Rooibos has caught the notice of the chocolate industry as chocolatiers experiment with superfoods among new flavours ahead of Easter sales, the South African Rooibos Council has said.
South African Rooibos Council spokesperson Adele du Toit said health-conscious consumers were looking for healthier chocolate options and the industry had responded by turning to ‘functional foods’ such as rooibos as a solution.
“Rooibos is rich in health-promoting antioxidants, which help to protect the body against cell damage caused by free radicals. Its naturally sweet taste also makes it an obvious choice for chocolatiers,” she said in a statement.
Swiss master chocolatier Daniel Waldis, founder and owner of South Africa's chocolate franchise Le Chocolatier, said he had been experimenting with rooibos for some time.
He said rooibos and chocolate shared many similar characteristics, from the fruity, floral and nutty aromas to the slight levels of astringency, making it an ideal match.
"Rooibos tea pairs particularly well with white chocolate as its citrusy undertone cuts through the richness of the chocolate, while the smokiness of rooibos also compliments the nuttiness of hazelnut milk chocolate," Waldis said.
“One of our big sellers is our rooibos praline, where we combine white and milk chocolate along with a concentrated rooibos tea ganache, which both locals and tourists love."