Chocolat Madagascar is one of only two craft chocolate factories in Madagascar. Whilst Madagascar is well known for the quality and flavour of its cacao, the vast majority of its beans are exported and crafted in Europe, the US and Asia. Chocolat Madagascar make for both their domestic market and export, and have been winning awards galore for their bars. They work closely with local farmers, and are now releasing some single estate bars from local farmers — including this bar from Domaine de Vohibinany, situated in the birthplace region of cacao in Madagascar
Cacao beans and trees first arrived in Madagascar in this region in the early 1800’s. Originally planted near the east coast of Madagascar, in very dense rainforest, the cacao trees suffered greatly from powerful cyclones. As a consequence during the early 1900s, cacao was planted and cultivation moved to the Sambirano Valley, in north west Madagascar where the mountain ranges protect the cacao trees from the devastating cyclones.
In 2012 the Ramanandraibe family started to replant cacao in the east coast at remote rainforest areas of Vohibinany and Anivorano with selected criollo/trinitario cacao from Sambirano. This is the region where the Indri, largest Lemur of Madagascar resides. Access is by river and boat. The climate and soil are very different , where the rainy season is longer and higher humidity in the air. This year’s harvest is only 400Kg of fine cacao and they have been carefully fermented for 5 days. They are then freshly crafted by Master Chocolatier Hery Andriamampianina into limited edition Domaine chocolate bars in Madagascar.
The “terroir” is very different, and the cacao has a more nutty taste than other Madagascan bars. We find alongside it’s nuttiness, the bar still has classic, elegant red berry fruits with buttery notes, along with some tangy tannins.
This bar was internationally recognised in it’s first “outing” at the AOC awards in 2017