Product Review: Coracao raw vegan chocolate! G’damn! »
The first time I saw Coracao at the Saturday Berkeley Farmers’ Market, just a few blocks from where I was living at the time, my heart melted into a puddle of love. Peeking from behind the brown and pink awning was Daniel, a handsome fellow with bright skin and a sparkle in his dreamy eyes. “Would you like to try some raw chocolate?” he asked, as if that were a question. From the first piece, I knew this was some of the best raw chocolate I had ever had. No, the best chocolate I had ever had, period.
Coracao sources the finest ingredients—ethically sourced chocolate (they make Food Empowerment Project’s list!) that is sweetened with lower-glycemic coconut palm sugar and prepared with the finest raw ingredients. Coracao is so passionate about their ingredients, that they put together an entire snazzy 12-page PDF explaining the various health benefits of antioxidant-rich chocolate, and what goes into making the perfect batch of Coracao treats. One of my favorite parts about this informative PDF, which teaches all about superfoods, is this info:
Our pure chocolates NEVER contain these “common chocolate” ingredients: Milk, hydrolysed milk protein, skimmed milk powder, lactose, de-mineralized whey powder, butter, cream, wheat or gluten, hydrogenated fats, corn syrup, soy lecithin, vanillin (artificial vanilla flavoring), refined sugar, sodium chloride (bleached, refined and de-mineralized salt), sulfur dioxide (preservative), Potassium Metabisulphite (preservative), FD&C Yellow no. 6 *E10, FD&C Yellow no. 5 *E102, FD&C Red no. 3 *E127, FD&C Red no. 40 *E129, FD&C green no. 3 *E143, FD&C Blue no. 1 *E133, FD&C Blue no. 2 *E132 (artificial food colorings), polyglycerol polyricinoleate or PGPR, ammonium phosphatide or YN, mono-diglycerides or sorbitan tri stearates (stabilizers).
I had no clue that lots of chocolate contains these things! I guess I live in a bit of a raw vegan bubble. I commend Coracao for taking such steps to inform the public about the crap being passed off as chocolate ingredients. Ammonium phosphatide? Whose colon deserves that? I mean, really.
Coracao makes several different confections, all of which contain ”superfoods” that have been linked to various health/taste benefits. Here’s a sampling of what they sell at the Farmers’ Markets throughout the Bay: Almond coconut dream, live almond heart [Ed.: Creepy name! But I like! I think!], caramel cup, macadamia coconut cream, kaffir lime caramel cup, raspberry fudge truffle, superberry cup, matcha fudge truffle, and more!
I have tried the Blondie Bar, a coconut macaroon bar with the edge dipped in chocolate, which contains lucuma, one of my favorite butterscotch-flavored superfoods. This tastes like pure chocolate chip cookie dough mixed with coconut. It is one of their most popular items for good reason! Coracao’s other specialties are their filled chocolate bars. These contain superfood fillings including caramel, kaffir lime-infused caramel, and Rawmond Butter. The Rawmond Butter is like a peanut butter cup but SO much better—it will absolutely blow you away, seriously!
Coracao’s uniquely decadent indulgences can be found online, at various Cafe Gratitude locations, Farmers’ Markets, Whole Foods, and health food stores around the Bay Area. Check their website to see where they sell their delights near you!
[Photos courtesy Coracao. Samples were provided via the kind folks at Coracao, but that doesn’t guarantee a review or anything because we’re hella legit and only write about shit we love.]
Yelp adds new vegetarian filter, but it’s not great »
True story: Laura started Vegansaurus when Yelp kept taking down all her reviews. Their loss, the world’s gain.
That said, Yelp’s still one of the best parts of the internet. And now it’s a little better. Kind of, maybe.
The site’s introducing a new kind of creepy-smart filter. Along with “Open now” or “Good for lunch,” you can now selected “Liked by vegetarians” as a filter option. The Yelp blog's got the full scoop.
The idea is that this is better than just searching for “vegetarian,” because it won’t give you reviews that say stuff like “This place is the WORST for vegetarians!” I love the idea. The execution, not so awesome.
First of all, it’s not available in Denver, which is not cool. I had to use my old haunts of Berkeley and North Oakland to test it out. And I was not pleased.
Search for “dinner” in Temescal, and Cafe Colucci is only no. 5 on the list. Worse, The Brick Pig’s House is right there at no. 6, and that place has no vegan food. In downtown Berkeley, neither Green Papaya nor Saturn Cafe make the top of the results. WTF?
Perhaps this feature will help me discover veg-friendly spots I’d never thought of (Jayakarta, anyone?). Perhaps we just need to start writing better veg reviews, and the feature will improve. But for now, and until The Brick Pig’s House disappears from results, I’m not trusting it.
Berkeley Vegan Earth Day is coming! Win some shit, if you want! »
Berkeley Vegan Earth Day is holding a contest on Facebook to win some prizes! Free shit, hell yeah, etc. It’s pretty simple: Change your profile pic to the BVED logo for 24 hours, and comment on their page that you did so.* Read to the rules and see the logo here. Prizes include DVDs, vegan treats, water bottles, books, and shirts, and the contest ends on Friday, April 20.
Are you planning on attending? I went last year, and it was intense! But, in a good way! I wasn’t sure what to expect and my mind was blown, by both the film (Call of Life) and speakers. Also making it a very special night for me — I tried Nacheez for the first time. I highly recommend going this year; it looks like a blast!
The official promo manager of BVED, Alex Eaves, sent me the tip about this contest. If you don’t know who he is, get on that! He was one of the panel speakers last year, representing his company Stay Vocal
and maybe I swooned a little bit.
[Ed.: For further East Bay veg awesomeness, don’t forget about Oakland Veg Week, which starting this Sunday. Eat all the food, see all the speakers, get laid, don’t get laid, whatever, you know how we do.]
[Ed., again: Not sure how we feel about contestants that make you shill yourself on FB/Twitter but uh, it’s for veganism? And it’s only 24 hours? And you could win some water bottles? All right!]
Today is the first Flip for the Bill Tuesday at Nature’s Express! Every Tuesday in March after 4 p.m., you can flip a coin with the cashier, and if you win, Nature’s Express will pay your bill, up to $10! Once you’ve won, you can take that $10 you saved and buy a couple happy hour drinks. That is what we call “money management.”
Thanks to Molly at Nature’s Express for the heads-up (zing!).
Divino, the restaurant that replaced Fellini, posts menu »
So, we loved Berkeley’s Fellini but it’s long gone so we just have to go get used to that and get over it—which is very hard for us as WE HATE CHANGE. Anyway, the replacement, Divino, has posted their menu and it looks like a bunch of slow food hoo-hah but I’m thankful they’ll still have some vegan options, and the brunch looks especially good.
I don’t know, I love that they still have vegan pizza but I’m bummed that it’s all made with fancy grilled vegetables and not ten pounds of vegan meat. I loved that Smiling Cow pizza—that stuff was ridic! But maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, maybe the roasted kumquat and tutti di frutti will be delicious?? I’m willing to give it a shot! Maybe this will finally be the amazingly authentic vegan Italian food that we’re missing in this area? Maybe they’ll make a gnocchi to rival Portland’s Portobello? Maybe I’ll win the lottery and ditch you all to yacht around the world with Jay-Z, Beyonce, and little Jay-Z-Beyonce? THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS.
I don’t think they’re open yet but people have been seen inside doing tastings but we don’t care about them because they’re not us. Anyone tried anything yet?? Anyone excited about them opening?? WHAT’S THE WORD LET’S EAT!
Thanks Jennifer Chen for the heads-up!
I’m really craving a Cinnaholic roll right now (as I’m wont to do, as they’re DELICIOUS) and so I’m extra feeling this vegan zombie/Cinnaholic video which is adorable and SPOOKY and extra delicious. Check out all those flavor syrups — I totally would’ve mixed them all together to make one mega-flavor. Fuck it, it’s a zombie apocalypse—we’re all gonna die, time to go a little crazy.
It’s late and I’m a little drunk so that’s what with all the swearing. CINNAMON ROLLS 4 LYFE! GOOD NIGHT!
Zachary’s Pizza is offering VEGAN PIZZA! Oh, hell yes! »
Just got an email from the AWESOME Leandra at Zachary’s and she says this re: their new vegan pizza (!!!!):
I am following up with our email conversation WAY back in August 2010 to let you know we are now offering a vegan pizza. Our WHEAT stuffed and thin crusts are now vegan, and we offer Daiya mozz-style vegan cheese. The changes are not yet updated on our website, but should soon. I wanted to let you be one of the first to know! Thank you for reaching out to us.
You guys! This is such awesome, huge news! And how cute and great and smart and funny is Leandra!? Zachary’s, I’m coming home.
Eating at Zachary’s is the first experience with Chicago-style deep-dish pizza that pretty much anyone who grew up in the S.F. Bay Area had. Because of that, it’s always held a huge slice (ha!) of my fatty, vegan-pizza-loving heart! And I remember it tasting SO DAMN GOOD. Oh! Once, I even saw Blossom eating there! BLOSSOM! I am telling you, so many memories, so much deliciousness. This is a historic day, indeed!
Let us all take a moment to reflect on the fact that just a few years ago, the only option for vegan pizza in the Bay Area was NO OPTION. Now, we’ve got millions! Or at least five. We’ve come a long way, baby. I hope everyone, not just vegans, give this Zachary’s vegan pizza a shot because it’s sure to be hella tasty and also not filled with cholesterol and milkfat. Seriously, join us on the vegan side! We’ve got pizza! And it won’t kill you!
Let’s all go and support them and then maybe, JUST MAYBE, we’ll have enough vegan pizzas in the Bay Area to have a VEGAN PIZZA TASTE-OFF. WTF, life is awesome. Thank you, Zachary’s!!
Oh, maybe one day they’ll try a Teese-and-Daiya mix on the pizzas? Because that’s my favorite. BUT I’M NOT PICKY! (lie.) Just putting it out there, spit-balling with the universe, seeing what could happen. Until then, I will eat this Daiya-riffic pie with abandon!
Potala Organic opened in Albany (Calif., right next to Berkeley!) and it’s definitely worth checking out. Several times. And then again. It’s from the former chef at Oakland’s Shangri-La Vegan and the healthy, hearty fare reflects that. Seriously, if you feel disgusting after Thanksgiving because you’re awesome and gave it your fatty all, detox at Potala!
Happy Thanksgiving from the Monica of the Berkeley Organization for Animal Advocacy! She sent us this photo of
their annual Thanksliving feast (sorry! I can’t read!) her family’s Thanksgiving feast, where they ate roasted root vegetables with sage butter, mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, stuffing, Gardein, cranberry sauce, green beans with almonds, potato leek soup, pumpkin pie, apple and persimmon crumble, and apple spice cider.
What a spread!
It’s your daily Thanksgiving preview! This is a photo of reader Jon's first vegan Thanksgiving, which he celebrated at Berkeley's Cloyne Court. He had an amazing time, which he recounted for us in detail—the phrase “more than enough mash for a baby to drown in” appears—go read it and have your heart warmed! And your appetite whetted!