Once upon a time, Brett Beach and Tim McCollum were in the Peace Corps. That experience infuses every aspect of their remarkable company: Madecasse (pronounced mah-DAY-cas, the word used in the 16th and 17th century to refer to the island of Madagascar). Sustainability is the coin of their realm. Not only have they opened up opportunities for local farmers, they produce their wares in Madagascar. Happily, this generates four times more income for people in one of the world’s poorest countries. Kudos for all that; but, how is the finished product?
Just great. The 75% bar was tempered to a glossy shine, had a wonderful snap, and a pretty little embossed cocoa pod on each of its 24 rectangles. Those of you who read these reviews regularly know how partial I am to bars with many segments. It’s the six year old inside me that loves the idea (irrational as it is) that there is more chocolate simply because there are more pieces. Since we’ve been focusing on texture lately, let me say this bar has both earthiness and elegance. It’s not particularly creamy, but few bars with this high a cacao content are. I concur with their description on the label: dark and intense. It definitely tastes like a 75% bar: assertive, adult, and very satisfying.
As you might imagine, the 63% bar is also well-tempered. It has a completely different flavor profile, with fruitiness its predominant feature. The texture is smother, and, while there are three more grams of sugar than its sister bar, it is not overly sweet. Madecasse has achieved an excellent balance of texture, flavor, and overall gentleness. So you decide: will it be the in-your-face deep, dark chocolate experience of the 75% bar, or the lovely, well-rounded delights of the 63%?
The packaging is appealing, and user-friendly, with a raffia tied pouch and inner foil liner.
They also make a 67% and a 70% bar.