The name Menakao comes from the Malagasy (the language of Madagascar) word for red which is Mena and describes the colour of the fertile land in the basin surrounding the Sambirano River. This part of northern Madagascar is home to many fine cacao farms, most notably the Åkesson’s own estate. I’ve always loved chocolate from this part of the world due to its normally rich, intense and fruity flavours.
Menakao are true ‘Tree to bar’ chocolate makers, just like the Grenada Chocolate Co. in that the cacao grown to form this bar is actually made in close proximity to the low-key factory that turns it into chocolate bars.
Despite being a fairly new chocolate brand, they’ve done extremely well. In their second year of entering the Salon du Chocolat their 44% bar was awarded the 2nd prize. On their fourth entry they won the 1st prize with their 63% with sea salt and nibs bar.