Monday, February 15, 2016

Chocolaterie Robert - Organic 70% Madagascar bar - Feb. 15, 2016

Chocolate of the Day: 

Chocolaterie Robert
Chocolat Madagascar Organic 70% Cocoa bar
Good ++
Weight: 1 oz. (28.3 g.) / 3 oz. (85 g.) in total bar
Calories: 150 calories (estimate) in 1/3 bar
Cost: $N/A - part of a larger subscription box
Purchased from: Cocoa Runners (online order)

Today was Day #2 of Chocolate and Madagascar Theme Week.

This Chocolat Madagascar Organic 70% Cocoa bar was made by Chocolaterie Robert ("Malagasy cocoa farmers and chocolatier" based in Antananarivo, Madagascar).

Cocoa beans are often shipped to Europe or North America for processing into chocolate. However, this company makes their chocolate in the same country as the beans of origin.

This particular 70% organic bar contained two ingredients: Madagascar cocoa beans and Madagascar organic cane sugar.

The bar was flavorful—with characteristic fruity Madagascar (citrus, red fruit) acidity, and a touch of balanced bitterness and earthiness.

Nutrition Facts - Theobromine
Another unique thing about this bar was the "Nutrition Facts" information posted on the back of the packaging. In addition to info about carbohydrate, protein and fat percentages—and certain mineral content (Magnesium and Phosphorus)—the amount of theobromine was listed.

Theobromine is a stimulant (similar to caffeine) found in cacao (Theobroma cacao) and chocolate. Today's (entire) bar contained 680 mg. of Theobromine (800 mg per 100 g.). For those sensitive to Theobromine, information about levels would be useful. Hats off to Chocolaterie Robert for including this.

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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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