We make our VAICACAO® Holistic Ceremonial Cacao using single farms cacaos from Central America
No sugar or other ingredients added!
WHAT IS THE MEANING BEHIND "HOLISTIC CEREMONIAL COCOA"
This cacao drink is different from both European-style and US-style hot chocolate, because it is made from whole cacao, with no sugar, no cocoa powder, and because it is intended to be used as a delicious opportunity for mindfulness and meditation. Some say that cacao in its purest form it opens the heart, and inspires creativity!
Our cacao beverage is a thick drinking, a bit grainy, cacao that simultaneously relaxes and energizes.
It is pure, nutrient-dense, and minimally processed.
Cacao can facilitate a special journey through meditation, when we acknowledge the sacredness of pure cacao while experiencing it as a beverage as the ancients did.
HOW WE DO IT
We roast the cacao gently, and grind it into a paste (or known as cacao mass). Then we mold it into small blocks that we invite you to cut into shavings at home and blend with hot water or your favorite milk, plus optional spices such as cayenne, or rosemary and sage. Savor slowly, with deep breaths, and let the cacao work its magic.
“Holistic” is, as the name suggests, more than just its physical form: it is a collaboration of intention.
Farmers grow the cacao with intention, demonstrating respect for the cacao trees and the ecosystem.
We craft the cacao into drinking cubes, feeling love for our craft and for chocolate lovers. And we invite you to prepare and savor this rich, healthful, and magical drink with intention, perhaps before or as part of meditation, after a long day, or anytime you'd like the wonderful feeling of openness and expansion the Holistic Cacao can inspire !
You can find some of our favorite recipes for “spirit of cacao” by clicking here. Or click here to shop now.
"What is the difference between cacao drinking powder and ceremonial cacao?"
Cocoa powder is the result of the extraction of the cacao fat from whole cacao beans, which has been discovered in the Netherlands in 1828 by Coenraad J. van Houten. Mr. Van Houten discoverd a way to treat cacao with alkaline salts to make a powdered cacao that was easier to mix for pastry purposes.
Cacao powder has lost the cacao butter (fat) normally inside of the cacao beans, which has been previously extracted using a press. The darker the cacao powder is, the less cacao butter it has. People sometimes think that the dark color of the cacao powder means more% of cacao contents, but this is not true. Cacao powder, due to it's new form, can't be considered a whole food.
Our Ceremonial cacao is a whole-food and a slow- food. Is 100% artisanal (made by us), freshly made,
treacebale, and prepared in small-batches.
Our VAICACAO® Ceremonial Cacao is a wholemeal product that we obtain from the stone grinding of cocoa beans (cocoa paste). It is inspired from the form in which it is still worked by the Mesoamerican communities, maintaining a raw, slightly grainy texture to which we do not add sugars. Easy to dissolve in contact with hot water or vegetable drink, especially with the use of a blender, milk frother or mixer.
We work directly with the cocoa from our plantation (Cuyancùa, El Salvador) and from other farms and cooperatives located in El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and Costa Rica, guaranteeing uniqueness, quality and traceability.
What motivated us to promote cocoa as a Ceremonial Holistic and why is it named in this way?
In Central America, cocoa is not consumed as in Europe. Being an Italian-Salvadoran supply chain, we also wanted to promote this aspect of cocoa.
With this product we want to spread the culinary and cultural traditions of the Central American region, bring to light the millenary traditions around this sacred plant, to bring it back to the attention of people who are looking for unrefined, wholemeal, artisanal, simple and traceable products that are not exactly "fine" products or highly processed chocolates.
It is a new "wave" of awareness of what cocoa is. The concept of "Ceremonial Cacao" is still being defined, being a living movement, which is rediscovering this plant not only for its infinite tastes and flavors, but also for its enormous properties.
So: cocoa is not about "European style hot chocolate", to which sugar and other ingredients are added, but "pure cocoa", which alone communicates and expresses all its power and uniqueness: including its natural acidity.
For millennia, in what are now the countries of Central America, pure cocoa was used as a natural medicine, and was extremely present in all religious functions and on special occasions such as military, congregational ceremonies, etc. Cocoa arrived in Europe in 1500, and it was in Spain that they began to mix it with sugar, from there it began its use in pastry, and everything we know today about chocolate we owe to years of European history and research.
For more than a decade, holistic movements of people who practice holistic and spiritual disciplines have been discovering the medicinal use of cocoa and re-evaluating its pure essence, without treatments and enhancing its Mesoamerican origins and culture.
According to historians, ground cocoa was used during religious ceremonies by Mesoamerican civilizations, i.e. by Olmecs, Maya, Lenca, and a few centuries later by the Aztecs, who took care to select cocoa beans to make nutritious cocoa drinks.
The Maya reserved its consumption only for certain classes of the population: religious leaders, nobles and warriors. In those times the Mayan population consumed a drink prepared with hot water, "molido" cocoa, corn, vanilla, chilli and honey. The enormous medicinal qualities of cocoa were already known to these populations, and a cocoa drink made the warriors pass hunger and fatigue.
Bliss chemicals (anandamide, dopamine, serotonin) - Possible answers to the fact that cocoa has positive effects on our mental and physical health:
Cocoa is a food that contains the "bliss" molecule known as Anandamide, an endocannabinoid. It also contains other important neurotransmitters such as: dopamine, phenithelamine, serotonin and tryptophan, which are used by our brain to regulate our emotions. Tryptophan is mainly contained in meat and fish, and there are few vegetables that contain it (cocoa, mushrooms ..).
The latter is used to synthesize serotonin in our body, which is then converted into melatonin as it regulates the wake-sleep rhythm.
Consuming it in its pure state can be an excellent solution to coffee in the morning or be an integral part of our daily diet.