Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Chocolate of the Day (Day 2): Malagos Chocolate 72%


Today I was sampling the last piece of a chocolate bar that I opened before Christmas. I bought it at the Northwest Chocolate Festival in November, and have been carefully wrapping and unwrapping it to sample a few bites ever since. And each time I do this, I have an opportunity to think about how truly sweet and chocolaty this bar is.

The chocolate bar is a 72% Single Origin Dark Chocolate made by Malagos Chocolate, a chocolate maker based in Davao, Philippines. This is a tree-to-bar operation, and is a part of the growing trend of made-at-origin chocolate. The beauty of making chocolate in the country where it is grown, is that the money made from converting the beans to chocolate can stay within the country, the region, and in some cases within the farmers pockets if they are both growing the cacao and making the chocolate. It benefits the people of the origin country, and unlike the chocolate of our past, the people in cacao-growing countries can see, taste and understand what is being made from the cacao beans that they harvest.

When I was at the festival in Seattle, I had a chance to meet one of the farmers - a woman - who produces the cacao for this chocolate. She was a beautiful woman, and certainly changed the image in my mind of what a 'farmer' looks like. And she was an all around delight to chat with over lunch. This may be why I was so excited to later visit the Malagos booth, and to buy some of their chocolate.

I was surprised by the lovely flavour of the chocolate. It was sweet for a 72%, and seemed to lead with cacao and sugar, rather than a creamy cocoa butter taste. The chocolate was mild and low in acidity, and held just hints of raisin or date flavour, coconut, some floral flavours and a little nuttiness. There was no vanilla added to the chocolate, and I found the pure flavour of the beans did not need it, with the sweet profile of the chocolate and easy-on-the-palate taste.

I suppose I should not have been surprised by the sweetness and mildness of the chocolate flavour, having just experienced Davao-grown beans first-hand when I received samples of organic cacao beans from the Philippines, and made a dark chocolate from them (read more about that here). The flavour profile of my chocolate was similar and also on the sweet side, with low acidity, compared to other origin chocolates.

Overall, this chocolate is really enjoyable - a widely like-able flavour, like the Shiraz of chocolate. If you want to taste it too, visit http://malagoschocolate.com to learn more. They also make unsweetened baking chocolate, which has a tasty flavour in chocolate recipes.

For my fellow chocolate makers, Malagos also sells dried, fermented cacao beans. Learn more about the beans here.

Have a great day!

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