Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New - Madécasse Chocolate Bars

We use the term "new" loosely since these bars have been in our shop for a couple of weeks now, but in case you didn't notice them tucked away in our Madagascar section they are the newest addition to our collection. Madécasse, pronounced mah - DAY - cas, is the brainchild of two former Peace Corp volunteers who took on the challenge of producing chocolate at the source from tree to bean to bar.

The pods are grown and harvested in the Sambirano Valley of Madagascar, a region known for its fine cacao. The ripest pods are selected and split open, and the beans and pulp are fermented for 4-6 days and then laid out to dry in the sun. The beans are then sent to the highlands of Madagascar for the remainder of the chocolate-making process to produce the three bars available in our store, 63%, 70% and 75%.

"Why Madagascar?", you may wonder. The entire island is organic and much of the cacao is grown without the use of pesticides or herbicides. The cultivation and harvesting is done by hand, on a small scale. Processing the chocolate close to the source means that the beans don't sit around as long and the people of Madgascar profit more from their natural resources and receive four times more revenue than if they chose to go the Fair Trade route. Skills, market knowledge, profit and ownership are shared with the people of Madagascar, encouraging them to continue to produce some of the best cacao in the world.

No comments: