Six tastes of Ayurveda in a chocolate bar
All that you need to know about keeping your body in balance, the Ayurvedic way, is right at the tip of your tongue :).
The science of Ayurveda focuses on nourishing each element (earth, water, fire, air, ether) and every tissue in the body and recommends foods that offers the six tastes, for a balanced meal. What are these six tastes?
Sweet - earth + water
This taste needs no explanation! :). We are all far too familiar with our sweet cravings. The sweet taste is a combination of the earth and water elements. According to Ayurveda, the sweet taste helps us sustain our loving nature, our proper balance of building hormones, soft skin, lubrication of our joints, and steadiness in mind and body.
Salty - water + fire
The salty taste creates moisture and heat on our taste buds. It is a combination of the water and fire elements. The salty taste kindles digestion that is grounding for the nervous system and encourages stability.
Sour- earth + fire
The sour taste creates moisture in the mouth and tissues. The sour taste is a combination of the earth and fire elements. The sour taste helps stimulate our digestion, proper evacuation of wastes by adding moisture and aid in our ability to taste our foods by supporting saliva.
Pungent - fire + air
The pungent taste is intense, sharp, and spreads quickly. There are no specific receptors on the tongue for the pungent taste and we perceive it through irritation of tissues and nerve endings. The pungent taste is a combination of the fire and air elements. This taste softens the mucus and helps increase mental focus and clarity.
Astringent - earth + air
This taste is the driest of them all. It has a drying effect in your mouth - like how you feel when you eat an unripe banana! The astringent taste is a combination of the earth and air elements. This taste helps support wound repairing and where there is excess fluid or swelling in the body.
Bitter - ether + air
The bitter taste receptors are at the back of the tongue. It is the combination of the light and cool, ether, and air elements. The bitter taste is often integrated into your food to balance digestion. This taste creates space in the body by draining and drying excess fluids.
When all these six tastes are included in our meal, we feel satisfied. Some say, if you follow this simple rule for your every meal, you no longer need to look at the nutrition label of what you eat. Because your body will talk to you. It will automatically gravitate towards the food that it needs at the moment for full nourishment. Isn’t that amazing?
Want an easy way to taste all six tastes together? Try any of our Ayurvedic chocolate bars. All of our chocolate bars have all the six Ayurvedic tastes.
Our chocolates are sweetened just with honey. The honey contributes to the sweet taste. Honey is known as ‘Madhu’ in the Ayurvedic scriptures, meaning ‘perfection of sweet’. Honey enters directly into the bloodstream because of its dextrin content. Not only that, the latest research indicates that the pollen in honey contains all 22 amino acids, 28 minerals, 11 enzymes, 14 fatty acids, and 11 carbohydrates. Sweeeeeeet! And, yes, our honey is not heated. One of the reasons why we call our chocolates raw.
Have you looked at our ingredient list? Every single chocolate bar has the Himalayan pink salt. Salt not only contributes to the “salty” taste but also enhances the flavor profile of the cacao. You know how your loved ones say you "bring out the best in people?" Well, salt does that for sweets. For an extra punch of salt, definitely try our Sea Salt infused with Turmeric and Black Lava Salt infused with Turmeric chocolate bars.
We have all heard, fermented food is awesome for our gut! Did you know that cacao is fermented food? Fermentation is the first process the cacao beans undergo in the process of chocolate making. And that is what lends to the sour taste.
Cocoa naturally has a very strong, pungent taste, which comes from the flavanols. Flavanols are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. In addition to having antioxidant qualities, research shows that flavanols have other potential influences on vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky and able to clot.
Tannins present in the cacao beans lends to its natural astringent taste. Tannins are naturally-occurring polyphenols, that causes the dry feeling in the mouth. This is even more prominent when you try the cacao nibs directly. The nibs themselves are very low in sugar and contain alkaloids such as theobromine which are bitter. You can definitely try our maple glazed cacao nibs, to enjoy the health benefits and bitter taste of the nibs complemented by the sweetness of maple syrup.
All our bars are infused with various Ayurveda herbs and spices. These spices are not just great flavor-enhancers but as per Ayurveda they also enhance different rasas (taste) in each chocolate bar. While all our bars have all the six tastes, if there is any specific taste that your body is gravitating towards, you can use the chart below to make your selection of the chocolate bars.
Understanding the 6 tastes helps explain why some herbs and foods have so many therapeutic effects. The more tastes one food has, the more effects it has on our body. Ayurveda is such a deep well of knowledge and the more one learns about it, the seemingly mysterious tendencies of our body and mind start making sense.
Photo Credit: Hilda @mychocolatediary