One of the highlights of my chocolate calendar is the Speciality & Fine Food Fair at Olympia every September. This food trade show is always packed with new and unusual foodstuffs and interesting people, but more importantly it incorporates the Speciality Chocolate Fair with over sixty chocolatiers and chocolate makers from around the world.
This year, one of my favourite chocolate brands, Chocolat Madagascar were exhibiting and had a full range of chocolate on show. I loved everything they had on offer, but there was one particular bar that really stood out; this Organic 70% bar.
Produced by Chocolaterie Robert, entirely in Madagascar, this bar contains just two ingredients: Organic Madagascan cocoa beans and organic Madagascan cane sugar. Keeping the wealth from the chocolate making process in the country of origin is a huge benefit to the local economy, so this bar is as ethical as it is delicious.
How does it taste? In a word: phenomenal. If you’re new to the world of Madagascan cocoa, you might find it hard to believe there are only two ingredients and no added flavours in it.
Open the wrapper and you’re greeted by a most wonderful, warming fruity aroma. To me, it smells like Christmas. What’s more, it looks like a work of art too.
The flavour is unlike any bar I’ve tasted. It’s full of raisins and molasses with the typical Madagascan citrus notes almost lurking in the background. I’m sure that part of the flavour comes from the organic sugar, but it works perfectly with the natural fruity notes in the chocolate to produce a unique and wonderful bar.
As it turns out, it’s also great for pairing with drinks. Chocolatier Paul Wayne Gregory chose this chocolate in a Whisky & Chocolate pairing we attended last week and it went down very well indeed!
If there is a downside, it’s that this bar is currently quite difficult to get hold of. Importers HB Ingredients will sell you it in 1Kg blocks, but as far as I know, nobody is currently selling these bars outside of Madagascar.
If and when you do find it, do make sure you go for the “Organic 70%” bar, rather than the “70%” bar. Both are delicious, but this is the one you really want!