One of my favourite movies is Chocolat (if you haven’t seen it please do yourself a favour and watch it), and I must admit that fact that the lead actor is Johnny Depp is just a bonus this time, because for me the real star of the show is the chocolate! There is an idyllic scene in the movie, where Juliette Binoche’s character throws a party for the old lady and all of the characters are sitting around a table laden with dishes made with chocolate. This has always seemed to me to be a blissful dream, a scene only for the fantastical world on the silver screen; that was until I met the Queen of Chocolate, Lara Sklaar, of Fine & Raw Chocolate. The company was started by Lara’s brother Daniel, a financial analyst turned chocolatier, who is based in New York. They brought the concept out to South Africa about a year and a half ago and Lara now runs the operation from Illovo, Johannesburg.
The first thing you think when you taste Fine & Raw Chocolate is, “This is so good it has to be bad for me.” I am please to say there you would be wrong. This handmade artisan chocolate is only made with what Lara calls conscious ingredients (raw organic cacoa, virgin coconut oil and sweetened with blue agave syrup), no chemicals just 100% goodness. Fine & Raw Chocolate is low GI and can be eaten by diabetics, and to ease your social conscience, all the cacao products used are fair trade. I was surprised to find that unlike some dark chocolate, the Fine & Raw chocolate was not waxy but rather smooth and creamy. It is quite bitter, so if you are not already a fan it may take a while to get used to. Fine & Raw comes in a range of flavours and their prices range between R20 – R40, a bit on the pricey side but well worth the indulgence.
Lara holds chocolate parties and is willing to fulfill your chocolate dreams so if you are interested in hosting a chocolate tasting, looking for a gift for someone special or just want to indulge in the guilt-free pleasure of her chocolate, contact Lara at http://www.fineandraw.co.za.