Thursday, October 31, 2019

Mirzam Chocolate Makers - Madagascar 72% Dark Chocolate (bar) - Oct. 31, 2019

Chocolate of the Day: 

Mirzam Chocolate Makers
Madagascar 72% Dark Chocolate (bar)
Good ++
Weight: 1.236 oz. (35 g.) / 2.47 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 186 calories (estimate) in 1/2 bar
Cost: $12.00 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Missing information

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Africa Theme Week, and Happy Halloween to all who celebrate this holiday.

Instead of pumpkins, witches and ghosts, this year we visited colorful orange and black butterflies and birds at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. (The museum also included cacao in their rainforest habitat exhibit). 

Cacao often enables one to enjoy virtual travel. So true, even more with today's chocolate.

Today's Madagascar 72% Dark Chocolate (bar) was made from bean to bar by Mirzam Chocolate Makers / Kakaw Manufacturing (in Dubai, U.A.E.). Mirzam's line of chocolate (bars) and flavor inclusions are inspired by ancient Arab seafaring trade routes that resulted in the exchange of an impressive array of goods, foods, spices and currencies from many different ports and origins.

This beautifully designed Mirzam African single origin bar was great for dark chocolate lovers who wanted to aim high, and forgo chocolate tricks or inferior treats. This three-ingredient* chocolate was crafted using Criollo and Amelonado** varieties/strains of cacao grown in Madagascar.

The bar had lovely notes of rich chocolate mousse, light fruit (faint tangerine to light red berry) and brown sugar, with no off taste. It had a fairly clean finish with a barely detectable hint of green tea astringency toward the end.

Mirzam (maker's) tasting notes: caramel, chocolate, citrus, smokey; low in bitterness.

*Ingredients: cocoa beans, unrefined cane sugar, cocoa butter. This chocolate was described as gluten free and vegan-friendly.

**Amelonado is a widely planted type of cacao in West Africa. Theobroma cacao varieties originated in the Americas and were brought to (and planted in) Africa approximately 200 years ago. However, cacao may have been sampled by certain residents before then. 

At least some Dutch and other European citizens and church members/clergy traveling or living in Africa would likely have known about cacao or drinking chocolate many years before then. 

Christopher Columbus is said to have brought back cacao beans to Europe after his fourth voyage (by 1504). Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes, brought more cacao beans back a few decades later. 

However, it took a very long time for demand for drinking chocolate/cacao to pick up. E.g., there is evidence that it wasn't until 1606 when cacao was formally introduced in Italy; and more people began to drink chocolate across Europe by the mid 1600s, around the same time that coffee and tea became more popular. 






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