Welcome to a Healthy Chocolate Experience

Best Hot Chocolate and Bars for Diabetics

sugarcane naturalChocolate that is good for diabetics is simply chocolate with the correct Glycemic Index GI and sugar volume. Therefore, both prerequisites: GI 43 and sugarcane (Sucanat pictured), are used in our chocolate.
There are two ingredients in a plain chocolate bar: the cocoa and the sugar, expressed as a percentage of the cocoa quantity. For example, all our chocolate is 75%. So the remaining part is the sugar (25%) to equal 100%.

The problem with using different sugars is that the volume equivalent and GI changes fluctuate. Therefore, the suitable sugar must have a glycemic index of less than 50, the threshold for not spiking the blood sugar in two hours.
This chocolate is for health as the outcome, not as an excuse to get a sugar high. As a bonus, consuming this sugar trains your brain to be, acquainted with natural, unrefined sweetness levels.
Our prescription is to consume one square after meals for several reasons: it settles your stomach with what it needs: bitters and a feeling of fullness as a bonus.
Generally, when you experience acid reflux or other gastro issues, you may consume a 1/2" square of this chocolate to remedy it.
Take an informed approach to your health by purchasing these special chocolate bars.

Chocolate drink on iceOur hot chocolate will not spike your blood sugar in two hours. As mentioned in above, this chocolate comes in the form of discs weighing  0.7 ounces each. Simply melt with hot water to your desired strength.

Chocolate Makers in the World?

by constantinenov 18, 2022

How many...WikipediaFlavors of  Cacao
...in the world89N/A
.. in the United States 22337 (24 closed)
.. in New York State 119
.. in New York City 112
.. in Queens  01

Google Nov 17, 2022

by constantinenov 18, 2022

Aiss Diouf
Reviewer stats 2 reviews • 0 photos 2 hours ago
Stumbled upon this place while driving home because I saw a sign that said "stomach chocolate" and was intrigued. I've been having a lot of stomach issues lately and was open to something new. The owner Constantine was very friendly and so knowledgeable and you can tell everything is made with care. Ruby (perhaps his wife) explained how she hand roasts and shells the cocoa beans herself in small batches. The chocolate was delicious and I ate it the way Constantine instructed so that my stomach would be soothed rather than aggravated by the chocolate. Very lovely people and great chocolate.

In-person feedback Nov. 3, 2022

by constantinenov 3, 2022

Two young ladies came in to buy the chocolate. Person #1 said she was buying the chocolate for Person #2 to bring to Berlin to give to Person #3, who had to leave the USA, having overstayed the visa. Person #2 said she was returning to Berlin and would give Person #3 the chocolate bar. Person #1 said the chocolate was a memento to Person #3 as a reminder of the moments they shared with our chocolate between them.

Cocoa holds back growth of human cancer cells

by constantineoct 25, 2022

Fall is here

A naturally occurring, cocoa-derived pentameric procyanidin (pentamer) was previously shown to cause G0/G1 cell cycle arrest in human breast cancer cells by an unknown molecular mechanism., ... we show that pentamer selectively inhibits the proliferation of human breast cancer cells...
The novel aspect of the study was the manner in which pentameric procyanidin exerted its effects, as it appeared to jointly deactivate several regulatory proteins. The main driver of the current medical interest in chocolate appears to be Mars Inc., which held a conference in Switzerland where researchers discussed how pharmaceutical products could be derived from cocoa sources.
What's all this mean? There's magic compound: pentamer, which has proteins that inhibit cancer cells from developing. 
Do you think 72 hours of grinding cocoa beans would allow pentamer to survive? No way. The over grinding process typical in chocolate making disintegrates the cocoa. 

How Can Chocolate be Healthy

by constantineoct 13, 2022

Detailed Transparency

We had to consider the basis of what 'big chocolate' claims to be excellent quality: twenty microns. Then, the marketing departments of ' big chocolate' convince you to consider the smoothness of the chocolate as the only measure. Finally, they seduce you with words like luxurious, smooth, silky, velvety, sensuous, and exotic, encouraging you to be gluttonous.
Yet, throughout your experience, every purchase of chocolate ends in disappointment with the enduring (goo) issue of the aftertaste.

Chocolate content of 70% is the minimum to have a beneficial effect. However, the type of sugar can have a negative effect on your health and leads to Type 2 diabetes. Chocolate should be treated like a daily pill, from nature.

Chocolate was characterized as "food of the gods" when the Spaniards discovered it.  

The amount of hours cocoa beans are ground will determine the amount of nutrients surviving this perilous journey into a chocolate bar.
 Chocolate is an appetite suppressor.
 Physical and mental contentment is quick and euphoric. Think stomach.
 Solution to adrenal burnout (aches, fatigue, nervousness, can't sleep and digestive problems): eat a piece of chocolate.
 Instead of a coffee [140mg caffeine], try hot chocolate [20mg].
Contains vitamins and minerals including: manganese, fiber, iron, copper, selenium, phosphorus, and potassium.
 Flavinoids found in chocolate helps your arteries to relax, improves blood flow and prevents blood clots.
 Compounds in chocolate fight bad cholesterol, lowers risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart failure.
 Increases blood flow to the brain and triggers endorphins release.
 Helps prevent diabetes, people eating chocolate containing sugarcane natural once a day.
 Polyphenols [micro-nutrients] in chocolate reduced insulin resistance.
 Reduces stress, improves our mood by increasing serotonin and endorphins levels in our brain.
 Pregnant women eating chocolate during pregnancy give birth to more stress-free babies.
 Theo-bromine in chocolate strengthens tooth enamel.
 Chocolate is a probiotic food.
 Anti-inflammatory properties, loaded with antioxidants, boosts energy.
 Improves your mental ability, and your verbal fluency.
 A day-long appetite satisfier.
 Protects your skin from sun-induced activity.
 Chocolate is a preventive nutritional supplement.

The Chocolate Business 

by constantinejan 5, 2022

There is a concerted effort in the chocolate manufacturing business to shut out small-batch, storefront-style businesses. Perhaps we can create a sustainable project with your support. The controversy is in the oxidation/crushing/conching stage. Notice all the definitions of the process of oxidation? Again, it's to confuse your understanding of what takes place: erasing the aroma and taste.

What is Conching?
Conching refers to smoothening cocoa beans and sugar. Wikipedia defines it as 78 hours of conching, which yields high quality, and 6 hours to lower quality chocolate. Deception by omission. How many pounds were in the batches? Wikipedia does not disclose this crucial fact but instead says: "manufacturers keep the details of their conching process propriety" to end the discussion. Conching is a fancy word for crushing or shear: a flattening of a three-dimensional body to achieve smoothness. Oxidation is happening scientifically: Continuously breaking up cocoa particles Exposing the innards to air Releasing its aroma molecules in exchange for moisture molecules. The more surface area of the cocoa exposed to the air, the more oxidation occurs. As a result, the health-related benefits get destroyed at the conching stage.

How many pounds are in a batch?
Wikipedia omits the batch size. We researched who made the first conch machine. Unfortunately, the specifications did not indicate the batch size. However, we found an article in The New Yorker about the author's visit to the chocolate factory in Hershey, PA. In an interview with Bill Wagner, who for 45 years was in charge of conching. 'He lays some chocolate on the tip of his tongue and presses it upward. The statement that sends 90,000 pounds on its way to being eaten is always the same. Wagner's cheeks blossom, saying, "That's Hershey's." '

The batch size is 90,000 pounds.
The conspiracy by omission. What is it? Comparing 78 hours and 6 hours in the conching process without disclosing the batch size is deception. Purposely to discourage people from starting a chocolate business, as it did for us more than ten years ago. When we learned about the 35 to 78 hours devoted per batch, we just gave up on starting a bean-to-bar chocolate business. 

Review: Ecuador Coconut w Pink Salt

by constantine  Sept 11th, 2020

Instagram reviewer 70andabovechocolate@RidgewoodChocolate -- Paint the rainbow with TTTT starting this week. With pink. With Ridgewood Chocolate formerly [sic] of Ridgewood, Queens (just a stone's throw away from East Williamsburg and Bushwick in Brooklyn). They're now operating out of Manhattan [sic].
New York City is teeming with hidden gustatory wonders, but it was only a few months ago that I learned of its bean to bar top secret. That's Ridgewood Chocolate, of course. Constantine Kalpaxis is a chocolatemaker who talks the talk and walks the walk. His Ecuador 75% Coconut & Pink Salt (there you have the pink) is the result of nine minutes and seven hours of chocolate alchemy.
This is an intensely smoky and overcast take on classic Ecuadorian cacao. Like a brumous morning sky in Catamarca, Newcastle or Paarl (read: anywhere). Like a passel of Cambridge burnt cream, barley bread, tobacco, lapsang souchong tea, tuba fresca and wu mei in a coco chocolatero from the 1600s.
Literally like no chocolate bar you've ever had in your life -- a found object.
And underline that word "smoky" again.

My response: Thanks for the review of @Ridgewoodchocolate bars. With a nudge from @chocambas, It looks like a pretty good review from our perspective. We embrace the Mallard reaction and caramelization in our alchemy, which leaves evidence of minimal oxidation; therefore, the antioxidants are intact, as are the intense flavor notes. The benefits are physiological, hence the phrase "food of the Gods." The Mallard reaction is magical.
You can research it, but imagine eating bread without the crispy browning effect on top.

Chocolate Aromas and Taste Development

by constantine  jan 2nd, 2020

What remains an ongoing, simmering battle in the chocolate industry: the roasting of the cocoa beans. So what's better: computerized roasters or hands-on roasting on an open fire? 
Machine vs. human. An ongoing question of which method is superior to the outcome.

Flavor formation and character in cocoa and chocolate.
Let's look at academic research on the science of roasting. 
Chocolate characters not only originate in flavor precursors present in cocoa beans but are generated during post-harvest treatments and transformed into desirable odor notes in the manufacturing processes. In addition, complex biochemical modifications of bean constituents are further altered by thermal reactions in roasting and conching and in alkalization [reducing acidity, which is good for ridding your body of free radicals*].
However, the extent to which the inherent bean constituents from the cocoa genotype, environmental factors, post-harvest treatment, and processing technologies influence chocolate flavor formation and relationships with final flavor quality has not been clear. (in other words: not settled science.)

Sensory properties of chocolate and their development
According to the NIH: "Sensory attributes of eating chocolate are determined by processing variables and inherent characteristics of the cocoa bean. Flavor precursors develop during fermentation and primarily interact at roasting temperatures. Complex browning reactions occur during roasting. Numerous heterocyclic flavor compounds produced then contribute to the characteristic chocolate flavor. The feel of chocolate in the mouth (mouth feel) and the unique properties of cocoa butter determine textural properties. Careful processing and selection of ingredients are necessary to produce desirable attributes.'

[When science and poor-quality cocoa beans meet, the outcome is not in the consumer's favor.]
"The different treatments were evaluated by chemical analysis (hydrolysis efficiency) and sensory analysis of the treated material compared to good-quality cocoa almonds [beans]. The results show that it is possible, through the use of microbial enzymes**, to generate the mixture of compounds that will release, after roasting, the characteristic chocolate flavor in poor-quality almonds [beans]."

* Oxidative stress is an imbalance of free radicals and antioxidants in the body, which can lead to cell and tissue damage. Oxidative stress occurs naturally and plays a role in the aging process.
** Microorganisms such as bacteria, yeast, and fungi and their enzymes are widely used in several food preparations to improve taste and texture. They offer substantial economic benefits to industries.

Chocolate taste and aromas in roasting play an integral part in the process of making chocolate products. However, reliance on a computer's program does not take into account: the age of the beans, moisture content, the humidity of the environment of the facility, outside temperature, and moisture.

In my next story, we'll explore the Mallard effect in roasting and how it influences the outcome.

Healthy Chocolate

by constantinenov 29, 2019

closeup hand-shelled cocoa beans

We started as a houseware store, transitioning into chocolate making.  My partners' desire for genuine hot Chocolate — like back home in the Philippines — directly influenced our business decision. 

The powdered blends available in the US were not making her feel blissful. On the contrary, heart palpitations, sweating episodes, and an alarming high-sugar brew was simply unacceptable. 

We went to the peak in every step of the chocolate-making process to create a bar of truly unique Chocolate in a category of its own. 

We started by discarding the notion of a "proprietary process" and instead challenged chocolate makers to do the same: make healthy Chocolate.

Do you know what Chocolate tastes like when it's hand-shelled?

Have you tasted natural sugar in isolation from everything else? It's not sweet. It's three times less sweet than high fructose corn syrup!

Tasting notes of particular Chocolate are one part of the experience. There's more. The mental feeling part becomes evident when the nature of cocoa beans is respected. Instead, a cerebral feeling takes hold of your senses.

Our approach to Chocolate is health, as the Mayan people were passionate about, as documented in their hieroglyphics. The Aztecs called chocolate xocoatl ("bitter water") and added spices like chili and vanilla for flavoring before mixing it with water into a frothy beverage. ... Chocolate wasn't just a food, though; the beans were one of the primary forms of currency of the day.

Chocolate is healthy as long as you don't over-process the cocoa nibs. Today most chocolate manufacturers grind the cocoa for up to 3 days to achieve a smoothness of 20 microns. A size so small you need a microscope to see it.
Big Chocolates' goal is to remove the natural medicinal properties, which can have a sour, acidic, or bitter taste. 

Nothing good for your physiological health tastes sweet.

Chocolate Maker vs Chocolatier

by constantine  oct 28th, 2019

storefrontChocolate Maker
Chocolate makers are as rare as snow leopards.  What's even rarest is a chocolate maker roasting a pound at a time, shelling each bean by hand; yielding the entire contents of the cocoa bean. 

What is the difference between a chocolate maker and a chocolatier?
A chocolate maker begins with the cacao bean and the chocolatier with rectangular blocks of highly processed chocolate.  The chocolate maker: roasts, shells, grinds, then tempers.  The chocolatier: melts blocks of chocolate in a melting tank, then transfers to a tempering machine.  

A chocolatier cannot tell you where the beans came from, when it was processed, or if there was blending with other ingredients involved.  

Chocolate makers create chocolate bars and/or melting discs. Chocolatiers make ganaches, truffles, fancy decorated candies, etc..

Chocolate makers focus on the inside: the chocolate.  Chocolatiers focus on the aesthetics of decoration, packaging: the outside.

What's the difference between chocolate and confectioner's chocolate?  
Confectionery coating (note: they cannot use the word 'chocolate' unless it has a minimum of 12% chocolate,) uses a vegetable fat (GMO hydrogenated oil) to replace the cocoa butter that is found in genuine unadulterated chocolate.   

What's the difference between our steaming hot chocolatehot chocolate disc and hot chocolate powder? Ours is 'real chocolate', has 'real sugar' and is mixed with only hot water.  Cocoa powders' ingredients are cleverly written, but do not mention the word 'chocolate' in the ingredients and contains UFO Unidentified Fructose Objects, high fructose corn syrup, and must be mixed with a fatty liquid, otherwise you would choke on the watered powder. 

What is the difference between cacao and cocoa?  
Cacao is the bean unprocessed on the tree and cocoa when a process takes place.

A Melanger/Conch machine
Two granite rollers rotating on a spinning granite surfaced bowl to create the smoothness we associate with chocolate. The capacity of the bowl ranges from 5 to thousands of pounds.

odd things inside bag Sorting the cacao beans
Stones, tying wire, nylon cord, bag fabric, and pulp encrusted beans are among the items we have encountered in the sorting task. We select from the smallest to the largest cacao bean into pound bags, which we store in a larger bin for later use.

We prepare five pounds in a batch.
Each pound is roasted separately in order to observe and control the changes taking place in the roasting.  Rubi uses her acute sense of smell to determine the stages in the roasting progress, similar to our experience roasting coffee. The focus toward the end stages of roasting is to determine the degree of shell casing separation off the cocoa nibs. This is critical as it determines the amount of time devoted for the next step in the process.

Shelling the beans
close up hand shelled beansThis step is the humans most time consuming, tedious, and rewarding, for the final product taste. It takes one hour to hand-shell one pound of cocoa beans.  Rubi spends the next four to five hours shelling the cocoa beans until the wee hours of the morning.

Chocolate manufacturers typically feed the beans into a bean cracker, crushing the shells encasing the beans. The cracked beans are vacuumed to separate the shells, dirt, pulp, and particles of cocoa beans. The remaining large fragments are the only chocolate you will have the pleasure to taste. A lot of the smaller particles end up in the garbage. To recover the entire contents of the cocoa bean, we remove the shells by hand, one by one. A tedious process, but imagine what the taste would be, as the entire beans' content is in the chocolate
bar. No chocolate maker in the world claims this distinction (except To'ak, but their bars are a little more expensive) except us.

Inoxidizer melanger conching machine the morning we bring the beans to the store for the next steps.  Weighing the cocoa beans to calculate the amount of fibrous cane sugar to be added to the batch.  Using a cracking machine to crack the beans. At the same time, heat up the granite based bowl to ease the feeding  of the beans into the Melanger. It takes one to three hours to feed the beans and then the sugar into the vessel, which depends on the ambient temperature. After six or seven hours, the liqueur is smooth as thick honey.
By this time Rubi arrives to transfer the liqueur into the tempering machine. This step takes a half-hour, scooping and scraping each fragment of thick liqueur into the tempering bowl.  

The chocolate industry would have you believe that multiple days are required to bring out the true taste of the chocolate.  Not true. Chocolate aromas are developed in the fermentation stage, not the conching stage.

Here's what you taste as a result of over-processing: wax, sweet, then chocolate; ending
with sweet.  Catering to the sugarholic – mission accomplished.

tempering machine This machine heats up the liqueur to 108 degrees, then lowers the temperature to 87.7 degrees. This procedure lines up the crystals in the chocolate to form a strong body, which prevents the penetration of moisture. When it is "in temper"  the chocolate bar will have a distinct snap when you break it.  If you ever experienced a bending and not a snap, it means moisture is in your chocolate and is not safe to eat. This step takes about an hour, depending on the ambient temperature and humidity inside and outside the store.

Inclusions are prepared by roasting nuts, seeds, berries, and roots, encapsulating the product with caramelized sugar.
At this point Rubi begins to scoop the liqueur into the molds with or without inclusions. Acetate sheets are placed on the mold trays, then placed into a cooling enclosure to cool down and solidify for the next day.

our unique wrapping system Mold Detachment
The next day Rubi pops the chocolate out of the molds. She trims the overflow on each mold from the tray, then scores the 3 oz breakaway molds with a knife, then splits them into 1 oz bars. She then hand wraps each bar with a triple fold of aluminum foil paper to prevent little critters laying their eggs inside. Then folding the ends of the foil at an angle and creating a folded endcap, which will be used to join the other end into an opposing clasp.  She uses glue to enjoin the endcaps to prevent tampering. She then wraps and glues the outer label to the foil.
Finally, she places the bars in display cases for sale. Any extra chocolate is saved and sent to the Philippines to be enjoyed by her relatives.
Adding all the time spent amounts to 17 hours over the next two days.


by constantine  oct 22nd, 2019

10. La Madeline au Truffle by house of Knipschildt
Made with 70% Valrhona dark chocolate, [melting chocolate] heavy cream, sugar, rare truffle [mushroom] from France, truffle oil and vanilla, a ganache [whipped filling of chocolate and cream]. 
RC: For $250, you get chocolate in a bed of pearls in a silver box tied with a ribbon.

9. To’ak Chocolate Bar
To’ak chocolate is a 50 gram [2 oz] chocolate bar that costs $360 per bar. The process of chocolate making starts with roasting cacao beans in a pot over wood fire, and [hand-shelling] the beans one by one. The chocolate bar is presented is handcrafted box made from Spanish Elm wood. 

8. DeLafée’s Gold Chocolate Box With Swiss Gold Coin
Delafee’s gold chocolate box contains 8 chocolate adorned with 24 karat edible gold. For $390, you also get an antique gold coin, dating from the years 1910 to 1920. The chocolates are presented in a dark brown, satin covered gift box.

7. Debauve & Gallais Le livre
Debauva and Gallais, founded by Sulpice Debauve in 1800, is a French chocolate manufacturer. In 2000, they introduced ‘Le Liver’ to commemorate Debauve & Galais 200th anniversary. Le Liver is a gold adorned leather box in the shape of a box filled with 35 handmade creamy ganaches and pralines [$550]. 

 6. Noka’s Vintage Collection
This box of chocolates comes with the price tag of $854. The chocolates are presented in an elegantly crafted brushed stainless steel box. 
RC: They got caught cheating claiming bean to bar, while melting blocks of chocolate.

5. Wispa Gold Wrapped Chocolate
Would you pay $1,600 for a Cadbury chocolate bar? In hopes to promote the re-launch Wispa chocolate bar, they created one of the world’s most expensive chocolate bar. The wrapper of this bar of chocolate is covered in an actual gold leaf, which is the cause for this insanely high price. 

4. Swarovski Studded Chocolates
Priced at $10,000, a Lebanese chocolatier and Harrods have tied up to bring out Swarovski studded chocolates. The premium packagings are handmade and wrapped in Indian silk. In each package, 49 chocolates are placed on suede leather with gold and platinum partitions. The stunning box is made out of hand woven silk from China and India. Each chocolate is dressed up with Swarovski crystals, gold and silk rose to enhance the look of the chocolates.

3. The Golden Speckled Egg
The 110 pound chocolate egg holds the world record for the most expensive at $10,000 non jeweled chocolate egg. This chocolate masterpiece took seven skilled chocolatiers over the course of three days to handcraft. It’s made of Amadei chocolate from Venezuela and filled with caramel, juniper berry, rosemary, Japanese black vinegar and edible gold leaf. The egg was decorated with 12 little chocolate eggs, 20 mini chocolate bars and 5 white flowers. It weighted over 110.23 lbs and was 3 ft 6.13 inches tall.

2. Frrrozen Haute Chocolate
The staff at the Serendipity 3 restaurant set Guinness World Record with their $25,000 chocolate dessert. The dessert is a high end version of the restaurant’s Frrrozen Hot Chocolate. The dessert is a mix of cocoas and milk in a slushy like form. The high price is due to the 24 Karat gold that is mixed in it and the ‘La Madeleine Au Truffe’ that tops this extravagant dessert.
It’s made with a blend of 28 cocoas that includes 14 of the most exotic from around the world.

1. Le Chocolat Box
Le chocolat box is considered to be the most expensive chocolates in the world to ever exist. Costing $1.5 millions, this box of chocolate does not only includes chocolates, but also necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets adorned with diamonds, sapphires and emeralds.

Exquisitely Made Chocolate

by Constantinenov 2, 2019

I always ask potential customers if they have ever tasted our chocolate before. If not, give them a whiff from the wine cooler where our chocolate is displayed. You will know you have succeeded when: half the people like it and half the people hate it. Our target market is tiny, perhaps six percent.

small and large cocoa beans

Can chocolate be made where every cocoa bean's content is extracted? Yes, it is. One must peel the beans by hand.

The trade-offs are many: expensive vs. cheap; small batch vs. large batch; textured vs. smooth; strong aroma vs. little aroma; a robust taste of chocolate vs. hints of blah, blah, blah; aftertaste: chocolate note vs. sweet; consumption: prudent vs. impulsive; physiological: medicinal vs. sugary treat. Balancing the healing effects of chocolate and the smooth, highly processed status quo is challenging to promote 'good chocolate' to the marketplace.

Please observes the difference in the size of the two beans in the picture. Imagine how an industrial shelling machine can discern, then successfully remove different-sized shells of the cocoa bean. It cannot. The solution for the industry is to have the same-sized cocoa beans fed into the shelling machine. 
In contrast, by hand, we shell from the smallest to the largest. Every bean from the cacao pod goes into our chocolate bar. A full spectrum of taste awaits; the medicinal effects of: 'the food of the gods, -- as nature intended, is the reward.
The next step is melangering/conching to smoothen out the beans. We do this process in six or seven hours, while the industry does it in 72 hours. Of course, they do hundreds or thousands of pounds in a batch. 

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