Raw cacao powder is the unprocessed form of cocoa - not roasted or alkalised.
What is alkalisation (or "Dutching")?
Alkalisation or "Dutch Processing" is the process of reacting cocoa with an alkali, typically sodium or potassium carbonate, to neutralise the natural acidity of the cocoa. This is done to give the cocoa a milder taste. Raw cacao is not alkalised and has a stronger taste.
Why is regular cocoa roasted?
Most cocoa is roasted, as this provides the taste that people expect from cocoa. Raw cacao is not roasted and processed at a low temperature.
Is raw cacao better for you than regular cocoa?
Raw cacao typically contains twice as much theobromine as regular cocoa. Theobromine is a cardiovascular stimulant that is believed to have benefits in promoting circulatory health. Roasting also damages the natural antioxidants in regular cocoa.
Does raw cacao taste different to regular cocoa?
Raw cacao has a slightly stronger and more bitter taste than regular cocoa. Many people prefer the taste of raw cacao (including most of us here at Healthy Supplies!).
If raw cacao tastes better than regular cocoa, why do they bother roasting and Dutch-processing regular cocoa?
Regular cocoa is mainly for use in industry, where the acidity can affect other ingredients. The processing makes the product more stable and less likely to react with the other ingredients. For your recipes at home, raw cacao is much better.
Can raw cacao be used as a substitute for regular cocoa?
Yes. Raw cacao can be used as a direct substitute for regular cocoa in absolutely any recipe that requires regular cocoa.
Is "cacao" the same as "raw cacao"?
Yes. "Cocoa" is any cacao that has been processed and/or roasted; cacao is the raw product.