Podcast 334 – “The Alchemy of Cacao”


Guest speaker: Brian Wallace


This podcast features Brian Wallace’s 2012 Palenque Norte Lecture at the Burning Man Festival. Brian, who has been a community organizer for MAPS and other organizations, is also expert on the cacao plant. Originally, Brian titled this talk “The Entheobotany of Cacao”, however, I decided to change the title to better reflect the wide-ranging discussion of a little-understood, but extremely important, plant. Brian’s talk is about significantly more than chocolate treats.


PCs – Right click, select option
Macs – Ctrl-Click, select option

Brian Wallace’s Web Site (click)

Naked Chocolate: The Astonishing Truth About the World’s Greatest Food By David Wolfe

Following Brian’s talk I play a short segment about the work of Occupy Sandy and close with a song sent in from some fellow saloners, The Chooks. It is simply titled “Occupy” and is freely available for download immediately below.

“Occupy” (mp3 file)
by The Chooks

Podcast 256 – “A Drug Enhancer Called Chocolate”
featuring Jonathan Ott

Erowid Search Results for: cacao

The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss

The Brotherhood of the Screaming Abyss
by Dennis McKenna

NY Daily News Channel on YouTube

Direct link to video of this talk

Posted in Brian Wallace, Cacao, Culture, MDMA, Occupy, Palenque Norte, Psychedelics, Shamanism.


  1. Hello everyone-
    Thanks for all the comments and enthusiasm, I really appreciate it. If you’d like to connect with me further, check out my website at http://www.brianwallace.com – feel free to sign up for my newsletter, which comes out every month or two and relates various personal and professional projects and events I’m working on. Most have to do with cacao at this point. 🙂

    For more information on the ceremonial cacao revival, check out http://ceremonialcacao.blogspot.com/ …they have what they call “ceremonial grade” cacao available for sale that is very nice, along with some general guidelines and directions to create the experience yourself.

    David Wolfe’s Naked Chocolate is a great book for recipes for raw chocolate treats and products, and goes over a bit about chocolate history & nutrition. I would definitely recommend it. Jonathan Ott’s The Cacahuatl Eater is also a good, short read on the subject.


  2. Hi,

    does Brian have a blog or website? I have a bag of raw Criollo cacao and would like to know some simple recipes. Wondering for example if I can put the cacao powder in gelcaps and eat them, or if that would be too heavy on the stomach.

    Thanks Brian and Lorenzo for the wonderful lecture!

  3. Dear friends

    does anyone know what a good dose of raw (read sun-dried) criollo cocoa beans would be? I can’t seem to find it on Erowid, although maybe it’s there, it’s just that I don’t know my way around that site. On a random web search I came across this article: http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/blog/?p=262 that seems to view raw cocoa as something rather dangerous, but it also seems biased against cannabis. Would anyone who has the time and interest care to debunk or confirm any of this information? I’m confused now, see 😛 I’ve had at least one wonderful experience with chocolate, although I wouldn’t say psychedelic. More than anything I’m interested in different dosage levels, their effects good and bad, and in whether there is any recommended way of preparation and/or intake.

    As Zuma wishes us all much love, so do I, to him and to you all!
    Keep creating the world of your most meaningful visions! Whether you do so with strife or playfully, thank you for your efforts. With you in the world I can have hope!

    P.S. Apropos nothing at all, here’s an interview with Graham Hancock (who I think is riding a particularly good and clear wave these days) that, when I read it I could feel reassured in my conscious indoctrination to the self aware culture of we who wish to be de-conditioned from fragmented and less self aware operating systems: http://www.realitysandwich.com/species_recovering_talk_graham_hancock

  4. dear Lorenzo and the rest of you beautiful souls the world over,

    this Salon is a large part of my heart. it is my favorite site of the web by far, to say the least. it is an active place, alive with motivation, love, and positive spirits moving in a forward progression. there’s unflaggingly calm clarity here, no matter what happens within and without. ‘this Salon’ contains many but you, dear Lorenzo, are it’s heart and soul. blessed you. love to you, Mr. Hagerty.

    i’ll be offline a while. i have been before, and returned, and surely shall again this time -it just will be a while.

    my site’s good for a couple of months -if there was any single page i’d point to on it, this is the most useful one (to other illustrators out there): a perspective vanishing point measuring tool in javascript. feel free to snag the code and further it’s purpose or customize it to your own ends if you wish.

    see you all later. keep the larger perspective, always.

    with much love to all,

  5. (Sounding like Homer Simpson): “Ahhhhh, chocolate …..”

    Another great lecture from PN for those of us who got screwed by the BM ticket fiasco. Thanks to all who made this happen. I KNOW you realize how much value is in these!

    I’ve loved chocolate all my life. I’ve never been able to explain it. I don’t call myself an addict, though, since it can be weeks between “fixes”. I wait until my body tells me it wants/needs some and then down the hatch. My passion for chocolate, however, is pretty much 24/7. Just the thought of chocolate is enough for me most of the time. I know that there are many others who share these feelings for this beautiful, magical, and complex substance. Thanks to the speaker Brian Wallace for giving us a fairly detailed description. It only intensifies my passion.

    BUT, with little exception, I haven’t really delved into “high cacao content” chocolate. The little that I’ve done taught me an interesting lesson about surrendering: surrender to the “bitterness” that you first encounter when you pop that morsel into your mouth and on the other side of that super-intense olfactory sensation is a paradise unlike any other. I’ll bet if I bother to look around there’ll be a plant ally there, eh?

    Because of this presentation, I’ve decided to begin working with cacao. THANK YOU!

    So I’ve got a 90 gram bar that is 86% cacao. What dose is required to begin working with the ally? Do this on an empty or full stomach? Any recommendations for set and setting?

    Peace To All

  6. The perfect Christmas present for my hubby (well for me actually)… and they have sold out!!!
    Boo Hoo
    Do you know where else I can buy one??


    PS Great work Lorenzo! You are a life saver!

    [COMMENT by Lorenzo: Buy one what? 🙂 ]

  7. 5:30 into listening to the podcast now, thinking of dragging down my ancient copy of Food Of The Gods to refresh myself on what Terence said about chocolate.

    like many kids, chocolate was my drug of choice as a youth.
    my grandmother was big on it, pushing it heavy. she was french and born in the 19th century and i think they were huge on chocolate back then and there.

    …Brian does foreign accents well.

    what is it they say chocolate has in it? phenylethylamphetamine? the love drug, so to speak?

    18:20-ish tobacco. i was wondering when that would be referenced.

    the pod size is “yay big”… lol.

    [some time later]
    i tell you, never listen to podasts lating doiwn. -i awoke to the occupy song. quite lovely. i need to listen to the podcast again. i remember Brian talking about not sweetening cacao or at least as little as possible. and about not processing it too much such as roasting. i remember getting the munchies… while straight.

    …when i was a kid, i used to love putting Nestle’s Quik on all sorts of things but my favorite was on buttered toasted raisinbread… i wonder if Brian mentioned baking chocolate, or some other unsweetened grocery store chocolate. that might’ve a bit afield from central subject though… but as i sit here eating an apple, i’m wondering if there isn’t some sort of chocolate available i could do. some sort of unsweetened cocoa perhaps.

    what’s the difference between chocolate and cocoa?

    maybe i’ll give the Jonanthan Ott talk another listen while I’m at it… yep.

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