Madagascan chocolate often has a hint of natural spiciness, thanks to the pepper plants that grow alongside many of Madagascar’s cocoa trees. Åkesson’s has gone one step further with this bar, adding black pepper as an inclusion. The refreshing hints of green fruits characteristic of the local black pepper meet the red-berry tartness of the cacao in this intensely spicy dark bar. One for those who like a bit of heat in their chocolate!
ABOUT THE MAKER
Bertil Åkesson is one of the true heroes of the bean-to-bar market. He has pioneered the direct sale of his single-estate beans to over 300 chocolate makers all over the world and has crafted his own range of award-winning bars. Born to a Swedish diplomat father and a French mother, Bertil grew up in Madagascar, where his family settled in the 1970s. His father established a number of cocoa and spice plantations on the island, which Bertil has since expanded.
Bars made with Bertil’s beans have won a long list of accolades and prizes all over the world, and this lively and expressive single-origin bar is no exception. Awards for this bar include Gold at the Great Taste Awards, Gold at the International Chocolate Awards, and Gold at the Academy of Chocolate Awards. This bar hails from Åkesson’s Ambolikapiky plantation in the celebrated cacao producing valley of Sambirano, northwest Madagascar, a favourite source of beans and spices for many of the world’s best chocolate makers and chefs.
Cacao can suffer from sunburn if exposed to intense sunlight, so it has to be grown beneath the shelter of taller plants to protect it from the tropical sun. In Madagascar, growers often use taller crops such as pepper to shelter their cacao, which is the reason Madagascan cocoa has a natural spice to it. Bertil has gone one step further with this bar, adding the protective pepper to give an exciting kick to the natural earthiness of the Madagascan cocoa.