Those bars of unsweetened baking chocolate you see in the grocery store? Those are made entirely of cocoa mass and, despite our normal recommendations to avoid packaged food, can be enjoyed as part of a Paleo lifestyle.
How to Make Cocoa Mass
Cocoa mass (a.k.a. cocoa liquor or chocolate liquor) is produced when cocoa beans are fermented, dried, roasted, and skinned. The beans are ground into a paste, melted into liquor and the liquor is cooled and molded into bars.
The Nutritional Content of Cocoa Mass
Like cocoa beans, cocoa mass contains about half fat (almost all of which is saturated or monounsaturated), with carbohydrates and protein making up most of the rest, followed by tannins and theobromine.
Tannins are a polyphenol used by plants to protect themselves from predators. They are responsible for the bitter taste of pure cocoa mass, but they also impart a number of health benefits, namely antioxidant properties. Cocoa mass is also a good source of theobromine, a compound that is effective in reducing blood pressure and inflammation.
Mark Sisson gives cocoa mass his primal seal of approval here.