Ritual - Dark Chocolate - Madagascar 75%Ritual
The "gateway chocolate" for non-believers. Unbelievably fruity and nutty thanks to unique terroir. Made with organic cacao from Bertil Akesson's farm in the Sambirano Valley in Northern Madagascar. The region is known for producing cacao rich with notes of citrus.
History and Description of the Somia Plantation by its owner, Bertil Åkesson:
“The plantation in Madagascar was created in 1920 around Ambanja in the North West of Madagascar, near the island of Nosy Be. It was later split into 3 plantations (Cenia that now belongs to the state, 150 tons/year / Millot that produces 150 tons/year and collects 300 tons/year / SOMIA where we produce 300 tons/year). My father was forced to acquire that land in the nineties in order to keep his sisal properties in the South of Madagascar (the state said it used to be one group of French Colonial companies and had to be reunified). On that land was SOMIA and all the cocoa was sold to Mitsubishi trading. About that time I started working with him and decided to make fine cocoa and contacted Valrhona, Domori, Scharffen Berger and Guittard. I went to check cocoa production in Venezuela (Valrhona & Domori) and on other plantations. I sent samples and got feedback and sent more samples and got more feedback until ultimately I received orders. The breakthrough really was in 2004-2005. Now, we sell to about 25+ of the very best chocolate makers in the world.
The cocoa was originally imported from Bohor Gardens in Java, Indonesia (this cocoa had travelled from Venezuela and Mexico to the Philippines and to Java). However, from 1895 until 1900, the French had tried cocoa on the east coast. The cocoa there came from Sri Lanka and Africa. Some of this genetic material seems to have travelled to the Sambirano Valley. So we have a mix of many sub-varieties but to simplify, I can say we have 80% trinitario, 10% criollo and 10% forastero. The specific taste is the result of the combination of the variety mix and the terroir. Thus, Lower Sambirano and Upper Sambirano cocoa do not have the same taste; we are in the lower Sambirano and have more of that typical fruity acidity.” - Bertil Åkesson, Somia Plantation, Madagascar.
Cacao Percentage: 75%
Harvest Year: 2015
Farm/Coop: Somia Plantation (also known as Akesson Farm)
Cacao Variety: Mixed; 80% Trinitario, 10% Criollo, 10% Forastero
Tasting Notes: Citrus, strawberry, raspberry, toast, peanut butter, PB&J
Madagascar 75% is made with organic cacao from the Somia Plantation (also known as the Akesson Farm) in the Sambirano Valley in Madagascar. The region is known for producing cacao rich with notes of citrus and nuts as a result of the unique growing conditions. True to its reputation, our creation exemplifies the curious character of Madagascar cacao.
The Akesson farm in Madagascar is known for their ability to produce organic cacao with bright notes of citrus, nuts, jam and dried apricot. In a nutshell, our Madagascar is very smooth, citrusy, with notes of red berries, nutty and extremely aromatic with aromas of dried apricot.
Cacao, Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter
Davies and Stout spent about a year researching and testing different methods of chocolate making before they launched Ritual Chocolate in Denver, eight years ago. They started with one bar and slowly added more over time. Now, they have 13 bars and make everyone at their shop on Iron Horse Drive.
Wasn’t very impressed with the taste. Too acidic and sour for my liking
This is a typical bar of Madagascar. I prefer Fossa Chocolate's more exciting version using Cocoa of Excellence 2017 award-winning beans from Mava Ottange, which has a deeper nutty aroma and maltiness on top of the usual fruitiness.