Friday, January 13, 2012

Review: Dandelion Sambirano Madagascar

Lindy's Rating: 8.0
Richard's Rating: 7.5
chocolate makerDandelion
cacao trees(unknown)
size56g ~ 2.0oz
cocoa solids70%
added fat(none)
sweetenercane sugar
other ingredients(none)
list price$8.00
colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1526
Dark Red Brown
texturesmooth with scoring
aromaearth, spice, woody, fruit (berry), floral, butter
tastefruit (berry, citrus, raspberry, plum), sweet, roast, earth
finishslightly tangy, slightly tannin
Dandelion was on batch number 3 for their single origin Madagascar chocolate made with organic cacao beans from Åkesson's in the Sambirano Valley of Madagascar. The sticker on the wrapper was titled Sambirano, Venezuela and indicated that the beans were from the June 2011 harvest. The back sticker was initialed twice by Alice Nystrom, indicating that she was primarily responsible for both the batch and the packaging.

Sambirano, Madagascar was made with 70% cacao beans and 30% cane sugar. There was no any added cocoa butter, emulsifier, or flavoring, and no contamination with dairy, gluten, nuts, or soy. The two ounce bar was scored into 18 pieces, each with 5 parallel squiggles, and came wrapped with heavy gold-sided foil and packaged inside a pretty paper cover. There was no production date or best before date on the wrapper, but the bar was made in 2011.

The chocolate had a medium brown Dark Red Brown (PANTONE 19-1526) color. The top surface looked nicely smooth like Dandelion's other bars whose temper Lindy liked so much. It had a hard snap.

Madagascar gave off an aroma that included earth, spice, wood, and a berry fruit. Lindy also smelled some floral, and I noticed the scent of butter.

The taste of Madagascar was fruity -- berry, citrus, raspberry, plum, and likely some other fruits we didn't identify. Berry was the strongest of the fruit flavors, but the others were clearly present. Non-fruit flavors included sweetness and roast. I also experienced some earthiness.

The melt was smooth. The flavor lasted about 15 to 20 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving a short length. The finish was slightly tangy, and, for me, slightly tannin as well.

Overall, we both liked this chocolate quite a lot, about as much as Dandelion's Costa Rica bar. Lindy found the more interesting fruit flavors compensated for the melt and length. I concluded that they didn't quite make up for Costa Rica's better melt and length. You can find both of them on our list of Best Chocolates Overall.

You can purchase Dandelion Madagascar online directly from Dandelion for $8.00, or, if you would like to combine the purchase with other brands, from Chocolopolis for $8.99.

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