Cacao Y Nada: what is behind the cocoa fruit juice chocolate?

Cacao Y Nada: was steckt hinter der Kakaofruchtsaft-Schokolade?
With the Cacao Y Nada, much ado was made about nothing: namely, a "chocolate" without conventional sugar. Instead of the usual sugar, Ritter Sport uses the juice of the cocoa pulp for the production. What is touted by Ritter Sport as a major innovation has been made by small manufacturers and star chefs for some time. In any case, Ritter Sport succeeded in the marketing coup. So much so that almost nobody took any notice of the Lindt cocoa fruit juice chocolate, which was also launched a little later... But first things first!

What is so special about the ingredients of Cacao Y Nada?

With the Cacao Y Nada, Ritter Sport has ventured into a completely new experiment for them. A chocolate made from everything the cocoa pod has to offer. Accordingly, the bar consists of cocoa beans, sweetened with cocoa fruit juice. The cocoa pulp is part of the cocoa pod and encases the cocoa beans. Among other things, it has an important function in the fermentation process , but it can also be processed into cocoa fruit juice drinks or used as a sweetener for chocolate.
By the way: even if sweetening with cocoa fruit juice is possibly more sustainable overall for ecological reasons, the properties are not particularly different from conventional sugar. If you look at the nutritional values ​​of Cacao Y Nada, you quickly see that chocolate with cocoa fruit juice is neither low carb nor particularly suitable for diabetics. It is simply another, hitherto little known type of sweetness.

good chocolate has its price

Where did the hype come from?

The so-called cocoa regulation states that everything that is called chocolate must contain the following ingredients: cocoa mass, cocoa butter and - and here lies the problem - sugar. Accordingly, food law experts assumed that the Cacao Y Nada did not comply with the applicable regulations. The responsible federal ministry, on the other hand, announced that, from their point of view, Ritter Sport was entitled to describe the Cacao Y Nada as chocolate. And that's not all: Ritter Sport is far from the first to have a problem with the regulation. Other companies across the EU have also had to deal with similar problems.
For example, a start-up from the UK has been sweetening its “chocolate” with dates for several years. And Zotter has also approached this problem in a creative way: instead of a great PR fanfare, they aptly named their alternative “chocolate” squaring the circle. Rather than a real problem, this is more of a clever marketing move. And of course it is extremely exciting to see that larger manufacturers such as Ritter Sport are now also dealing with topics such as sustainability, reduction of sugar and transparency in cocoa procurement. Because the cocoa beans for the Cacao Y Nada are not just any old beans. They are cocoa beans from Ritter Sport's 'El Cacao' cocoa plantation in Nicaragua. While the majority of the cocoa beans from Ritter Sport still come from unnamed sources, the origin of the beans on this bar can be clearly identified.

cocoa pods

How does Cacao Y Nada taste?

Even if the Cacao Y Nada is currently trading for over €25 on Ebay and is made according to the bean-to-bar principle, we wouldn't necessarily call it fine chocolate. If you first look at the ingredients of Cacao Y Nada, the use of “lean cocoa powder” stands out in a particularly negative way. From our point of view, of course, this has little place in high-quality chocolate, actually it should not be found in any chocolate. Since we don't know the reasons for this, we can only assume that the cocoa powder is used as a substitute for emulsifiers. In any case, Ritter Sport does not go into detail about the use of cocoa powder. And the taste? The bar definitely stands out in the mass of industrially manufactured chocolate. It tastes quite mild, slightly bitter and slightly fruity. Compared to other dark supermarket chocolates - which are often over-roasted and therefore bitter - Cacao Y Nada is more nutty, caramel-like and molasses. If you know the original taste of cocoa fruit juice , then you have the feeling that you can also taste notes of lychee. A clear roasted note also shines through. 

Ritter Sport Cacao Y Nada – chocolate pieces

Where can you buy Cacao Y Nada?

A question that is still popular with Google. And for Ritter Sport it is certainly a sign that their holistic approach is well received by consumers. Since Ritter Sport only produced 2300 bars in their first batch - according to their own statements - the few bars are currently traded mainly on Ebay. After all the hype, however, we assume that Ritter Sport will produce another batch... You don't want to wait that long for the taste of chocolate and cocoa fruit juice? We have a suggestion: how about a Kumasi cocoa fruit juice spritzer and dark chocolate ? Do you like it particularly natural? Then try a 100% chocolate or our cool beans !

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