This 75% Criollo bar is a great example of the influence of terroir on taste, and a rare one at that. To put it into context, this estate produces 300 tons of Trinitario cocoa every year, but only 2 tons of Criollo beans are available to be harvested separately to make this bar, a very limited supply. In 2018, these Åkesson’s Criollo beans were awarded Heirloom Cacao Preservation (HCP) status.
This has the typical rich and fruity taste of a great Madagascan bar. We detect berry notes and a lemony aftertaste with a subtle tartness. This is a satisfying, strong roasted cocoa with just the right amount of sweetness.
Bertil Åkesson is one of the true heroes of the bean to bar market, pioneering the direct sale of his single estate beans to over three hundred chocolate makers all over the world. Born to a Swedish diplomat father and a French mother, Bertil grew up in Madagascar, where his family settled in the 1970s. There, his father established a number of cocoa and spice plantations which Bertil has expanded. Bertil also crafts his own bars.
Today bars made with his beans win prizes all over the world. This expressive single-origin dark bar, crafted personally by Bertil in France, is an award winner too, boasting a whole host of gold awards as an exemplar of single origin dark bars. It hails from Åkesson’s Ambolikapiky plantation in the celebrated cacao producing region of the Sambirano Valley, North-West of Madagascar. Indeed, many of the world’s best chocolate makers and chefs use cocoa from this estate.