As real food lovers and raw chocolate enthusiasts, something that puzzled us during our trip to Bali was, why aren’t producers of raw chocolate using Balinese cacao? We found beautiful, wild growing pods, full of sweet white flesh and flavourful beans throughout the island.
Well, it seems we weren’t the only people from Europe who noticed. Vivoo, an Italian brand making raw chocolate in Verona, started production with beans from Bali which they discovered on their quest to find the world’s best cacao. Now using beans from Ecuador and Peru as well, their story actually began further afield, during a hike in Arizona.
Giorgio, Vivoo’s founder, was told of the benefits of cacao by a revered spiritual teacher who in her seventies was cheerily making her way up the red rock boulders of Sedona. Praising the benefits of raw chocolate, her words inspired Giorgio to eventually start his own raw chocolate company:
“Chocolate is good, truly good for our health! It benefits the heart, packs loads of healthy antioxidants and contains magnesium as well as serotonin which promotes a sense of wellbeing and happiness. This is especially true of raw chocolate.”
Years later, when opening one of Italy’s first organic restaurants in Milan, Giorgio worked hard to source high quality, organic, raw, dark chocolate. Unable to find it, he started to explore chocolate making techniques that would preserve the healthful benefits of the cacao bean whilst delivering on flavour.
As more and more producers and brands bring raw chocolate to market, we seek out those whose passion for nutrients and reverence for cacao’s ancient uses are driving factors in conception and production. Vivoo are hugely passionate about what they do and why they do it and are headed up by a team of spiritual enquirers, committed to creating high vitality foods made from the best ingredients.
Vivoo make chocolate products quite unlike anything we have tried before, in terms of taste and texture. These products are for the connoisseur who wants interesting creations, unique flavours and pure cacao. Whilst Vivoo’s 53% pralines offer a sweet and milky chocolate, the rest of their products are less sweet and more natural tasting than other more conventional offerings.
Focus and intention affect energy and Vivoo’s chocolate is clearly made with a love and respect for ingredients, a passion for flavour and appearance and a deep regard for retaining nutrition.
Their thin, square bars are intense hits of cacao, lightly sweetened with coconut sugar and flavoured with fruits and superfoods, that offer a smooth and velvety mouth feel. Their pralines are sumptuous, beautifully presented, creamy bite size chocolates that deliver a rich cacao flavour and delicate floral and nutty notes. Their butter cups are innovatively created with seeds rather than nuts to deliver decadent, yet light creaminess that offers a twist on more traditional versions. Their truffles are textured bites of chocolatey fruit and nut goodness and their energy fruit bars are luxurious tasting, crumbly and delicious bars created with superfoods, fruits and cacao.
We spoke with Vivoo about their passion for raw chocolate.
What inspired you to start making raw chocolate?
The magic and alchemy of cacao. To bring back the sacradness of cacao which was once used to enhance awareness in sacred cerimonies and instead is now so misused with industrial chocolate and candies. To have the chance to work with only the purest ingredients. In this way promoting the circle of life. We sustain pristine corners of fruit forests, wild harvesting, permaculture farms and those farms, lands and products sustain our wellbeing. And they sustain the wellbeing of the Earth, its land, air and water.
Our raw, organic chocolate is packed with the vital force of nature.
The Vivoo vision is to manufacture chocolate free of all adulteration, chemicals and harmful processes, such as excessive roasting, cooking and refined sugars. Our mission is to create great tasting chocolate with the full purity and potency that inspired the Aztecs to nickname chocolate a “food of the Gods.” We combine superfoods with the finest cacao.
Vivoo chocolate is raw, organic, with no refined sugar or chemical processes.
We bring the same commitment to how we source all the ingredients for our chocolates, including berries, fruit, roots, flowers, herbs and reishi mushrooms. We gather our ingredients from the most pristine corners of the planet to ensure they are full of flavour and packed with nutrition.
How do you ensure the cacao beans you use are raw to begin with?
Finding the best sources, checking them, assisting them, developing deep relationships with them, travelling to them. We prepare our raw chocolate in a way that preserves its great taste, maximum health benefits and mother nature’s fullest potency.
How did you discover Balinese cacao?
Because we know the world of raw chocolate and we know it is among the best sources. And that was just the beginning. Now we have Criollo cacao Beans from Peru – Amazonian ones. And Arriba Superior Cacao Beans from Ecuador.
Why do you use only vegan ingredients?
Because we believe in them. We believe in a more virtuous world that comes from the circle of life those plant based ingredients generate.
Superfoods give us and the planet the wellbeing we’re all looking for.
Because we believe in oneness, sustainability and the wellbeing of the whole planet and all its beings. And we think that eating this way is the most functional way to make our body and the whole planet work.
Why is it important to you to use organic ingredients?
It’s not only important, it’s vital. The chemical world is unsustainable. It’s creating deserts in the lands and sickness in our bodies. And has already almost destroyed the planet’s biodiversity.
Are they fair trade?
They are more than Fair Trade. Fair Trade is a brand and a business that has many shadows. Our farmers are gathered in coops and usually they get 400% more revenue than others.
Are they sustainably grown and harvested?
They are more than sustainably grown and harvested: all our ingredients are organic certified. Plus mostly they come from fruit forests or permaculture systems, when they do not come directly from wild harvesting in the Amazonian rainforest.
Is your packaging recyclable?
No, it’s not. We had to make a choice, do we want to protect our raw and delicate products or do we want to recycle the packing? We chose to have 100% protection of the food and its nutritional values. That’s a contradiction and a tough choice we had to take. We keep looking for good films that can be recyclable and that can properly protect our products while they live on the store’s shelves. We hope we’ll find them as soon as possible.
Vivoo is Italian for alive!