Photo: Rob White
RESEARCH

The Structure Of Chocolate

Discovering the magic of cacao with Kate Magic

PATTERNITY’s project for Wallpaper*, The Structure of Chocolate, took the molecular building block of cacao – theobromine – as its starting point. Discovered in 1841, theobromine is found, in varying quantities, in all types of commercially available chocolate, and has a number of therapeutic properties that enhance our wellbeing.

Looking beyond the structure of theobromine to the nutritional make-up of chocolate itself, we spoke to raw-food specialist – and raw-chocolate maker – Kate Magic, about the unexpected benefits of cacao and the positive power of raw living…

Firstly, what is it about chocolate that everyone loves? Why is it so special?
Cacao is a really magical plant, which works on so many different levels: the melting point of cacao butter is the same as the human body temperature. Chocolate releases everything at the moment you bite into it – that’s a very sensual experience. There’s no other plant-based food that alters and supports brain chemistry in such a positive way: it restores natural pathways in the brain; it helps the body create things like serotonin naturally. It works on the body and the mind at the same time – hitting your palate and your brain in an explosive way. It’s the richest dietary source of magnesium, the mineral that supports the heart, activating your taste, neurological and heart receptors simultaneously. That’s part of the magic of raw chocolate: you eat it with a feeling of decadence, but it’s doing great stuff for you at the same time.

"Through being more mindful of what you’re putting in your body, you increase your sense of connectivity to the world and everything in it"
Kate Magic, Raw Food Specialist

Why is raw chocolate more beneficial than ordinary processed chocolate? 
Normal chocolate is always roasted, which changes the properties of it. Even if you have really good-quality chocolate, it’s still made with cacao solids – a very processed form of chocolate. With raw chocolate, we take the whole bean and make chocolate with that, eliminating the processing. The difference between having a milk chocolate bar and a raw chocolate bar is like the difference between having pasteurised orange juice and eating a whole raw orange.

What are the benefits of a raw food diet in general?
“When you heat food above 42º (the magic temperature), you destroy the enzymes that are the life force of food. There are hundreds of naturally occurring enzymes in our body, but as we grow older, we have less. That’s why children, who have abundant enzymes, have so much energy. As you age, it becomes harder for your body to recover – enzymes are the main factor associated with ageing and youthfulness. When you have raw food you’re supplementing the enzymes in your body, giving you more energy. And, through being more mindful of what you’re putting in your body, you increase your sense of connectivity to the world and everything in it.”
Image: Structure of Chocolate, our installation for Wallpaper* Magazine
Kate Magic is a raw food specialist and the creative director of Raw Living, for which she has created a number of products (including including six raw chocolate bars and two raw chocolate cakes)
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