grandson of the first Joseph Storrs Fry, as Chairman.

Hot chocolate was the first chocolate treat

But, to be fair, it wasn’t quite the frothy, delicious drink we know today. The OG hot chocolate was an Aztec invention called xocolatl, which means “bitter water.” The drink was made with cacao beans, vanilla, and chili peppers and was thought to help battle fatigue. When Columbus and his men brought cacao beans back to Europe, sugar was then added to the drink, helping it to become popular throughout modern society. Now we get to watch first hand as YouTuber wilmo55 shows us a behind-the-scenes look at how this ancient beverage was prepared centuries ago. We’re not sure how well xocolatl would go over in our AS (After Starbucks) age, but we know that we owe a lot to this ancient drink.

Chocolate inspired the invention of the microwave

The thing that heats up so many of our frozen dinners and takeout leftovers – we owe it all to a little bit of melted chocolate. About 70 years ago, Raytheon engineer Percy Spencer was testing military-grade magnetron (or really intense magnets) when legend has it the heat made the chocolate bar in his pocket melt. Fascinated, Spencer brought popcorn kernels into the office next day and put them by the same heat, creating the first ever batch of microwave popcorn. Thanks to his melted snack, the microwave oven was born. Check out this How Stuff Works video to get the whole history on our favorite appliance.

Cacao trees can live to be 200 years old

It probably sounds impressive that these ancient trees, which have been revered as “gifts from the gods,” can live to be centuries old. Seems fitting, right? Unfortunately, there is an interesting catch. Although these trees can live to be hundreds of years old, they old produce cacao beans for 25 years of that time. Talk about delicious irony.

Chocolate has a special melting point

When modern day chocolatiers were trying to find a way to market candy that wouldn’t melt in the consumer’s pocket, they discovered the trick was to make the melting point right below the human body temperature. Chocolate is the only edible substance to melt between 85-93° F, which is why it melts so easily on your tongue; it has a specially designed “mouthfeel” unlike any substance on earth, somewhere between solid and liquid. Want to learn how to melt chocolate correctly? Then you need this quick video tutorial from Everyday Food to feel like a honest-to-goodness chocolatier.

There’s now a chocolate that can withstand intense temperatures

Food scientists have been laboring for decades to come up with chocolate that won’t melt in the higher temperatures, to accommodate warmer places around the world. In 2012, Cadbury announced that they were developing a technique for formulating a bar that could withstand very high temperatures – up to 104 °F. By grinding the sugar down to a smaller particle size and reducing the fat content, Cadbury’s new chocolate can withstand much higher temperatures without liquefying. The company hopes to introduce the product in Africa and Brazil in the future.

Chocolate helped the Allies win World War II

Granted, there was a lot more that won the war than eating chocolate, but historians credit the chocolate rations Hershey provided to the troops as a source of positive morale and energy. The Hershey Chocolate company was approached in 1937 about creating a specially designed bar just for U.S. Army emergency rations. According to Hershey’s chief chemist Sam Hinkle, the U.S. government had just four requests about their new chocolate bars: they had to weigh 4 ounces, be high in energy, withstand high temperatures and “taste a little better than a boiled potato.” According to some soldiers, the taste of a boiled potato was preferred to these ration bars, but the treat had a knack for picking up the soldier’s energy and spirits.

It shares some similarities with marijuana

The cacao bean has this nifty concoction of chemicals in it, a mixture that really sets off the pleasure centers in our brain (which is why we love/crave chocolate constantly). One of the big parts of that mixture is a chemical known as anandamide, which activates dopamine receptors and consequently, makes us happy. The most closely related compound to this chemical is THC, which is the main constituent of cannabis and has a similar effect in the brain.

Switzerland consumes the most chocolate per year

According to U.S. News, Switzerland is the #1 purchaser of chocolate in the world. The people of Switzerland purchased 18.1 lbs. of chocolate (yes, per person) in 2015 and that number went up to 19.8 in 2016. On the other hand, the U.S. wasn’t in the Top 10 in 2015 and broke in at #9 last year, with Americans buying 9.5 lbs. of chocolate for themselves in 2016. Honestly? We were expecting a lot more.

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Products

Why Wait for Marriage? You Can Have This Virgin Chocolate Bar Now

Screenshot 2015-02-20 at 11.55.03 AM

A Brooklyn start-up is flipping the sinful, decadence typically associated with chocolate and creating something purer.

Raaka Chocolate makes their hipster artisanal chocolate with virgin cacao beans (un-roasted, hence the “virgin” branding), which apparently preserves their flavor and antioxidant properties.

Raaka is Finnish for “raw,” but you should use protection if you’re trying this chocolate. Most people find the taste to be a little off because the majority of processed chocolate on the market contains roasted beans (cocoa), but Raaka’s bars (sweetened with maple sugar or seasoned with ingredients like sea salt and tea) have been growing in popularity.

The chocolate is available in stores throughout the US, but chocolate lovers can also subscribe to a monthly subscription service starting at about $25. Subscribers can test out two new bar flavors and receive an additional classic bar each month.

The company strives for an equitable business model throughout their supply chain, which pays cacao farmers at least $500 more than the market price, resulting in an $8 chocolate bar, according to Food Navigator USA.

This wouldn’t be the first (or last) time someone paid a little more for a virgin.

Update 3:30 p.m. A previous version of this article inaccurately added honey as an additional ingredient used to sweeten Raaka’s chocolate. Additionally, William Mullan (Marketing Manager at Raaka) offered a clarifying statement in regards to the chocolate’s “off” flavor in comparison to more familiar chocolate bars:

“[Raaka Chocolate] tastes stronger, bolder, with the high notes of flavor standing out, which can get lost in the roast.”

 

 

Categories
Products

This Chocolate-Flavored Toothpaste Will Make You $100 Poorer

toothpaste-chocolate

Are you willing to pay up to $100 for chocolate flavored toothpaste? Theodent thinks so. The oral care company’s toothpaste is made with a patented substance derived from the cacao plant.  The substance, called rennou, is supposedly non-toxic, safe for kids, and not harmful if swallowed. Best of all, since it’s derived from cacao, it makes your tooth-brushing taste like dessert.

The toothpaste is fluoride free, using theobromine, calcium, and phosphate to create a natural alternative. Theodent also claims that these compounds not only clean teeth, but actually build up your enamel, making your pearly whites even stronger. Oh boy, ma!

As for why it costs such a steep price remains to be seen. The classic toothpaste claims to only cost $10, but is currently unavailable for purchase on Theodent website. Conveniently, the Theodent 300 — the extra strength paste with extra high doses of rennou — costs $99.99. Packs quickly raise the price even higher.

So what do you think? Is it worth it to have your breath taste faintly like chocolate all the time?

Theodent Toothpaste $99 and up

H/T  RocketNews

 

Categories
Nightlife

Popcorn Butter-Washed Cocktails, Pizza-Puffed Pasta and More Arousing Snacks at PLAY

To be honest, I was a little skeptical when I heard that PLAY,  a bar and lounge, opened as an extension of the Museum of Sex. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that it markets itself as a “transformative experience that arouses the senses.”  I envisioned dark corners and multicolored, er, paraphernalia.

Oh, how wrong I was, and how happy I was to be wrong.  The space is dark but inviting, leather couches and 70’s era chairs line the walls. This is a place to relax and let the music slide over you.  Jim Kearns, of Balthazar, Dumont, Pegu club and Death & Co., have created what can only be described as a mindf$%@ of flavors in various fancy glasses.

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The Bearing Straight

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Walking straight might be a bit difficult after this one.  Mezcal, nigori sake, kiuchi no shizuku (an oak-aged wine), ginger, yuzu, and a salted umeboshi plum is one of the strangest combinations you will find here.  It’s smoky and spicy, with a smoothness that lingers and, quite frankly, makes you want to make out with anyone in sight — it’s that good.  So, way to go on that one, PLAY.

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The Rosebud

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With gin, St. Germain, rose-infused vermouth, ginger, and lemon, this drink was subtle, the rose coming in through the nose at the end.

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Drive-In Saturday

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This conjures up the taste and experience of being at the movies. Popcorn butter-washed White Dog mixed with pharmacy cola and salt tastes like throwing back a handful of kernels and washing it down with a Coke.

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A Clear Day In Normandy

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This is the total opposite of the Drive-In, with a mix of apple eau de vie, grapefruit bitters, and Lairds applejack. It tastes like biting into a crisp, alcoholic apple and I wish this grew on trees.

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70% Cacao

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This one’s a doozy made with rum, bourbon, strawberry liqueur, crème de cacao, Campari, Tri-Star, and mole bitters for an intensely sweet, somewhat smoky and spicy drink.  At first it tasted a bit like Robitussin, but it quickly grew on me after sipping the others. This is definitely a second drink drink.

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A bar wouldn’t be worth going to if there wasn’t any good food. Chef Ben Roche informed us that after debating on whether to make everything on the menu look like genitals or not, he decided to play with all the senses — mixing textures and tastes into delectable morsels.

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Concentrated Popcorn

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Popcorn coated with brown butter and cheddar cheese topped with a dash of hops powder is funky, salty, and highly addictive.

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Szechuan Peanuts

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These are my new favorite snack, covered in Szechuan pepper, chili, and served with cilantro and micro greens. Each bite is different, and by the end of the bowl (because you’ll end up eating the entire bowl) your tongue is numb.

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Yuba Chips

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These crisp chips are made from the skin that rises to the top of the pot when tofu is made.  They’re spicy and insanely crunchy — hands down the best chips you’ve ever had thanks to a sprinkling of nori and togarashi.

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Pizza-Puffed Pasta

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This, of all the bar snacks, is a killer, genius idea.  Overcooked pasta is fried so it puffs up crisp, then tossed in a spice mix that tastes like tomato, garlic, oregano, burnt crust, and mozzarella cheese. Perfection.

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Beef Tongue

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If you need more than bar snacks, get some tongue. Crisp chunks of beef tongue, tasting like the beefiest beef you ever had,  are plated with fried cauliflower, cauliflower puree, and chimichurri.

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Rabbit Focaccia 

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This focaccia was brought out last minute by Roche, who told us we couldn’t leave without trying it. Oh my God, was he right. The bread is studded with pieces of homemade comfit rabbit leg, topped with a white gazpacho made from almonds, and served with split grapes.  It’s unassuming, but it whacks you right over the head with fatty rabbit flavor, cut through by the richness of the almonds, which in turn is cut through by the grapes. It’s a perfect trio, and everything’s in-sync.

After ending on that phenomenal note, I’m definitely heading back soon to see what else PLAY has up its stocking.

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PLAY

1 East 27th Street

New York, NY 10016