Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fine Naturals has a Fine Product!


Playing Ketchup with Chocolate...punny, no?

I am still catching up on product reviews and the next one is for the Premium Dark Organic Cacao Powder from Fine Naturals. I really do feel bad about how long this has taken for me to review. I received the product back in September 2015, used it, then got really sick and had to focus on surviving. Yes, that is an excuse, but it does the company no good. I have good intentions when I agree to do something, like test and review a product, but I also have a dismal sense of how long something will take for me to complete. Add in the inconsistencies of life, my ADHD brain, mix well and wait... Okay, enough of my little pity party and onto the review!

I have to say that the interactions I had with the company showed them to posses not only patience for dealing with me, but integrity and the pride in a good product.

Cacao powder is not something you will readily find in local grocery stores, well known recipes or everyday life. It is on its way to the mainstream and I am glad. Cacao powder is different from Cocoa powder in more ways than just spelling. According to iquitsugar.com the main difference is how the fruit is treated.
Raw cacao is made by cold-pressing unroasted cocoa beans. The process keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa and removes the fat (cacao butter). Cocoa looks the same but it's not. Cocoa powder is raw cacao that's been roasted at high temperatures.
You'll find parallel situations when looking at olive oil (cold pressed, extra virgin, etc.), other nut and grain oils, coffee and more. So, why should you care? Well, I care because of the flavor. In my "oh-so-not-scientific" testing, I conclude that there is more flavor that my tongue can taste when using Cacao Powder vs Cocoa Powder. I like making hot chocolate with Cacao, but hot Cocoa (made with the same amount of hot water and stevia based sweetner) leaves a bitter aftertaste in my mouth. I have not had the time to bake with Cacao vs Cocoa powders, but I'm pretty sure the same would happen.

My next conquest is using it in savory applications like a mole or a bbq dry rub. I wonder if ketchup can be made with a chocolate ingredient. Mole styled meatloaf? Yummm!

Disclaimer: I received this product at a discount in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.