Sunday, April 1, 2012

Review: Stirs the Soul Origins Madagascar

Richard's Rating: 6.5
chocolate makerStirs the Soul
barOrigins Madagascar
cacao treesTrinitario
size47g ~ 1.65oz
cocoa solids88%
added fatcocoa butter
other ingredientssalt
list price$6.25
colormedium brown
PANTONE 19-1431
texturesmooth, image imprint, bubbles
aromaearth, fruit (berry), wood, sweet (caramel)
snapmedium hard
tastefruit (pear, berry, papaya), sour, earth, wood, acidic, sweet
finishsomewhat sour, slightly acidic
Stirs the Soul has been making bean to bar raw chocolate bars by hand since 2006. Their motto is "conscious raw chocolate", and chocolate maker Daren Hayes ensures the temperature during processing never exceeds 111 degrees Fahrenheit (44°C).

Using only only organic or wild ingredients combined with organic and fair trade cacao, Stirs the Soul also avoids cane sugar by using low glycemic sweeteners, such as agave, date, honey, and coconut palm. Their chocolate is produced in a nut, gluten, soy, and dairy free environment. Stirs the Soul makes two single origin chocolates: Origins Ecuador and Origins Madagascar.

Origins Madagascar contained 88% cocoa solids and was made from Trinitario cacao beans, cocoa butter, agave, and salt. The cacao beans came from Madagascar and the cocoa butter was made from the same cacao beans. All of the ingredients were raw other than the salt. Although the bar was not certified, the ingredients were all organic and the cacao was fair trade. The 1.65 ounce bar was unscored, had raised areas, and was imprinted with a design of cacao pods. It came wrapped in two layers, wax paper under orange-sided foil, inside a paper sleeve. The bar was made on 20 October 2011 and had a best before date of 20 April 2012.

The color of the chocolate was a medium brown Fudgesickle (PANTONE 19-1431). The surface of the bar was smooth, but had several bubbles. The snap was medium hard.

Origins Madagascar had an aroma with earth, fruit, and wood scents, along with a caramel sweetness. I thought the fruit scent included some berry.

The chocolate tasted of fruit, earth, and wood. Sourness, acidity, and some sweetness were also present. The fruit flavor was a mix of pear and berry, with papaya near the end.

The melt was smooth. The chocolate flavor lasted about 15 seconds after the chocolate was gone, giving it a short length. The finish was somewhat sour and slightly acidic.

I found myself surprised by the slight sweetness of this 88% chocolate. Overall, another good raw chocolate. I liked Origins Madagascar a little more than Origins Ecuador due to the complex fruit flavor.

You can purchase Origins Madagascar bars in packs of two for $12.50 in the U.S. directly from Stirs the Soul, or internationally if you phone them at 503-774-4903.

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