Translating to “food of the gods”, cacao is native to the fertile forests of South America, not only famous for its unique taste but also for its therapeutic and nutritional properties. Our organic cacao powder is in its purist form, unaltered by over-processing or added sugars – retaining all the nutritious qualities of the cacao bean.
Cacao trees produce fibrous green, red and purple pods before they ripen to a yellow orange colour. Once ripe, the harvested pods are cracked open by hand and the pulp and seeds (beans) extracted. Next the fermentation stage takes place, which is fundamental to flavour and aroma development, before sun-drying turns the beans to a deep reddish-brown. After toasting, the outer shell is removed, and the ‘cacao nibs’ retained to be used as a snack or milled into a liquid brown mass known as ‘cacao liquor’. Mechanically pressing of cacao liquor results in a solid ‘cacao cake’ which is ground to form our organic cacao powder.
Despite popular belief, ‘cacao’ and ‘cocoa’ are not words that should be used interchangeably. Cacao is a minimally processed product roasted at very low temperatures to preserve its nutrients, whereas cocoa is a less nutrient-dense powder due to the high roasting temperatures and alkalizing process. Rich in theobromine, protein, magnesium and iron, cacao powder is packed with nutrients contributing to the growth and maintenance of muscle mass as well as to normal muscle function and the reduction of tiredness and fatigue.