Monday, June 15, 2015

Madagascar and Santo Domingo Origin Chocolate by BC-based Hagensborg

Hagensborg Chocolates, a Canadian chocolatier based in Burnaby, B.C., is known for its fun Truffle Pigs brand, a selection of meltaway truffles with fun pig shapes. More recently, Hagensborg launched the 'Wild Boar' brand of chocolate bars. These are made from chocolate couverture of different origins.

I purchased two Hagensborg origin dark chocolate bars at a national retailer, HomeSense, last week: Madagascar 64% and Santo Domingo 70%.  I really enjoyed the Santo Domingo - an upfront natural vanilla flavor, with a strong cocoa taste and a light earthy fruitiness. 

The Madagascar chocolate was quite tasty too, albeit at 64% a little sweet for my tastebuds. But that said, sweetness truly is a personal thing and depends on what we are accustomed to. Lately I have been eating chocolate made with 80% or more cocoa solids, and so I am now unaccustomed to sweeter dark chocolate.

The Madagascar had some acidic citrus notes and fruitiness, reminiscent of ripe raspberries. However, I found the vanilla in this chocolate was the upfront flavour and slightly muted the natural origin flavours.

Since I had one on hand, I decided to compare the Lindt Excellence Madagascar chocolate bar to Hagensborg's Madagascar bar. Hagensborg's was certainly sweeter with its 64% cocoa solids, versus Lindt's 70%, but the bold acidic citrus and fruit flavours of Madagascar origin cacao stood out more in Hagensborg's chocolate.

The similarity between the chocolate bars was clear though - they both had vanilla in the ingredients which stood out when tasting the chocolate, and which mildly muted the natural origin flavours. This is very different from the approach to single origin chocolate by new-age bean-to-bar producers, like Hexx Chocolate's Madagascar which is made with no vanilla added, or Soma Chocolatemaker's Madagascar bar.

When no vanilla is added, the natural Madagascar origin flavour of the cacao (cocoa beans) used to make the chocolate is much bolder. But for a beginner chocolate taster, who's palette is just getting used to bolder flavoured chocolate, Hagensborg's bar may be a great starting place to discover Madagascar-origin cacao.

The Wild Boar brand of chocolate bars also includes other flavours highlighting different regions of the world. Learn more about them on Hagensborg's website at:

If you want to bake with similar origin chocolate and use larger quantities to do so, you can buy Cacao-Barry's Santo Domingo chocolate couverture  or their Madirofolo (Madagascar 65%), or Valrhona's 64% Madagascar origin chocolate from online suppliers like Vanilla Food Company.


  1. I love chocolate. This is looking very delicious. Let me order some chocolates.

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