Review: Menakao – 100% madagascar (****)

100%. The highest number in chocolate. The most terrifying, the most intense, the most under-appreciated of chocolates. We met again. I know it’ll never by my top favorite chocolate either, yet every single time I’m drawn to it, just to experience the taste in its purest. Madagascan style this time around. Ladies and gentlemen, Menakao 100%!

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The bar comes in a sleave-style cardboard wrapper. Simple but effective. The artwork places it directly in the dark heart of Africa, no mistake about it. Bold and Punchy it claims. The inner part of the box reveals more artwork and a nice read about Menakao. The bar itself, wrapped in a golden foil, looks exactly like the other bars in their range. Once more, simple but perfect.

Bean: Not mentioned
Origin: Millot plantation – Madagascar
Production: Chocolaterie Cinagra SA – Madagascar
Price paid: € 4,90/75 g (

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Colour: A dark brown as expected from such a high percentage. Lacks the reddish hint some Madagascar bars have.

Aroma: Remarkable fruity in essence, an ever so slight touch of acidity and lots of chocolate aromas, completed by faint spicy notes.

Taste: The expected 100% earthy bite kicks in the moment you take a piece in the mouth. The texture is a little coarse. As powerful chocolate tones roll in, the bar strengthens its potent character by bringing acidity up to the front. This refreshes the palate and opens up coffee and musky aroma’s. A dry and nutty flavour ends the melt phase of the tasting. I really like how well-balanced the use of cacao mass and cacao butter is, the bar isn’t greasy or exceptionally dry while it melts. The aftertaste reveals a fresh, nutty character that plays around in the mouth, tingling some more musky and earthy tones with the remains of the acidity as found before.
Very enjoyable as would be a powerful espresso coffee, perfect to finish of a meal. The lack of sweetness brings a refreshing feel in the mouth. Sadly non of the wonderful Madagascan fruit tones show through, but there are many bars out there who bring you that enjoyment. This 100% bar is here to show you the real taste of the cacao bean, yet slightly less empowering than the Pacari 100% raw, but more intense than the Pralus 100% Criollo. Meant for the true chocoholics!

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