"Sometime, when we were kids, probably at my Aunt Dee-Dee’s house in Soberly, Missouri, I first viewed the film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. That was my first exposure to the deep, mystical magic of chocolate.
A casual interest in chocolate throughout my life has blossomed into a passion and incredible fascination for the cacao tree and its prodigal product, the cacao bean. Cacao beans are the raw form of chocolate. They are the key ingredient to all chocolate.
For many years, whenever I would come across raw cacao beans in Hawaii, I would peel a few of them and throw them into a smoothie or coconut drink. I never experimented with them enough to realize what I was dealing with.
One day my friend Shazzie and I were visiting our friends Ethan and Eli in Maui. We were peeling cacao beans for a smoothie and Eli asked me, “Have you ever just eaten one?” And the truth was, I hadn’t. So I peeled one and just as I bit into it I had a tremendous download of information hit me. It was a life-changing experience. I was surprised to discover how incredible it is to eat raw cacao beans themselves - to eat Naked Chocolate."
Excerpt from: "Naked Chocolate"