Note: In exchange for a brief review, I received the following products:
Today’s mentions include Harmless Harvest‘s coconut water and coconut water with fair trade coffee, and Raaka Virgin Chocolate’s chocolate bars with ghost pepper, pink sea salt, and coconut milk.
Harmless Harvest was founded in Brooklyn in 2009, and began selling its delicious organic coconut water from Thailand in 2011. They relocated their operations to San Francisco in 2012, set up a factory in Thailand the following year, and were recognized as a Fair for Life company in 2014.
Although I still have my scruples about any organization with such designations, there appears to be much truth to Harmless Harvest’s claim. They reinvest in the Thai communities in which they conduct business, and even let locals decide how a mutually-decided subsidy should be allocated.
By the way, every notice that some bottles of coconut water (including the two above) are pink? Well, that’s not a reflection of any particular neighborhood…rather, it has to do with how certain antioxidants react when exposed to light.
When a fresh coconut is nowhere to be found, Harmless Harvest is my go-to brand.
Raaka Virgin Chocolate is a Brooklyn-based chocolate firm that somehow, convinced me to start eating chocolate again. You see, I was taking a short break and focused more on sweet potatoes and honey over the summer, but now chocolate is back in the fray.
By the way, raaka is not a Syrian city. It’s a Finnish word meaning raw.
Raaka Virgin Chocolate primarily sources from the Dominican Republic, but they also partner with cacao collectives in Bolivia, the DRC (it’s in Africa, silly), and Belize.
There was a time not so long ago that I frowned upon olive oil/chocolate/whatever companies that added flavors to their base products. You know, basil/garlic/durian-infused olive oil, or, as noted above, ghost pepper, pink sea salt, and coconut milk chocolate. To me, it was if they wanted to mask something of inferior quality. That said, with Raaka Virgin Chocolate, I was actually able to taste the smooth flavor of the chocolate along with the respective subtleties of heat, salt and creamy coconut.
Well done, folks.