Madagascar Single-Origin Chocolate
You probably have heard of and tasted chocolate, you may know some big chocolate names like Côte d’Or, Lindt, Chocolat Bonnat and a host of other brands. When you meet chocolate enthusiasts you wonder what they are on about, when you hear terms like “Single-origin” we’ll be diving into this increasingly important speciation when it comes to the chocolate world.
What is Chocolate?
I’m sure you know what chocolate is but a bit of detail wouldn’t be bad. Chocolate is a paste or cake composed of the roasted seeds of Theobroma Cacao (botanical name for cocoa) ground and mixed with other ingredients usually sugar, cinnamon or vanilla .
Single-Origin chocolate – what’s that about?
Single-origin chocolate means that all the ingredients used in the production of the chocolate are grown and processed in a particular region. Meaning the cocoa, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla will be processed within the same region i.e. Madagascar
What’s the big deal about Single-Origin chocolate?
Cocoa as a plant has a “native taste” as a result of the region it is grown and when it is blended with other ingredients, its native taste recedes.So, you have probably never tasted Malagasy single-origin chocolate before (if you are not a Malagasy locale or haven’t specifically shopped for a single-origin brand) and the point of this blog post is – you should!
The Malagasy Chocolate Trifecta!
Madagascar has three major chocolate makers that produce outstanding chocolate for tasting – Chocolaterie Robert, ChocolaterieCinagra and Chocolaterie Colbert, there are other foreign countries that make use of Malagasy Cocoa for their chocolate by shipping from Madagascar to their respective locationsbut some do not count as single-origin while some do, so you might have tasted some Malagasy cocoa but not single-origin chocolate.
The Madagascar chocolate production industry is about 80 years old and though not as popular as Swiss or Belgian brands, it is certainly a brand that holds its own. Chocolaterie Robert started by Mr. and Mrs. Robert a French couple 80 years was the first chocolate factory in Madagascar and have their chocolate products not just locally sold but also internationally. So if you find he Chocolat Madagascar brand – you have come across award winning single-origin chocolate from Madagascar and you should invest in it – as simple as that!
One more reason that Madagascar chocolate is unique us that the cocoa, which is grown in plantations on the Sambirano regions within the Ambanja district have citrus tastes unlike the bitter tastes that usually characterize cocoa. A majority of cocoa plantations are naturally bred with no fertilizers involved in the growth… If that is not enough conviction for you to have one then a health reason would convince you – Madagascar chocolate comes with an enrichment of antioxidant flavonoids translating to reduced risk of cancer, heart disease, asthma and stroke – A sweet solution to bitter problems.
Another Award winning chocolate within Madagascar is ChocolaterieCinagra. They have been in the single-origin chocolate production stint since 2006. They also export their Tsar chocolate bar to the US, Canada and Germany.
These two makers have also been involved investment in the cocoa industry as current estimates put the entire Madagascar cocoa production at less than 1% of world production. They are also recognized as “bean-to-bar” producers or in some circles as “soil-to-bar” producers as they grow cocoa on their own plantations and process it all the way to full chocolate form.
Chocolaterie Colbert another maker of chocolate, though smaller than Chocolaterie Robert and ChocolaterieCinagra and also not recognized as a “bean-to-bar” producer as they purchase processed cocoa from the former two, also produces single-origin chocolate as all their materials are from within Madagascar. Their strength is in innovation in terms of chocolate presentation as they make handmade and gift-wrapped chocolates and pralines that are fresh over the counter at Hotel Colbert.
Chocolate Organizations and Awards
Organizations like the Chocolate Academy award chocolate makers yearly and have Tree-to-bar categories that encourage the cultivation of cocoa all the way from plant to chocolate which plays a role in the rise of single-origin brands.Chocolaterie Robert’s Mora Mora and Sambirano brands were 2006 recipients of the Chocolate Academy’s Silver Cup and the Best Buy Ethical Award respectively.
There is a “Chocolate show” in Paris – Salon du Chocolat and chocolate makers are given opportunities to exhibit and are also awarded and ChocolaterieCinagra’s Tsar bar was a recipient of first prize in 2008.
The International Chocolate awards also have a Plain/Origin chocolate bar categories emphasizing the growing popularity of single-origin chocolate and also the bean-to-bar procedure of producing chocolate.
Chocolat Madagascar by Robert is available in Madagascar, Japan, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Canada and the USA. You can also get more information at www.chocolatmadagascar.com
The Tsar bar by Cinagra is sold in the US, Canada and Germany.
There are foreign makers that make us of Malagasy cocoa for their production of chocolate which include:
- Patric Chocolate – a US-based micro, bean-to-bar, chocolate maker.
- Amano Artisan Chocolate – a US-based bean-to-bar chocolate factory making a 70% Malagasy cocoa bar.
- Amedei – an Italian-based chocolate maker producing a bar with 70% cocoa content.
- Coppeneur Chocolate – a German chocolate maker which has a small cocoa plantation on Nosy Be Island.
- Sambirano Madagascar – a 70% cocoa bar by the Italian chocolate maker Domori.
- EillesMadagaskar – a 37% cocoa milk chocolate by German chocolate maker Eilles.
- Madécasse – a chocolate produced in Madagascar by Cinagra and exported to USA, Canada and Germany.
- Excellence Madagascar Noir – a 65% cocoa based chocolate with a light vanilla flavour, part of Lindt’s Excellence range.
- VAO VAO – a chocolate produced in Madagascar by Chocolaterie Robert and exported to the US.
- Sambirano – a 70% cocoa Madagascar bar from Rougue Chocolatier in the US.
- Madagaskar&Ambanja – a 46% cocoa milk chocolate and a limited edition 72% dark chocolate by J.D. Gross.
- Madanga – a 39% cocoa bar made by German chocolate maker Rausch Schokolade.
- Pierre Hermé Paris – a 75% Madagascar cocoa chocolate sold in France.
- Mangaro by Michel Cluizel is a 65% cocoa bar made in France with cocoa from the Mangaro plantation in the Sambirano Valley.
- SélectionMasoala is a limited edition chocolate by Chocolatier François Stahl made with cacao grown in the Masoala hall of the Zürich zoo, an artificial rainforest resembling the real Masoala rainforest in north-east Madagascar.
- 75% Madagascar by Twenty-Four Blackbirds Chocolate.
- Pralus – 75% cocoa Madagascar bar sold in France.
- Thorntons – a 32% cocoa Madagascar bar.
- Åkesson’s – a dark bar made with cacao grown on the Ambolikapiky Plantation in Sambirano.
- Madagascar 67% by US bean-to-bar chocolate maker Snake & Butterfly.
- Amelia Rope Dark Mandarin – a 69% cocoa chocolate made from single-origin Madagascar beans.
- Madagascar Tablette – a 64% cocoa bar made by US-based Meeteetse Chocolatier.
- L.A. Burdick Handmade Chocolates – a 65-67% Madagascar cocoa bar.
- frenchbroadchocolates.com/product/woodblock-madagascar-70-bar – Woodblock Madagascar 70% Bar – Portland, Oregon, US.
- Raak Chocolate – NY-based chocolate maker which has a 75% Madagascar bar.
- Chocolaterie A. MORIN – French chocolate maker, 70% bar.
- Sambirano Valley Chocolat – Canadian/Malagasy producer of chocolate made with cocoa from Madagascar.
This information can be explore more at www.madacamp.com
Enough said – get some Madagascar single-origin chocolate wherever you are or get ready to cart away lots of it when next you visit Madagascar.