Friday, March 18, 2011

Madagascar Single Origin Chocolate by Cachet and Lindt

My favourite kind of chocolate, by far, is single origin - chocolate made from cocoa beans sourced from one specific region.  I like it because each brand and type tastes so different from any other chocolate.  And although I am not always very good at identifying specific aromas and flavours, like cherry or citrus, I still think it is fun to try to pick them out. Single origin chocolate makes it possible to play this game, whereas in your average mixed-bean chocolate bar, there is a lack of strong flavour. In fact, in average chocolate bars, most often you can only identify the taste of cocoa or vanilla.

Today I am tasting two single origin chocolate bars: Lindt Madagascar 65% Cacao Dark Chocolate and Cachet Limited Origin Selection Madagascar 32% Milk Chocolate.

The ingredients in the Lindt Madagascar bar are very simple (cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla) and that is likely the reason why so much flavour is coming through in the chocolate.  The flavour is very sharp and I'm not sure that the description on the package that it is a chocolate with a "soft and harmonious character" is quite accurate in my view, but I like it regardless. The smell is of fruit, woods and real vanilla. 

The description on the Lindt package says that the cocoa beans are grown in the Sambirano region of Madagascar.  If you are looking for more chocolate made from cocoa beans of the same region, apparently Patric Chocolate of Missouri makes chocolate from beans of that region.  Another producer of chocolate made from cacao beans of the Sambirano region is Amano chocolate,  If and when I can get my hands on chocolate from either producer, I will compare and contrast these to the Lindt Madagascar bar in a future post.

The Cachet Madagascar 32% Milk Chocolate bar does not have the same flavour elements as the Lindt, from what I can tell.  To me, it just tastes like really good milk chocolate with a nice high percentage of cocoa butter and milk solids.  It is creamy and smooth, and with no logo etched in the bar, the chocolate itself looks shiny and beautiful. I do not taste any strong flavours, but of course with milk chocolate - as compared to dark chocolate - it is a little more difficult to identify any specific flavour elements because of the additional milk and sugar. Since the flavour is not too strong, I would give a piece or two to my child as a treat, rather than grocery store milk chocolate, because I know the quality is high and there are no artificial flavours. 

What I also like about Cachet, by Kim's Chocolates is that they focus on using renewable energy. They claim that 20% of their energy use was from their own solar panels.  Want to read more blog posts about Cachet?  Click here!

Details from the packages of the two chocolate bars that I tasted today:

Lindt Excellence Madagascar Dark Chocolate, 65% cacao, 100 g (3.5 oz)
Manufactured by:  Lindt & Sprungli AG (Switzerland), imported to Canada by Lindt & Sprungli (Toronto, Canada)
Ingredients:  cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla.  May contain traces of peanuts, hazelnuts, almonds, milk and soya lecithin.

Cachet Madagascar 32% Milk Chocolate, 100 g (3.5 oz)
Made in Belgium by Kim's Chocolates (Imported to Canada by Premier Brands, Toronto, ON)
Ingredients: sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, skimmed milk powder, cocoa mass, vanilla (nat. flavour).  Milk chocolate: cocoa solids min. 32%, milk solids min. 26%. Contains: milk. May contain traces of nuts, peanuts, soybeans, eggs and gluten.

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