Madecasse Madagascar 75% Review
I stumbled across Madecasse, I think, in SF. I believe I picked it up at Fog City News though it could have been Cocoa Bella as I bought hundreds of dollars in bars from both and can’t remember what I got where. I did a lot of bar shopping 🙂
The story behind Madecasse is intriguing – they were part of the Peace Corps (I kid you not) and wanted to do more for the people they were working to help in Madagascar. They pay farmers better than fair trade prices and keep manufacturing in Madagascar, employing more local people in chocolate. On their own website, Madecasse say that 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from Africa but less than 1% of chocolate is made there. They say “Our products represent that personal connection to the island, a deeper understanding of the rich and complex flavors hidden inside the varieties of cocoa, vanilla and peppercorns found exclusively in Madagascar. The result is unique, satisfying products unlike anything you’ve tasted before.” Well, I’ll be the judge of that 😉
The scent of the chocolate is interesting. Not too fruity but still robust. Initial mouth feel is OK but there is a hint of burnt beans in the flavour. It is dark and bitter – much more drying and bitter than I expect a 75% Madagascan bar to be. There is a fruityness under the burnt earthiness with a hunt of leather but it isn’t what I expected at all. I expected either a smooth chocolate flavour or one with ripe red fruits. I didn’t expect it to have this burnt bean edge to it.
I may have gotten a bar from a bad batch. One thing about being a small chocolate producer is that if you screw something up, you still have to sell the chocolate or risk taking a massive financial loss. There isn’t always the option to garbage a tonne of beans and start again and so I’ll look for more of this chocolate next time I am in the US or somewhere that carries this chocolate. I want this to be a good bar so I’ll try again.
Judith, When you do try Madecasse again try the 80% bar. The flavor is head and shoulders above the 75% bar. Not quite sure why there is such a big difference in flavor but there is. The Askinosie San Jose Del Tambo 70% bar is is one of my favorites, too, so maybe you’ll like the Madecasse 80% 🙂 I stumbled upon it at a small tasting at the Whole Foods in Picadilly Square while on holiday in the UK. The Whole Foods in my hometown (Minneapolis, MN) don’t carry the 80% bar so I’ve ordered it directly from Madecasse. I’m happy to have found your blog!
I hope to get my hands on some more. Like I said – I want this to be great but maybe I got a bad bar. Your comment though reassures me to give it another go and so as soon as I find some in the UK or the next time I’m in the US I will grab some! THANKS!