Chocolate has a warming, nostalgic quality to it, filled with bittersweet memories of childhood. But the chocolate you remember from your youth is not the chocolate of our future; the awareness of fairly traded cocoa beans and the growing scarcity of the commodity in general (among myriad factors) have shaped the direction of what “good” chocolate means.
Head to Sedona, Arizona, and you’ll find nearly untouched raw cacao at Lulu’s Chocolate. This small-batch operation has big intentions, working with exclusively raw chocolate free from all things troublesome and wholly sourced from small family farms. No matter the variation, its chocolate products are organic, vegan, soy-free and sensibly sweetened with a low-glycemic index coconut sugar. This is chocolate in its truest form: While most chocolates are heated at high temperatures, which often deplete nutrients and nuance, Lulu’s Chocolate sun dries their beans instead of roasting and never heats anything over 113 degree, maintaining the raw, enriching characteristics of cacao. They even have high standards for their packaging, using exclusively recycled paper, soy and veggie-based inks, and 100% compostable foil.
So what makes it Best?
Integral to Lulu’s Chocolate’s method is conscious sourcing: Their wild-harvested cacao is a result of direct relationships they’ve built over the years with small family-run Ecuadorian farms. Their production stage is simple: Raw ingredients are incorporated at low temperatures in order to maintain nutritional integrity and flavor profiles.