Do you spend your days craving an upmarket an ethically sound Bounty bar? If so, Madecasse Toasted Coconut might just be for you!
Madecasse is probably one of the better known bean-to-bar chocolate brands, with its range of bars available readily online and in an increasing number of high end food stores. In fact, if you’re in the UK, you can most of the Madecasse range on special introductory offer at Waitrose for just £1.99 right now.
Made from tree-to-bar in Madagascar by local manufacturer Cinagra (who also make Menakao branded bars), Madecasse is actually an American company, founded by two Peace Corps volunteers working in Madagascar. They realised that making chocolate from local cocoa and exporting it around the world would keep significantly more money in the local economy than simply exporting the raw cocoa beans. And while I’ve heard mixed opinions about how effective Madecasse are at achieving those goals, there’s one thing you can be sure of; this bar will do both you and the planet a whole lot more good than a Bounty.
You might be wondering how they get coconut into a flat bar like this. There’s not much to see on the front of the chocolate; It’s a little scuffed (understandable, given the distance it has travelled to get into my greedy paws) and divided into four large chunks. But where’s the coconut!?
You have to turn the bar over to find it.
Now admittedly those eight little piles of beige flakes don’t look like much, but they do have plenty of flavour locked inside them. Of course, you’re not going to get that moist, chewy Bounty like experience from some toasted coconut flakes, but you do get a decent amount flavour.
If you’re anything like me, when you place a small piece on your tongue and you’ll immediately be transported back to childhood memories of stuffing a Bounty into your face and chewing forever.
But let it melt for a few seconds, something wonderful happens. Those coconut flavours are engulfed and overwhelmed by the wonderfully citrus, sweet and intense flavours naturally present in the Madagascan cocoa. It’s rare to find a chocolate that can hold its own against an added flavour, and even rarer to find one where the chocolate tastes this good.
Technically, the fruity acidity of the chocolate and creaminess of the coconut are probably not the best matched flavour combination in the world, but I personally love it. It evokes childhood memories and takes me on a flavour journey, reminding me why I love the complexity of single origin chocolate. And why I don’t eat Bounty any more.