Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Madhu Chocolate - Idukki Black Pepper 68% Cacao (bar) - Mar. 7, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Madhu Chocolate
Idukki Black Pepper 68% Cacao (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1.3 oz. (37 g.) / 2.6 oz. (74 g.) in total bar
Calories: 195 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $9.29 for 1 bar (part of a larger order - 7 bars for $65.00 USD)
Purchased from: Good Food Awards Marketplace, online order

Welcome to Day #15 of Chocolate and Spices and Day #2 of India Theme Week.

Today's Idukki Black Pepper 68% Cacao (bar) was from Madhu Chocolate* (Austin, TX). 

The company offers bean-to-bar chocolates with India-inspired flavors. Several bars include spices or spice blends. Packaging is inspired by Indian textiles. They source cacao from Tumaco, Colombia and the Idukki region of India.

This Good Food Awards 2022 winner was made using Idukki cacao and Aranya single origin black pepper (sourced by Diaspora Co.) from the state of Kerala in southwestern coastal India.

The complex aroma notes for this bar unfolded to reveal: spiced fruit (ginger, cardamom, berry, stone fruit), faint citrus and pepper.

This well-tempered chocolate had a smooth texture and mouthfeel. The black pepper used for this bar was ground and fully incorporated into the chocolate. 

Flavor notes were similar to the aroma notes, and included: complex spiced fruit (diffuse red berry, blackberry, citrus, red apple, red wine grapes) and sweet, rich dark chocolate melded with balanced, complex black pepper flavors (with some pepper heat). The finish had faint, fleeting notes that included: dairy butter, implied umami (grilled black pepper steak) and earth. 

This Idukki Black Pepper 68% cacao chocolate tasted like a satisfying, four-course meal in a bar. It also exemplified just how complex and wonderful high-quality, single origin black pepper and cacao can be. 

The "Malabar Coast" (spice gardens) in SW India (with latitudes that overlap with cacao growing regions in Kerala and Karnataka) have been famous for world-famous Tellicherry pepper and spices for thousands of years, for good reason.)

Ingredients: Cacao, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, black pepper

Allergen-related information: (Vegan. Gluten free.) "Prepared in a facility that also processes nuts and dairy."

*The word Madhu translates as honey or sweet. It is also the name of co-founder Harshit Gupta's mother. (English "mead" (aka honey wine) may be from the same root.)


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