/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Chocolate Monggo Macadamia
Chocolate Monggo Macadamia
Posted: 18 March 2012
I predicted this macadamia bar would be my favorite. I love
nuts in my chocolate, and I love dark chocolate. This isn't
one such winning combination, and my prediction turned out
to be as accurate as ecologists from the 1970's forecasting
we would living on the moon by the turn of the century.
price/gram: USD 0.036
Cocoa %: 58
My wife recently had to spend
5 nights in Bali (Indonesia) on a business trip.
She returned bearing Indonesian sauces, Indonesian spice
pastes, Indonesian coffees, and, of course, Indonesian
Indonesia is currently the
world's third largest producer of cacao I
just read a 2011 article on the Embassy of
Indonesia in Italy's website about how Indonesia is poised
to become the world's largest cocoa producer. Like many
things said in Indonesia, there are no facts to back up the
statement. "Having the ability to produce cocoa beans
in large quantities," the article stated, "Indonesia is
ready to set aside Ivory Coast as the world's largest
producer and exporter." As further 'proof,' the West Sulawesi governor
remains optimistic Indonesia will become the world's largest
cocoa producer and exporter. These statements, pulled
out of individual asses, are sufficient, by
Indonesian standards, to state, as the article's title, that Indonesia
is to become the world's largest cocoa producer.
Remember Jack Dawson, Leonardo DiCaprio's character in
Titanic? He said he was "King of the World."
His reign lasted only a few days.
Jack wound up on the bottom of the freezing Atlantic Ocean.
Let's go with real facts.
In 2008-09, Indonesia produced about 14% of world cacao.
Ivory Coast topped the charts with 35% and Ghana scored the
second slot with almost 21%. The Chocolate Republic
doesn't much care who's producing the most. We just
care who makes the best. How good is Indonesian cacao?
When I tried
Willie's Indonesian 69
last week, the answer to that question was 'very good.' Willie's isn't an
Indonesian brand though. The processing of the
Indonesian cacao, diligently sourced by Willie, was all done
in England using Willie's antique equipment. L
many of the countries in the cacao producing world,
Indonesia lacks the firms turning the raw material into the
finished product, true bean-to-bar operations. There are numerous commercial
operations in Indonesia producing low quality dreck.
The Dutch brand Van Houten produces Indonesian sludge in
Bandung. Tango bars are made here, too. The
manufacturers could be using Ecuadorean, Ghanan, or
Martian chocolate for all the difference it makes after
sugar and additives are mixed in. As far as I know,
there is only one indigenous operation making European
quality chocolate in Indonesia with Indonesian cacao, and
that's Chocolate Monggo.
I first came across Chocolate Monggo
during a trip to Jakarta and Yogyakarta in August 2009. Monggo's
headquarters are in Yogyakarta. I tried one
or two bars, I don't remember which ones, and wasn't very impressed. I returned to Indonesia in April 2010
for a Balinese vacation, and
the food & beverage director at the hotel where we stayed, a former colleague of my then girlfriend (now wife), gifted me
two Chocolate Monggo bars, the
Dark and the
of the first reviews ever made on the Chocolate Republic. I was, again, not terribly impressed. The chocolate was priced at international
levels and was about average by international standards.
I decided to re-evaluate Chocolate Monggo's Indonesian creations in light of all the bars I've now reviewed for the
Chocolate Republic since. My wife brought back 8 Chocolate Monggo bars, including the two I tried almost two years ago. I re-sampled the Dark
and the Caramello and came to about the same conclusions I arrived at the first time.
Chocolate Monggo isn't a
difficult operation to get a handle on. They don't manufacture a variety different chocolate blends, say
a 33%, then a 45%, then a 69%, then an 85%. Every bar my
wife brought back, save for one, used Monggo's 58% dark
chocolate as the base. Monggo has introduced a 41%
milk chocolate bar, but none were brought back in my wife's
I predicted this macadamia
bar would be my favorite. I love nuts in my chocolate,
and I love dark chocolate. Though Monggo's 58% isn't
going to set my world on fire, an average chocolate with the
right nut combo can taste inspired. This isn't one
such winning combination, and my prediction turned out to be
as accurate as ecologists from the 1970's forecasting we
would living on the moon by the turn of the century. Monggo's
average-tasting dark chocolate isn't enhanced by too few
macadamia nuts crushed much too small. In fact
dangling the macadamia nuts in front of me, as if they'll
provide a flavor boost and the boost never coming, is worse
than not including them at all.