Any time I hear of raw chocolate being made locally, my eyes widen and the edges of my lips begin to curl up as vision of sugar plums dance in my head. At VegFest, I met Anh Thu Hoang, founder of Joy Bliss Raw, a raw chocolate company based in DC. Skeptical, I tried a couple of her assorted chocolates and within mouth-watering seconds, that skeptical look was wiped off my face. These are restaurant-quality artisanal raw chocolates worthy of accolades.
The most impressive of her lineup are her Assorted Chocolates.
These handcrafted chocolates look like they came right out of a gourmet
chocolate factory. The shell of each is made with raw cacao liquor and
cacao butter, maple syrup, vanilla, and pink Himalayan salt. There are
typically four flavors in each box: Caramel, Chai, Marzipan, and Almond
Butter or Peanut Butter. The marzipan was spectacular and made me
wonder how she made it with all of these healthy ingredients. The
marzipan filling was made with sprouted cashews, macadamia nuts, maple
syrup, coconut oil and flour, and almond and vanilla extracts. Similar
ingredients were used to make the other flavors and they were all really
Next, I tried the Half and Half.
I could eat these every day. These tiny little snacks are made by
pressing a mix of nuts and seeds together (sprouted almonds, buckwheat,
pumpkin and sunflower seeds along with sesame, flax, and chia seeds)
with hemp hearts and coating half of the bars in cacao butter and nibs.
Lastly, I tried her Almond Butter Cookies,
which were crunchy and rich and full of vanilla flavor. They are also
made with sprouted almonds and chia along with almond butter.
has an interesting story as she originally obtained a master's in
public health and spent many years working on HIV prevention in Africa
and Asia. While living in Thailand in 2006 to 2009, she fell in love
with raw foods and decided to change careers to feed her new passion.
After graduating from the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in Fort
Bragg, California, she started her own company and is now growing inch
She uses high quality raw ingredients in all
of her products that are fair trade and organic. The best part is that
she does not use any preservatives, additives, or emulsifiers. All of
her products are vegan and gluten-free. She said the prices of each
product vary upon retailer and to contact her directly for orders. You
can find her contact information on her website. Support local. Eat
good, healthy food. Joy Bliss Raw.
Full Disclosure: Although the products were provided to me for free to review, that in no way influenced my veracious opinion.