Valentine's Day is long gone, but my craving for sweets is not. During a recent trip to San Francisco's Ferry Building, I found myself perusing the tiny raw-food section of Farm Fresh to You, one of the market place's many vendors. The gourmet food items here are a little costly, but I consider myslef fortunate to have access to high-quality raw snacks inside one of my favorite places on earth. I picked up two sweet treats--both chocolate, but not both good.
"L" is for the "Leftovers" you'll have if you buy this.
The packaging of the Dark Cacao L.O.V.E. Cup was attractive, featuring what looked like the most delicious candy cup I had ever seen. Could this really be raw? The wrapping told me the L.O.V.E. Cup was Live Organice Vegan Euphoria, but really, it was Loathsome, Overpriced, Vile and . . . Ew.What made it so gross? The raw cacao. Have you ever had raw cacao? I had my first experience years ago when I bought a bag from Uwajimaya thinking, "Wow! I just bought a huge bag of raw cacao beans! This is going to be awesome!" It wasn't. Unprocessed cacao is extremely bitter and tastes similar to how I imagine eating tree bark. If not combined with something to balance the flavor, it just plain sucks. That's the problem I had with the (I'm not in) L.O.V.E. Cup--there was too much cacao. The only other ingredient is agave, and not enough of it to make this candy taste like, well, candy! The initial pleasant taste turned funky pretty quickly, sending memories of that big bag of cacao racing through my head. This raw snack was not enjoyable, but I've had worse.
I've never been swayed by the words L.O.V.E. (that's a lie), which is probably why I had the good sense to also pick up a Go Fudge Brownie , made by the same company that makes one of my favorite raw treats, the Chia Nopal Bar. The brownie was very similar to the packaged brownies I used to buy at 7-Eleven, with the addition of cacao. Often, hardcore raw chocolate desserts have a very date-tastic or coconut flavor, but this treat more resembled a healthy tasting brownie, thanks to the prominent almond and cashew base instead of the usual dried fruit, which is usually the fallback moisture provider. Agave, vanilla, and cacao round out the all-organic raw-ingredient list.
Bad photo, good treat!
Both of these fudgy raw candies were slightly above the $3 price range. The bite-sized brownie packs a whopping 275 calories, but was totally filling. The L.O.V.E. Cup is 120 calories and was not at all satisfying, mainly because most of it ended up in the trash.