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This is the time to let your taste buds discover a new flavour by tasting a raw cocoa bean. Surprisingly, this bitter flavour goes perfectly with many dishes
The cocoa beanis this little marvel produced by the cocoa tree which, in the end, will offer you the delicious chocolates that you consume more or less regularly. According to Aztec mythology, it is to the god of vegetation, Quetzalcoatl, that we owe the cocoa bean today. Indeed, according to legend, it is he who taught mankind how to grow the cocoa tree. The raw cocoa bean has been used since ancient times by the Aztecs. The first traces of its use date back to the 19th century BC. If it has a real taste value today, it had a pecuniary value at the time. Indeed, it was used as money to pay taxes, for the dowry of the marriage or even to buy slaves. History says that the Aztecs introduced the cocoa bean to Christopher Columbus, who did not see its true value at the time. So it was the Spaniards who brought the cocoa bean to Europe. At the time, an Aztec emperor gave Hernán Cortés a taste of the famous Xocolatl, the equivalent of a chocolate drink. This certainly made all the difference, although the Spaniards then added sugar to make the drink much sweeter. In France, the raw cocoa bean did not appear immediately. Indeed, following the rejection of King Louis XIV, who did not appreciate chocolate, this ingredient did not have the expected success until the 20th century. I am offering you here a wonderful raw cocoa bean from the Ivory Coast, that is to say a bean that has not yet been roasted.
The raw cocoa bean is quite bitter. Imagine for a moment eating a 100% chocolate bar, it will give you an idea of how it feels when you taste it.
The raw cocoa bean is a fruit of the cocoa tree, the Theobroma cacao. This evergreen tree belongs to the genus Theborma of the Sterculiaceae family. The cocoa bean is not visible, it is hidden in a pod that contains several rows of seeds. Depending on the size of the pod, up to 50 to 60 seeds can be harvested. The pods are broken by hand. During harvesting, the cocoa bean does not yet give the consumer a strong desire to eat it. It is covered with a sticky white film called "mucilage". This film melts during the fermentation stage. The cocoa beans are left to ferment for a few days before going on to the drying phase. The beans are placed in the sun for a few weeks until they reach a low moisture content.
Cocoa beans are not often used raw. And with good reason: we are not used to this ingredient in this form. For us, the cocoa is roasted to a minimum, even in the form of a tablet or powder, therefore processed. Here you find the essence of cocoa. The raw cocoa bean symbolizes purity, nature, it's up to you to imagine what you can do with it. Note that the raw cocoa bean can be eaten plain as you would eat an almond or a pistachio. However, the bitterness must be appreciated, the first tasting remains a real experience. In this form, you can enjoy it perfectly at breakfast or as an aperitif, again as you would eat a walnut or hazelnut. Afterwards, feel free to consume the raw cocoa bean in your own way. Also, you can perfectly choose to roast, crush or powder it. The reason I chose to sell you a raw cocoa bean is simply so that you can truly materialize the origin of the chocolate and feel free to use the bean as you wish.
As a starter, I suggest you try a delicious warm goat's cheese salad. It is a rather traditional dish composed of goat cheese, green salad, small matchstick bacon and vinaigrette. This time, let's forget the traditions and grate a little raw cocoa bean on your salad, it will bring a surprising bitterness to the palate, but far from being unpleasant.
Let's continue with this slightly sweet-salty atmosphere, but not too much since the cocoa bean is above all bitter. This time, I invite you to cook a duck leg in a pot with various spices according to your tastes, adding, at the end of cooking, good fresh cream from the farm. In the middle of cooking, add the cocoa beans. You can grate them or simply cook them whole to give flavour to your sauce.
For dessert, let's finish on a sweet note with a mango panna cotta. This dessert, sometimes a little too sweet, will be counterbalanced by small pieces of grated raw cocoa bean on top.
Raw cocoa is very good for your health. This little wonder, totally natural, seduces by its many virtues. By eating raw cocoa beans, you improve your cardiovascular health and regulate your blood pressure. It also helps to reduce bad cholesterol. Rich in theobromine, the raw cocoa bean is stimulating and is ideal for people who do not like coffee, especially as the stimulation is more effective over time. The cocoa bean being the origin of cocoa, it is known for its soothing virtues, especially as it is rich in magnesium which acts effectively against stress.
I invite you to keep your raw cocoa beans away from humidity and light to preserve their taste and properties.