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

     
Chocolate Monggo Praline 
Posted: 18 March 2012      7.0 
Chocolate Monggo Praline  Chocolate Monggo has its heart in the right place, but, as even my wife was able to point out, it's not a premium product. That said, this praline bar was the first of all the Chocolate Monggo bars I can say I actually enjoyed. No, the 58% chocolate isn't sublime in any sense of the word, but the darkish chocolate, encasing not overly sweet pralines within, worked in tandem for a very tasty snack.     
Avg price/gram: USD 0.033   Cocoa %: 58  Size: 100g  Indonesian chocolate 
       


My wife just returned from Bali, Indonesia bearing, at my request, a half dozen Indonesian-made chocolate bars.         

Voicing this request, it is not as if my wife had scores of Indonesian firms she could've purchased chocolate from.   Indonesia produces about 14% of the world's cacao, but there aren't any companies of note that are turning this cacao into products that meet the standards of the Western chocolate palate.  This is where the Yogyakarta based company, Chocolate Monggo, found its niche.      

Chocolate Monggo is a company you want to embrace.  A Belgian man, Thierry Detournay, decides to remain in Yogyakarta after backpacking in Southeast Asia.  He comes with no vision.  Milking his Belgian roots to the fullest -- there are still people on this planet who believe that if you have Belgian citizenship, then you must know how to make chocolate -- Thierry sold homemade truffles from atop his motorbike.  These inauspicious roots led to a garden cafe that soon went defunct.  Detournay and his Indonesian business partner rented a house and brainstormed a new chocolate operation, what eventually became Chocolate Monggo. 

The company doesn't cheat and try to pass off "flavouring" and "E535" as quality ingredients.  They use real cocoa butter.  The factory has solar panels and produce is locally sourced.  But just in case you didn't know:  all natural ingredients and low carbon-footprint chocolates don't necessarily equate to delicious products.  Why do you think other factories are using lower quality inputs?  Yeah, they're cheaper, but maybe because it gives the manufacturers an opportunity to cut corners.  Most manufacturers add sugar to their tomato sauces because sourcing quality tomatoes and cooking them slowly to reduce the tomato's natural sugars is just too time consuming, and time is money.  Chocolate can be 'fixed' the same way.      

Detournay and his partners admit to no prior chocolate-making experience. Depending on how you look at it, this could or could not be considered a handicap.  Scharffen-Berger, manufacturers of fine chocolate and, some say, the spark of a new artisan chocolate renaissance in the U.S., was the brain child of a physician with no prior chocolate-making experience.  Here's the difference.  Scharffen-Berger's Robert Steinberg traveled to France to intern at a chocolate company and read extensively about the makings of chocolate.  He teamed up with a partner who had experience in the beverage business.   What's more, their chocolates were sold in an affluent area where residents are accustomed to good taste and expensive imports.  Indonesia, by contrast, had no decent indigenous chocolate manufacturers. The bar wasn't set very high for Chocolate Monggo to beat. Just the fact a small chocolate operation began in Indonesia using locally produced cacao is able to create the buzz.       

Chocolate Monggo has its heart in the right place, but, as even my wife was able to point out, it's not a premium product. That said, this praline bar was the first of all the Chocolate Monggo bars I can say I actually enjoyed. No, the 58% chocolate isn't sublime in any sense of the word, but the darkish chocolate, encasing not overly sweet pralines within, worked in tandem for a very tasty snack.

If you're looking for nuances in the Indonesian cocoa or tasters' notes telling you to note the aroma of raspberries and flea urine, try a different company's product. Chocolate Monggo so far is doing what it set out to do: offering better quality Indonesian chocolate in the Indonesian marketplace. The mission statement doesn't say anything about setting the world's palates ablaze.

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Nestle Strawberry Cheesecake Kit Kat from Japan -- 20% cocoa solids
 Nestle Club Cashew Nut & Cherry from Australia -- 45% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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Voltaire Brown's Don't Travel Europe

  Monggo makes dark chocolate in Indonesia. Do you like an Indonesian bar made in Yogyakarta. This bar has praline and the Chocolate Republic is impressed, my man.