The alchemy of cacao has become even more mystical!
There are those times when you enjoy something so much, that you close your eyes and savour that single moment. Sometimes you’re subconscious has gone to that happy and positive place that you treasure or what you’re doing has evoked a beautiful memory that puts a smile on your face. Call it the science of psychology or call it faith in a type of mysticism, but either way it’s a pleasure that sticks with you forever. ZenBunni’s Biodynamic Chocolate is one of those brands that will not only take you to a place of zen and harmony, but it will indulge your very senses and change your view of chocolate completely.
Based in Venice, California, a young family known as Zen (the dad), Bunni (the mum) and Alchemy (their baby girl), were inspired by the importance of healthy living and environmental sustainability following a lecture they had attended. Understanding and knowing health practices from China to India, they went raw, organic and vegan within a single day! They changed their lives to better it and this meant consciously removing all heavily manufactured foods and cosmetics and living cleaner. In spite of this, the one thing that they could not exclude from their lives was chocolate and this is understandable as we can all identify with just how tasty and sumptuous chocolate can be. The ZenBunni brand knew that your everyday shop-bought chocolate is full of saturated sugars and chemicals and isn’t great for your wellbeing so they went on a journey of chocolate discovery and creation.
At the very basic level, the brand knew that the cacao bean is actually extremely healthy. Full of antioxidants, iron and magnesium, the cacao bean is essentially a superfood that can do wonders to your wellbeing. ZenBunni harnessed the nutrients of the cacao bean and put their own spin and alchemy in the production of their chocolate. First and foremost, and this is what makes the chocolate so mystical and echoes the magical nature of fairy book stories, the cacao used in their chocolate is only harvested when there is a full moon. Those of a more spiritual disposition say that a full moon provides the perfect and optimum environmental conditions to grow and harvest plants because the energies and nutrients are in their prime. Hence if the cacao bean is grown at this specific time, we as consumers will not only get the best out of the final chocolate but it will taste even better.
The chocolate doesn’t just stop there. ZenBunni uses their expertise of alchemy to combine the cacao with ‘certified organic and wild foraged heirloom spices, herbs, leaves, flowers, nuts, oils, salts and minerals.’ The very nature of the chocolate is supposed to evoke humanising sentiments such as inspiration, amazement and delight. The idea is that not only will you experience a different kind of sweet treat, but one that will make you feel nurtured and soothed after eating it. The science behind the harvesting is a method called ‘biodynamism,’ which is a regenerative farming that goes beyond organic standards. To simplify the concept further, this type of farming allows for the entire farm to be self-sustainable and with no external inputs; everything is made on the farm, for the farm, and is treated as one living organism, with soil health being the lifeline of its existence. What makes this chocolate even more appealing is that science and spirituality work cohesively to ensure that the harvesting works with the natural rhythms of the earth. As the brand states, ‘our chocolates are simply a doorway to self-care and the amazing world of healing plants and natural medicine.’
Kathmandu Chai (£3.50)
‘An ode to a magical trip to Nepal, where Zen & Bunni were enchanted by their unique style of Chai and infused those memories into their classic dark chocolate bar. Its planetary sign is the Sun and its element is Fire.’
I wasn’t a fan at all of dark chocolate but the intense and aromatic blends of the ZenBunni range helped me to appreciate just how divine dark chocolate can be. This was especially the case when I took a small bite of the Kathmandu Chai chocolate bar. It fuses the wonderful, warming and richness of the spices found in Indian chai with the bitter sweet nature of dark cacao. My mind and my taste buds were completely tantalised by the flavour of this chocolate; the flavour develops as the chocolate starts to warm in your mouth. You get the first hit of chocolate which then dissipates into the chai essence. There is no lingering chocolatey or intensely sweet taste, just this cacao richness that makes you want to bite into the chocolate again and again! Unlike other chocolate bars, ZenBunniuses cane jaggery, which is a staple in India. It is derived from the sugar cane so it is a natural sweetener provided by the Earth’s harvest. What I love even more about this chocolate is that it uses Ayurvedic traditional herbs to enhance its goodness. The use of Tulsi, a plant that removes bacterias and infections as well as helps with fighting cancer and diabetes, is used in the chocolate. Not only do you enjoy the delicious flavours of the chocolate but you reap the health and medicinal benefits of the herbs and spices that are used.
Shiva Rose (£3.50)
‘A collaboration creation with Shiva Rose of The Local Rose. They’ve combined their biodynamic chocolate with Organic Bulgarian Rose Oil to create not only a delicious bar, but a powerful tonic treat. Rose oil has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Uplifting ones’ spirit as well as promoting life with its antidepressant and aphrodisiac properties. One more way ZenBunni Chocolate and The Local Rose are spreading love. Its planetary sign is Venus and its element is Fire.’
Now I am definitely not one to enjoy the use of rose syrup or rosewater in desserts. I find it pungent and so overpowering that it’s like I’m eating soap. So, when it came to trying the Shiva Rose chocolate I will honestly say that I was hesitant to go any further than opening the packet. However, I tried it and wow was it superb. The delicate floral rose taste was so palatable that I continued eating it! The rose helps to mellow the flavour of the bitter cacao and leaves a refreshing feeling in your mouth. It’s wonderfully aromatic and is actually quite addictive, so addictive in fact, that it felt a little sinful. If you want to experience cacao alchemy that is outside of chocolate convention, this is one to seriously consider and try! As the brand states, ‘our Shiva Rose aids in uplifting one from a depressed state’ and this has certainly been the case with me. After the first bite, a smile developed because I was so pleasantly surprised. The use of rose, cardamom and cacao in this chocolate helps with mood elevation, has anti-viral properties and strengthens your hair and skin.
Your thoughts about chocolate will change forever once you try ZenBunni’s stunning products. Chocolate has definitely transcended beyond the traditional sentiments when it comes to this particular cacao concoction. From its origins under the guidance of the full moon to its final composition, this chocolate will continue to surprise you and exhilarate you. Temptation has always been considered a sin, but temptation of the ZenBunni kind can and will be forgiven as its use of medicinal minerals and antioxidants, will better your health and your wellbeing. The brand hit the nail in the coffin when it said, ‘a chocolate that is good for you? This is just the excuse we’ve been waiting for!’
For more about the ZenBunni brand, visit Aevi Wellness.
For more beauty inspiration, visit To-love-Beauty.