The Taste Test: Raw chocolate
Raw chocolate is cacao in its natural state - not mixed with fat, milk or sugar. It isn't heated above 42 degrees Celsius, the point at which its nutrients start to diminish, and it's supposed to be better for you. Organic food chain Just Green has a great selection of raw chocolate - I tested three.
Pulsin' Bliss Bar! Maca Ashwagandha Raw Chocolate HK$25 for 50 grams
This snack bar has 12 per cent raw cocoa and two exotic nutrients: maca - an ancient Peruvian superfood said to increase stamina, boost libido and combat fatigue - and ashwagandha, a herb also known as "Indian ginseng", said to help learning and memory. Verdict: bliss it's not. Pretty bland and dry, it tastes like protein bars.
The Raw Chocolate Co Raw Chocolate with mint & xylitol HK$18 for 22 grams
A skinny slab that's made with cocoa mass, virgin cocoa butter and mint oil. It's sweetened with natural birch-derived, tooth-friendly xylitol. Verdict: refreshing and light on the palate, but a bit of creaminess would be appreciated - it melts in your mouth almost instantly.
Organic Mulu Dark Raw Chocolate HK$48 for 74 grams
Raw cocoa butter, raw agave nectar, raw cocoa powder, sunflower lecithin (a fatty substance found in sunflower seeds) and ground vanilla are combined to make this "handcrafted" block. Verdict: the best of the three, it has a texture closest to cooked chocolate. Not bitter, despite having minimum 70 per cent cocoa solids.