Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Valrhona - Ampamakia, Madagascar bar - Feb. 17, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

Millesime* 2013
Ampamakia, Madagascar bar
(Chocolat Noir de Domaine/Estate Grown Dark Chocolate)
Good++ - Very Good
Weight: 1.23 oz. (35 g.) / 2.46 oz. (69.6 g.) in total bar
Calories: 209 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $7.60 for 1 bar (sale price)
Purchased from:, online order

Welcome to Day #4 of Chocolate and Madagascar Theme Week.

Many of the bars featured this week were made with cacao from a single region in northwest Madagascar (Ambanja District, Sambirano River Valley)—often from one of a few farms, including today's bar.

Today's Ampamakia, Madagascar 64% (cocoa solids) bar from Valrhona (Tain l'Hermitage, France) was made with beans from the Ampamakia farm in the Sambirano River Valley.

The Valrhona packaging for this Ampamakia bar describes the region of origin this way:

"On the island of Madagascar, at the heart of the fertile Sambirano river valley, lies one of the island's celebrated plantations, the Ampamakia farm. Amidst these lush surroundings where delicate fragrances mingle with the colors of the vanilla and ylang-ylang** fields, Trinitario and Criollo cocoa beans have been cultivated for more than 100 years. Their acid yellow fruit freshness and roasted notes will transport your senses."

This bar had a rich, pleasant aroma; a gradual melt; and a well-rounded, uniform taste with mild, acidic fruit flavor.

The bar's five ingredients: cocoa beans from Madagascar, sugar, cocoa butter, emulsifier (soya lecithin), vanilla.

*Millesime refers to a vintage year, or harvest year for a given crop—often used to describe a vintage wine grape year—and, in this case, it refers to cacao.

**Ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata) refers to sweet-smelling yellow flowers that grow on the Cananga tree in tropical climates. The essential oil from the flowers is used in perfumes, fragrances and aromatherapy.

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