I wasn’t going to review this. Partly because Deanna has already briefly mentioned it, but mainly because it’s my comfort food. The kind of chocolate I buy to cheer myself up, rather than to tell other people about.
But when I got home, I couldn’t resist taking a photo or two, and by the time I’d got down to the final chunk an our or so later, I was feeling better and decided to tell you about it.
Manjari is a 64% Madagascan dark chocolate. It’s the standard by which all Madagascan chocolates are judged, and is widely used by chocolatiers and patisseries around the world. It’s the basis for such classics as Paul A. Young’s Marmite XO bar.
What makes it so popular? It’s an incredibly light and fruity chocolate with a natural citrus edge. If you’re the kind of person that thinks dark chocolate is bitter and dry, pop a small square of Manjari in your mouth and prepare to have your mind – and your taste buds – blown away. And that’s just from the unadulterated, unflavoured version.
This particular bar has small orange “nuggets” embedded in the chocolate. They’re basically little pieces of candied orange made from sugar and fruit purée.
These fruit pieces complement the natural citrus notes of the chocolate itself without overpowering them. The chocolate hasn’t been loaded with orange oil, so you still get all the distinctive Manjari flavours, just reinforced by the citrus orange. And as orange chocolates go, this is really, really good.
But there’s a catch. You see, despite this high praise, Manjari Orange just isn’t as good as the unflavoured version. Yet as a consumer, I can only buy this flavoured bar in my local Waitrose. Don’t get me wrong, it makes me very, very happy that Waitrose stock Valrhona at all, but I would much prefer to be able to buy it in a “pure” form.
Still, if you love the chocolate and orange combination, and you’re looking for something a bit special, then you probably won’t find much better than this. Definitely worth seeking out – you should be able to find it at your local Waitrose in the UK, or check out the links below if you’re in the US.