Friday, March 29, 2013

Madre - All Hawaiian Bar - March 29, 2013

Chocolate of the Day:

Madre Chocolate
70% Hawaiian Dark Chocolate bar
Weight: 1.5 oz. (43 g.) total bar
Calories: 225 calories (estimate) in 1 bar
Cost: $8.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Madre Chocolate, Honolulu, HI (online)

I have many good things to say about Madre Chocolate (Honolulu, HI), and the company's founders, David Elliott and Dr. Nat Bletter. However, today I focused on their chocolate, specifically their 70% Hawaiian Dark Chocolate bar -- a 1st Place 2012 Winner at the Big Island Chocolate Festival.

This hand-crafted bar was smooth, with mild fruit and almost-floral notes. I wondered what the interesting string of glyphs/picture language imprinted across the bar meant. The Madre Chocolate logo image (a modified Maya glyph for cacao) is explained on Madre Chocolate's About page on their website. I'm sure there is an interesting history and origin story behind the characters on this bar.

Ingredients and Origins 
The origins of the four ingredients that made up this bar were close to home:
1.) Cacao from the Hamakua coast (on the Northeast side of the Big Island)
2.) Organic sugar
3.) Organic cocoa butter
4.) Hawaii whole vanilla bean from Kona (on the West side on the Big Island, with rich volcanic slopes known for high-quality Kona coffee)

I spoke to Nat Bletter when I was in Hawaii last month; we spoke about the direct connections with farmers made possible when making a unique bar like this with all Hawaiian ingredients.

Typically cacao and other ingredients are grown in tropical climates in countries outside the U.S., and chocolate makers have to fly great distances to connect with farmers in person. Likewise, farmers may never have an opportunity to taste a finished chocolate bar.

Hawaii is a unique location in the U.S. where both these worlds -- that of the grower and the manufacturer -- can overlap. More about this in an interview I'll publish shortly.

Today was Day #4 of Chocolate and Hawaii Theme Week.
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