A few days ago I wrote about the 100% sugar seed "Stevia", in this article you can read everything again, if you are not yet so fit in the topic "Stevia – The Sugar Alternative".Stevia is a plant called "Stevia rebaudina". It is also called sweet or honey weed and belongs to the genus of the Stevien (family of the korbblütler). It can grow best in subtropics such as Paraguay (South America), where it has been used as a sweetener and medicine for centuries by the population of Brazil and Paraguay. (In the 16th. In the 19th century, the Spanish conquistadors reported that the South American population used the leaves of the stevia plant for sweet!)
With stevia you can do much more than just sweeten your tea. You can cook and bake with it and even dust cakes and much more. My first thought was: "When will food and drink manufacturers jump on the stevia train?". And just a few days later a manufacturer contacted me and told me that he makes chocolate without sugar and sent me two of these plates for testing.
I have to admit that I couldn't imagine what the chocolate would taste like. Stevia was known to me and I have been using stevia for over a year, but in a chocolate?! So I decided not to think about it any further and to open the first board. It is noticeable that the plates do not look typically industrial, but are reminiscent of high-quality and special chocolate (i.e. not the ones that are available for 0.99€ in a pack of 5). The Farbei is very dark, no wonder, because this one table "Stevisana Chocolate" contains 99% cocoa from Madagascar and Ghana and of course stevia. Since I'm on tender chocolate, this bun was just right.
It tastes unbelievably like cocoa, but melts very creamy on the tongue and, thanks to the stevia sweetness, does not develop an unpleasant bitter taste. When you close your eyes, you can see/taste how the dried cocoa beans are ground and pressed into a table, which then flies into my mouth. Okay, very figuratively speaking, but I think you can describe it that way. Chocolate/cocoa – lovers will know what I mean.
Of course, I was interested not only in the product, but also in the company behind it. It's Stevisana.de and i.e. Sylvia Simmons, the ceo, did a little interview by email to find out a bit more about her company and the motives.
Mrs Simmons, how do you get to make and distribute chocolate yourself?
The reasons for my product portfolio are actually explained very quickly. On the one hand I am a mother of 2 children and there you pay a lot of attention to what the children and also you eat, on the other hand I have a case of severe diabetes in the family and was therefore looking for a chocolate without sugar but also without sweeteners. During the research I found that there were no chocolates without sugar and/or sweetener.
An alternative is actually, the one just mentioned, chocolate with sweetener?
Sweetener, because synthetically produced, I personally completely reject. In the 70s no thought was given to E605 by pesticides in fruit and vegetables ;-) Privately I use stevia for a very long time and sweeten everything with it, so I don't have to fear for the teeth of my children and I don't create addictions. Apart from the fact that a piece of cake can be a little sweeter without regret.) For our chocolates, we are constantly looking for even purer stevia to be able to use stevia, which is free of any bitter taste.
Do you make the chocolate yourself?
We were looking for a small chocolate factory in southern Bavaria, with which we worked intensively on the recipe – the production of chocolate without sugar is not so easy – and after
some attempts we went to the market with the tender-bitter variant. Our chocolate is handmade confectionery quality. And it should remain so, although not quite cheap, but the best
Craftsmanship, just a gourmet chocolate.
And what happens next? Surely you have other plans?
Our goal is to expand first to table level, so in about 2 weeks we will launch a dark rice milk version with stevia. We use a bit of raw cane sugar (approx. 12%) compared to other milk chocolates, however, we work with 75% less sugar (and 0% white sugar). And we have replaced cow's milk with rice milk. This allows even connoisseurs with lactose intolerance to eat our chocolate. We will offer a small and fine selection of summer varieties. Those who love the tender bitters will love the rice milk chocolate. (My children are totally enthusiastic, although the milk chocolate is dark about 55% cocoa content) The next project is stuffed plates and finally the drinking chocolates in the autumn.
What is your forecast for Stevia? How will it develop?
Personally, I am convinced that Stevia will slowly reduce household sugar. That is why this vehement fight by the sugar industry in Europe not to allow stevia as a sweetener. But I think that if the big beverage manufacturers have long applied for patents on drinks with stevia, there are reasons for this. Stevia was a bit of a niche product here, I don't think that's going to stay that way. Stevia is on the rise!
Thank you for your detailed answers and for the time you have taken for this!
We see here very nicely that something will slowly happen in the food sector and will soon also follow the big manufacturers. Consumers can only score points from such a positive development. If you have now got an appetite for really delicious chocolate with stevia, you can browse the webshop.