I recently discovered Rawsome raw vegan snacks and they have raw vegan caramel slice! and raw vegan mint slice! and raw vegan lamington balls! and raw vegan many other things I can't even name them all here! and they are available really dangerously close to where I live and work.
|Rawsome raw, vegan caramel slice|
In case you couldn't tell, I am very excited by this.
Rawsome was created by its founder, Laila Gampfer, in 2011. It is credit to her and the company that Rawsome products can now be found in over 20 central cafes in Perth. They are even in Miss Maud's, a chain of cafe-restaurants that I grew up enjoying and am delighted to know I can now visit to find a raw vegan treat. They are also at The Herdsman, that gourmet supermarket of delight I have discussed previously (and which is also quite accessible from my house...), and several central cafes in the city and inner city area.
The Rawsome website states that Rawsome aims to "provide a wholesome range of treats to satisfy sweet cravings while nourishing the body, mind and soul". All of the products are raw, vegan (except raw honey in some products), paleo, gluten free, grain free, sugar free and soy free. That's quite a list. Their Facebook page includes links to newspaper coverage that explains Laila developed the range after being diagnosed with Coeliac disease.
|Rawsome raw, vegan goji berry, seed and nut slice|
The products are, frankly, pretty amazing. I first saw the range when meeting my sister for an afternoon coffee at Cafe Cafe, a regular meeting spot for us because it is relatively central and there is an upstairs seating area that is always warm, has comfortable couches, and is relatively uncrowded. The cafe also does great coffee and chai lattes.
On the day in question, I had just ordered two soy chai lattes and noticed a string of 'Rawsome' stickers along the front of appealing looking slices in the cabinet. I think it is testament to my self-control that I didn't make a scene of excitement in the store. Instead, I just made a scene of excitement in my mind. I also developed plans to work my way through the entire range. I have since had two slices (the discovery was just the other week...) and see more on the horizon.
My first slice was eaten at the cafe, and consisted of the raw vegan caramel slice with a long black coffee. I'm not sure why I chose the caramel slice - I would have considered the mint slice, or cherry ripe slice, to be more to my usual tastes - but perhaps it is the utter novelty of a vegan caramel slice available at my whim.
The slice had the same characteristic of every other (non-vegan) caramel slice I've eaten: it was rich. And sweet. And a little bit sickly. And rich. It wasn't particularly caramelly, but my goodness it was good.
The base was nutty, but soft enough to pass as a typical caramel slice base. The chocolate layer was fudgy and ganache like. I hope you know me well enough to know that raw, vegan, fudgy, ganache-like chocolate is a very good thing in my world.
I am glad I had the coffee to help offset some of the sweetness, but it was a nice entry to a product range that I plan to develop a long-term relationship with.
The second slice was one I bought to take away, and was almost a little hesitant about. Unlike the caramel slice, it seemed reminiscent of fruit and nut treats I've made myself or bought elsewhere. I thought I might be making a 'boring' choice.
People, I was so very wrong. This goji, seed and nut bar is somehow - inexplicably and amazingly - a vegan coconut ice. For those of you not familiar with coconut ice, it is an old school Australian confection consisting largely of coconut, copha and sugar. Hannah veganised it (and chocolatised it) on Wayfaring Chocolate earlier this year.
I didn't like coconut ice that much as a child - too coconutty, too sweet, too dense - but this slice I did like. A lot. It was coconutty, but not too coconutty. It was sweet, but not too sweet. It was dense, but dense without making me feel ill (although it did make me feel full!). The goji berries somehow tasted like strawberries. It was all things wonderful.
I'll say it again: I am very excited.
One caveat I must mention is that the Rawsome range is not cheap. Most of the slices, including the caramel slice, retail for $7.90. Some of the smaller ones, including the goji, seed and nut bar, are $4.90. A few, including a raw banoffee pie, are $11.90. I don't think these prices are unreasonable given the ingredients and the rarity of commercial raw treats - but they'd be tough to justify too often. On the plus side, that should prolong their treat-like nature nicely.
Tell me - what was your last exciting food moment?
Cafe Cafe is located at 29 Station Street, Subiaco, Western Australia.
Rawsome is stocked at a variety of cafes in Perth, details of which can be seen here.
Neither Rawsome nor Cafe Cafe had any involvement in this post, and I bought the products I've reviewed myself.