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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review: Madecasse 80% Cocoa

     
Madecasse 80% Cocoa 
Posted: 24 October 2012    8.5 
Madecasse 80% Cocoa The 80% bar is described by Madecasse as "serious dark chocolate with an intense cocoa flavor."  The ingredient list is impressive by what's not on there; the bar contains only cocoa beans, sugar, and cocoa butter, all a good chocolate bar should have.   There's a much richer taste and unnoticed bitterness.
Avg price/gram: USD 0.079   Cocoa %: 80  Size: 75g   
       


By now, having eaten a half dozen Madecasse bars, I can unequivocally state that Madecasse is producing -- or rather, importing -- quality products.  As I mention in my review of the 75% bar here, Madecasse is not a manufacturer of chocolates.  It's an import operation, bringing in Madagascar-based Cinagra's chocolates into North American markets with a new label.           

Now this isn't such a big deal from the taster's point of view.  Mr. America or Mr. Canada sinks his teeth into a fine-tasting bar in which the beans are grown in Madagascar and the subsequent cacao turned into edible chocolate in Madagascar.  Madecasse claims on their wrappers that their bean-to-bar process, all performed in Madagascar, creates four times the impact of fair trade cocao. In all the press I've read about Madecasse, it sounded like two former American Peace Corps workers in Madagascar created a chocolate company from scratch, negotiating with cooperatives, setting up a factory, devising recipes, when in actuality, all they've done is partner up with an existent Madagascan manufacturer in order to sell chocolates under their own brand name.  This doesn't belittle the achievement that more of the money derived from the chocolate stays in Madagascar, but it does make me question many of the claims Madagascar makes about the degree of social impact their operation has.   I wouldn't be surprised if the social impact were only 2.5 times that of fair trade cocoa.  And Madecasse didn't create the social impact.  Cinagra did.    

The 80% bar is described by Madecasse as "serious dark chocolate with an intense cocoa flavor." Yeah, this bar does have an intense cocoa flavor, and as delicious as it was, the 80%'s taste isn't a huge leap of difference from the 75%.   Up in these cocoa percentage ranges, it's gotten to the stage where the taster notes on the 70% bar could've been swapped with those on the 80%.          

The ingredient list is impressive by what's not on there; the bar contains only cocoa beans, sugar, and cocoa butter, all a good chocolate bar should have.  This 80% bar easily trumps bars of similar cocoa solid content, such as Green & Black's 85% or Whittaker's Dark Ghana.  There's a much richer taste and unnoticed bitterness. This is the chocolate Oakland, California's Scream Sorbet should be using in their Madecasse Chocolate flavor, not the 63%.          

The founder of Cinagra, a fourth-generation Indian by the name of Shahin Cassem Chenai, lives a double life.   On one hand, he manufacturers premium quality Madagascan chocolates for export, and on the other, he imports low quality Bounty and Snickers bars into Madagascar for local consumptions. A Madecasse bar surely must have multiple times the social impact of a Snickers or Bounty bar.  Perhaps that is the stat Madecasse should incorporate on their labels.  

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Theo Coconut Curry from USA -- 45% cocoa solids
 Duc De Praslin Costa Rica 38% from Thailand -- 38% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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  Madecasse sells 80% dark chocolate made in Madagascar. The chocolate republic knows this Madagascan dark stuff is made by Cinagra for Madecasse.