Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Beyond Good - Madagascar Pure Dark Chocolate 92% Cocoa (bar) - Sept. 13, 2022

Chocolate of the Day

Beyond Good
Madagascar Organic Pure Dark Chocolate 92% Cocoa (bar)
Good ++ - Good +++
Weight: 1.32 oz. (37.5 g.) / 2.64 oz. (75 g.) in total bar
Calories: 240 calories in 1/2 bar
Cost: $3.99 for 1 bar
Purchased from: New Leaf Community Markets, Half Moon Bay, CA

Welcome to Day #1 of Chocolate and Madagascar Theme Week. It's with much delight that I return to single origin chocolates this week, including a few made "in country" (in Madagascar), where the cacao was grown.

Today's Beyond Good Organic Madagascar Pure Dark 92% Cocoa (bar) was distributed by Madecasse LLC (Brooklyn, NY). 

The cacao used to make this single origin bar was grown in Madagascar and made into chocolate in Madagascar, allowing more money to stay in the country of origin. This sounds simple, but Madecasse has worked hard over the years to optimize this model--one that is still an exception in the chocolate industry. Typically the supply chain involves more third parties (collectors, exporters, importers, etc.), and less money goes to farmers. 

Aroma notes for this ultra-dark bar included: subtle, rich, sweet root (cooked sweet beet and yam), dark chocolate mousse cake, faint diffuse fruit (light tropical, mango), faint fresh green forest and/or wood, and faint nut and seed.

Texturally, this chocolate had a smooth melt; and it had a very slight granular astringency.

Flavor notes for this wondrously complex, balanced, and slightly acidic dark chocolate included a range of muted dark, dried, and brighter background fruit notes. And it had a relatively low, balanced bitterness level (for a 92%er). 

When I say complex, I mean this chocolate qualifies for a virtual travel experience. A better description for this chocolate might be a tropical-forest-in-a-bar. It evoked green, botanical, dried fruit (mango, North American pawpaws, sapote, fig, very light tangerine), light spicy nut fruit and fig cake, sweet wood, light earth, warm spice, and fresh mineral water spring notes...

...And those are just the notes I was able to put a name to, after tasting and re-tasting small squares of this bar. Other flavor and fruit notes came and went so quickly that I couldn't identify them. All were interesting and well within the enjoyable zone. 

Created from only four ingredients, this dark chocolate seemed to capture so much of the terroir and origin flavors where it was made, in the large island nation of Madagascar, off the East Coast of Africa. 

Today's Beyond Good pure dark chocolate illustrated what made "in-country" chocolate can be: great chocolate to taste and explore, with a much simplified supply chain, where cacao farmers reap more of the proceeds.

Ingredients: Organic cocoa beans, organic cane sugar, organic cocoa butter, organic sunflower lecithin (emulsifier).

Allergen-related information: "May contain traces of milk and tree nuts." Gluten free, soy free, vegan. 

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