Monday, February 15, 2016

Pump Street Bakery - Madagascar 72% bar - Feb. 14, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

Pump Street Bakery Chocolate
Madagascar 72% Ambanja 2014 bar
Very Good - Very Good +
Weight: 1.23 oz. (35 g.) / 2.45 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 184 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $13.95 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Zombie Runner, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate and Madagascar Theme Week.

We're landing on this large island nation just in time to celebrate a big chocolate holiday—Valentines Day.

Madagascar is located off the Eastern coast of Africa. Most of the cacao grown here comes from the Northwest part of the island, near the Sambirano Valley, part of (or near) the district and city of Ambanja.

Today's Madagascar 72% Ambanja 2014 bar was crafted, from bean-to-bar*, by makers at Pump Street Bakery (Orford, Suffolk, UK). They make baked goods, bread and chocolate.

More specifically, this bar represents Batch No. 5201—from the Pump Street chocolate makers. I mention this, because if you taste a bar you really like, a batch number helps you find the same bar again (if it's still available). Or, making notes on various batches can help you to request a bar with similar flavor characteristics.

I'd like to re-order this three-ingredient bar (cocoa beans, cane sugar, and cocoa butter). It was a great bar for Valentines Day, with or without hearts and flowers.

  • My tasting notes: "Broke with a hard snap. Aroma and flavor: Green coconut and papaya, spice, shading into grapefruit (nicely balanced acidity) and deep but warm spice (cinnamon) finish. Interesting and enjoyable flavor arc. Not one "off" note in the bar."
  • Pump Street notes: "A dark chocolate packed with flavour (sic) brought out of the fruity Madagascan beans. This chocolate has high notes of citrus mellowing intro tropical fruits and ending with balanced acidity."

*"Each bar is made from beans imported directly from farms or cooperatives in the country of origin. We then clean, roast in our bread ovens, grind and conch at our bakery in Orford, Suffolk."

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