Sunday, March 21, 2021

Chocolarder - Millot Farm - 80% Dark Chocolate Sambirano Valley, Madagascar (bar) - Mar. 21, 2021

Chocolate of the Day

Millot Farm - 80% Dark Chocolate Sambirano Valley, Madagascar (bar)
Good ++ 
Weight: 1.23 oz. (35 g.) / 2.46 oz. (70 g.) in total bar
Calories: 198 calories in 1/2 bar 
Cost: $9.25 for 1 bar
Purchased from: Bar and Cocoa, online order 

Welcome to Day #10 of Chocolate and Madagascar Theme Week.

Today's Millot Farm 80% Dark Chocolate Sambirano Valley, Madagascar (bar) was from Chocolarder (Falmouth, Cornwall, United Kingdom).

Chocolarder crafts single origin bars, from bean-to-bar, using single estate/plantation cacao(s) from countries including Venezuela, Java, Madagascar, Peru and the Dominican Republic. And they also offer small batch bars with intriguing flavor inclusions (gorse flower, cinnamon toasted cacao nibs, Cornish honeycomb), as well as confections.

The company's Millot Farm Madagascar 80% chocolate bar today was made using cacao grown on a Malagasy farm (established in 1904, that also produces spices and essential oils) located in the Sambirano Valley in northwest Madagascar, a region known for great cacao, like today's "fine flavour" Trinitario hybrid cacao strain that originated in Java.

This bar had aroma notes that included: deep dark chocolate, green sencha (roasted brown rice) tea, wood, brown sugar and very faint spice.

This 80% cacao chocolate was made with less sugar (less than a 70% cacao bar, that might be 30% sugar). It wasn't too sweet (thank you)!* 

I applaud the chocolate makers this week who were bold enough to go with 80%+ cacao Madagascar bars. Great choice for this origin. (Note: Chocolarder also offers a 74% Ottange Farm, Madagascar bar if you're looking for an interesting side-by-side tasting pairing.)

The first bite of this two-ingredient bar was full of pleasing dark chocolate flavor. I enjoyed this chocolate's light, balanced fruit (golden raisin, and aromatic, sweet white wine grape) flavor notes. There was also a faint, fleeting tart sweet stone/red fruit astringency, and a balanced, very faint, woodsy earth tone/note. 
The makers' tasting notes read as follows: "Bursting with tart cherry and sweet raisin flavours with hints of sandalwood."

Ingredients: cacao beans, unrefined raw sugar
Allergen information: "Made in a factory that also handles tree nuts."

*Why does the sugar content matter? Sugar can amplify or obscure/overpower certain cacao flavors in chocolate. Madagascar-grown cacao is known for its very bright, tart-sweet fruit (typically citrus and berry) flavors that blossom with, or soon after, the first bite. (Now, think fresh berry lemonade with a little white grape and maybe some orange, grapefruit, peach and cherry juices thrown in. And imagine adding 30% sugar. Do your teeth hurt yet?). 

I'm here for the cacao, and not the sugar; and I love experiencing (Sambirano Valley's) Malagasy cacao fruit notes with a bit less added sugar. Anyone who has slowly savored the flavors in a ripe mango, or peach, or has enjoyed the fruit pulp that surrounds cacao seeds/beans, will know what I mean. 

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