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Monggo is an Indonesian company that makes dark chocolate in the land of Indonesia. Do you think Indonesian bar of chocolate would be delicious? Yogyakarta is where this Indonesian chocolate is fabricated. The Chocolate Republic goes to the heart of the chocolate matter with Doug from Doug's Republic

Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Chocolate Monggo Dark

     
Chocolate Monggo Dark 
Posted: 27 September 2010  Doug's Chocolate Republic  Indonesian chocolate 6.0 
Monggo Dark If you're in Indonesia, join the tourist flock and add Monggo to your list of life experiences.  For those anywhere else, it's not worth the effort.
Avg price/gram: USD 0.038   Cocoa %: 58  Size: 40g  Indonesian chocolate 
       


You ever just want to like something?  When Henry Winkler came out with his half-cocked show Monte in 1993, I wanted to embrace it.  Henry "The Fonz" Winkler seemed like such a down-to-earth wholesome guy, you couldn't help but want any venture he invested in to work out.  I've been to restaurants I felt the same way about.   They donate so many proceeds to charity, offer organic cuisine, employ disadvantaged staff.  But what if the food isn't all that great?  And now comes Chocolate Monggo of Yogyakarta, Indonesia.  It's billed as "Belgian chocolate," because the founder and guiding hand is from Belgium.  Guaranteed that if he hailed instead from a nation without rich chocolate traditions, like Albania, the bars would not prominently display "Albanian chocolate" upon them. 

The chocolate was supposedly crafted with European and Javanese traditions in mind.   What Javanese chocolate traditions?  Thierry Detournay, the company's Belgian co-founder, goes on record as saying that "The people here [in Indonesia] don't understand too much probably about good quality chocolate."  Although Indonesia is the world's third largest producer of cocoa beans (13% of the total), Indonesia has no world famous chocolate manufacturers that I know of.  Were the Indonesian island of Java really so rich in choco traditions, the locals would understand good chocolate and it would already be available.  Ample credit to Detournay for the nice-sounding marketing buzz words.

I tried Chocolate Monggo several times.  The first was during a visa run to Yogyakarta in August 2009.  I returned to Indonesia, to Bali, in April 2010, and was again given the chance to sample when my girlfriend's colleague, the food and beverage director of her hotel's chain in Bali, gifted me several bars.   It's a brand you really want to like.  The company is tiny, they use no preservatives, the packaging is with recycled paper, and the product throughout highlights Indonesia. 

Chocolate Monggo's signature bar is their Dark, at 58% cocoa content.  All their bars use this as the base.  The Indonesian cacao used was of decent quality.  West Africa produces 75% of the world's cacao.   It's rarer to get a sample of Asian cacao.  Monggo's Dark was pleasing at the minimal level for higher-end chocolate.  But as I was eating that bar in Yogyakarta, I couldn't forget that I'd paid nearly USD 4 for it, a price that surpasses the tag of many luxury chocolate brands in the West.  The cacao was locally sourced, and the factory employed mostly low-cost Indonesian labor.  Economies of scale are on the low side -- the factory produces just 1,000 packs a month.  Still, USD 4 per bar?  You could down a 630 ml bottle of Bintang Beer with a full Indonesian meal in Jakarta for less than this. 

The average Indonesian agrees with that verdict, too.  They're not buying it.  Domestic and international tourists form the company's main customer base.  The verdict:  if you're in Indonesia, join the tourist flock and add Monggo to your list of life experiences.  For those anywhere else, it's not worth the effort.


If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Green & Black Maya Gold from UK -- 55% cocoa solids
 Otto Organic White Chocolate from Italy -- 30% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index

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 Monggo is an Indonesian company that makes dark chocolate in the land of Indonesia. Do you think Indonesian bar of chocolate would be delicious? Yogyakarta is where this Indonesian chocolate is fabricated. The Chocolate Republic goes to the heart of the chocolate matter with Doug from Doug's Republic