Chocolatiers in America: Fine & Raw

Goodlifer: Chocolatiers in America: Fine & Raw

If chocolate wasn’t good for you, then why would it taste so darn good? Fine & Raw chocolate may be as close to a health food as they come. Using only natural ingredients such as coconut oil, raw cacao powder, Himalayan sea salt and blue agave nectar, chocolatier Daniel Sklaar carefully crafts each bonbon by hand in his Brooklyn loft.

Sklaar, a South African former financial analyst studied at the French Culinary institute and started Fine & Raw with a mission “to save the world through silliness and chocolate.”

Chocolatier Daniel Sklaar.

Chocolatier Daniel Sklaar. Photo via Meetup.

Silliness aside, raw chocolate is a relatively new culinary phenomenon, but one that he is extremely enthusiastic about. In an interview with CoolHunting, Sklaar talks about the health benefits of Cacao.

“Scientific studies have shown that raw cacao is the number one food source of magnesium and antioxidants. Raw cacao has up to five times more antioxidants than regular dark chocolate. Over 300 other elements have been found in cacao. Among them are phenylethylamine (which scientists believe is released when you are in love or at the very least releases endorphins in the brain and produces a mild feeling of euphoria); tryptophan (the precursor to serotonin), theobromine and anandamine (the bliss chemical). Other benefits worth mentioning are the aphrodisiac and appetite suppressant qualities.”

Besides being very tasty, raw cocoa has proven health benefits.

Besides being very tasty, raw cocoa has many proven health benefits. Photo by who.log.why, Creative Commons.

The two-piece bonbon is $8. Not enough? Then try the eight piece box ($28).

The two-piece bonbon is $8. Not enough? Then try the eight piece box ($28). Photo via Vegetarian Organic Blog.

Raw chocolate bars: 78% + cacao nibs, rasberry, 78% & lucuma & vanilla.

Raw chocolate bars: 78% + cacao nibs, rasberry, 78% & lucuma & vanilla.

The chocolate is mixed together over low heat, in order to maintain the nutritional qualities of all the raw ingredients, bringing the end-product far from it’s highly processed mass-produced drugstore equivalent. No sugar or dairy is used. Upon hearing about Fine & Raw chocolates, my vegan friends all jumped for joy and collectively began salivating at the promise of raw, vegan chocolate that tastes as good, if not better, than regular chocolate. Since Fine & Raw chocolate is raw and fresh, it is also perishable and should be refrigerated, or, better yet, enjoyed immediately, perhaps in place of lunch.

Fine & Raw bonbons, healthy vegan chocolate.

Fine & Raw bonbons, healthy vegan chocolate. Photo by Stephanie Gussin, via Time Out New York.

Order online, or, if you live in the NYC area, visit one of these stores.

About author
A designer by trade, Johanna has always had a passion for storytelling. Born and raised in Sweden, she's lived and worked in Miami, Brooklyn and, currently, Ojai, CA. She started Goodlifer in 2008 to offer a positive outlook for the future and share great stories, discoveries, thoughts, tips and reflections around her idea of the Good Life. Johanna loves kale, wishes she had a greener thumb, and thinks everything is just a tad bit better with champagne (or green juice).
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  1. amen to that, as i sit here reading this article while eating my green and blacks. i will have to rush order some of those raw bars sooner than later 🙂

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