A while ago I got fairly in to how chocolate is actually made. If you think about it, bars of chocolate are actually pretty weird things. I mean the main ingredient in them (unless it’s sugar… blegh) is a bean, it looks like a bean, but somehow inbetween it getting off the tree and into our supermarkets it magically starts to look like something completely inorganic, not that it ever stops looking delicious of course, it just weirds me out a little bit that we eat it all the time and don’t think of it as a bean product. It’s not especially surprising once you know that the beans get fermented, dried out, roasted, shelled, ground down into liquor, separated, reconstituted, mixed with whatever else they feel like adding and then shaped into bars that the finished product doesn’t really have any resemblance to the raw material.

I love ingredients (and I will get back to the point eventually). Sounds a little funny when you say it, but I know what I mean and hopefully you do to. Can you get really excited about a potato or a type of wheat or a spice or a pumpkin or getting to chose your pig? Do you love the idea of getting something whole and superfresh just so you can hold it and feel it whilst you think about something to do with every single little bit of it? When you cook do you constantly taste everything (meat, vegetables, marinade, spices) at every stage before it goes in because it looks so damn amazing? If you thought “yes, I do” at any stage there then you probably love ingredients too. So as much as I love chocolate as an ingredient, it doesn’t appeal to me anywhere near as much as getting my hands on a whole load of fresh cocoa beans and eating them raw and possibly finding them disgusting and then finding loads of things to do with them.

I’ve been looking for chocolate things that have had the minimum of preparation possible for a while now just to see what it’s like (the closest I’ve managed to get is nibs and they are lovely) so I was really excited when today I found raw cacao beans on sale in the UK!!! Just a month ago they released a new range of chocolate bars too made from unroasted beans and agave syrup instead of refined sugar… 100% pure awesome! They come from a health food site, but don’t be put off; Jess Michael, who owns the business has a love of chocolate that is pure and fabulous and after reading her blog I’m honestly really very inspired. She’s only 24, but has a fantastic following and a successful business and is completely comitted to and in love with with what she does.

Makes me almost want to try out her diet (diet as in “the diet of an anteater is ants” sort and not the “lose 50 pounds in 50 days with our eat-nothing-but-rice-pudding program” sort)… but not quite. It does remind me a bit of the detox program I did at uni every month or so if the alcohol was starting to feel bad, just water on the first day, add in fresh unpasteurised fruit juice for the next, fresh fruit on the next, raw vegetables on the last; it felt amazing and doing that forever sounds pretty cool. She doesn’t have the retox stage where you go to formal on the last day of the detox and get horrifically wasted on one glass of wine before eating everyone’s puddings, pity. I’d also miss stock and meat and fried and braised and baked and stewed and roasted and grilled too much to do it.

When I get a job I’m going to go on the biggest spending spree ever on her site and see when the next Raw Chocolate Goddess Training is, then I can be a goddess too!

“A lady smiled at me when I stopped to let her cross the zebra crossing today. Even though it was the law for me to stop (I do often stop to let people cross the road even when it’s optional) she made my day. She looked so grateful, confident and full of love. Crossing paths was a total pleasure. I wonder how she would feel if she knew she made my day so great. It really reinforces by belief to be allowed to feel joyful and happy, regardless of how people at work/ the supermarket / the gym seem to come across. By doing so, you may just change someone’s day…”

Hell yeah, she’s great!

Sadly there are no photos because I’m shamelessly shamelessly lazy. I only woke up at three and then after eating breakfast/lunch/tea, watching the Grand National and putting together the new barbeque all the decent light was gone. Sometimes I wonder if my going to bed at 6am waking up at 3pm sleep pattern is a good idea or not, then I try to get out of bed earlier and realise what a good idea it really is.