Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Dandelion Chocolate - 70% Ambanja Madagascar bar - Feb. 16, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

Dandelion Chocolate
Madagascar bar
Good ++ - Very Good
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 2 oz. (56 g.) in total bar
Calories: 150 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $8.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco, CA

Welcome to Day #3 of Chocolate and Madagascar Theme Week.

Today's 70% Ambanja, Madagascar bar was made by Dandelion Chocolate (San Francisco, CA).

If you're in San Francisco and you like chocolate, look into a trip to Dandelion Chocolate—a small-batch chocolate maker located in the Mission District.

The two co-founders, Todd Masonis and Cam Ring, came from the tech industry, a helpful background for bean-to-bar makers given the need for precision with machinery and the many steps involved in making chocolate.

The company has maintained a sense of transparency about cacao origin, and a focus on educating the public about cacao (through tours, classes, lectures). Their two-ingredient (cacao beans and cane sugar), single origin bars each come with a backstory.

For example, today's Ambanja, Madagascar 70% bar contained information about the bar's journey. Organic beans from this bar (Batch No. 2), came from the Akesson farm (in NW Madagascar), and were "sourced by Cam." This 2014 harvest was the fourth harvest that Dandelion had used beans from this farm.

This bar had an aroma with hints of green wood/coconut and brown sugar. I found the flavor was close to the tasting notes printed on the bar's packaging: "...a combination of citrus and tangy red fruits—like raspberry and Meyer lemonade."

These tasting notes were from the bar's batch-maker "BW" (Becky W.), whose initials also appeared on the back of the wrapper. And, lest I forget, each bar was carefully wrapped in foil, and then clothed in an attractive ivory and gold printed paper outer wrapper.

Thanks to Dandelion founders and early employees who worked to launch their company, after experimenting for a few years (trying to grow cacao in an apartment) and then making chocolate in an initial space in Dogpatch. The co-founders renovated an old garage space in the Mission, and this can't have been inexpensive.




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