Menakao – Dark Chocolate 63% with Cocoa Nibs & Sea Salt
A luxury dark chocolate bar made from Madagascan beans with added salt and cocoa nibs, created by artisan chocolate maker Menakao.
Whilst we are normally purists when it comes to single estate dark chocolate, we make an exception for this Menakao dark bar. This is an example of chocolate with inclusions done right.
The chocolate is full of the typical pronounced berry notes of Madagascan cacao. The added cocoa nibs (the purest form of chocolate, pieces of dried and fermented cacao beans) give a powerful crunch, bursting with fruit and tannins, combining deep flavour with added texture. The hint of sea salt serves a double purpose. It opens the palate, helping you to get the full flavour of the berries and red fruits. At the same time, the salt cuts through some of the nibs’ intensity, revealing their roasted fruit and raisin notes while reducing the bitterness and prolonging the finish.
It’s the natural purity of the salt that makes this combination so complementary, imparting a delicate flavour, perfect for really bringing out the cacao’s fruitiness without overpowering the chocolate. It’s a purity derived from the simplicity of its production process; Fleur de sel forms naturally on the surface of clay basins as sea water evaporates, and is then hand-picked with a rake.
This bar showcases the very best of Madagascan produce. Beans are sourced from the Menakao plantation located in the celebrated cacao growing region of Sambirano, north west of Madagascar, with the fleur de sel, or sea salt, picked from the salt marshes of Morondava in South West Madagascar.
This bar doesn’t just taste good, it does good. Madagascan chocolate maker Menakao proudly crafts its chocolate on the island, using only local ingredients. Unfortunately, this is rare even for craft chocolate – it’s estimated that less than 5% of the world’s chocolate is produced in the same country the cocoa is grown. By making the chocolate in Madagascar in addition to growing the cacao on the island, Menakao generate about 4-5 times the benefit of Fair Trade for the local Madagascan economy.
In honour of the men and women of Madagascar of all ethnicities who are at the heart of Menakao chocolate, Menakao decided that the bars should proudly bear the image “not [of] the face of Madagascar, but [of] Madagascan faces.” The beautiful image on the wrapping of this bar is of a Tanala woman. The Tanala people, (Tanala meaning “forest-dwellers”), originate in the heavily forested south east of the island, between the highlands of the Antemoro and the coast. The bounty of the forest provide the Tanala with all they need to live, from hunting to the medicinal benefits of limitless plant species, from wild honey to coffee and rice cultivation.
A fine example of a single estate inclusion bar, we think everyone should try it.
But don’t just take our word for it! Have a look at what the attendees at one of our recent Virtual Tastings had to say about it:
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Weight 75 g Type of Chocolate Maker Maker Country Cocoa Percentage Bean Origin Ingredients Dietary Information Select Size
Single Bar £3.95, Carton of 12 £47.40
Lifestyle and Diet
12 reviews for Menakao – Dark Chocolate 63% with Cocoa Nibs & Sea Salt
February 4, 2021
Superb combination of flavours. Chocolate at its best. No better anywhere.
November 14, 2020
One of the first bars I tried on a tasting course and it was fantastic! The cocoa nibs add a brilliant flavour
October 23, 2020
cocoa nibs and added salt make this chocolate delicious
October 22, 2020
A classic and a bargain. Menakao's Madagascan baes are consistently excellent and although I generally like my dark chocolate straight, the nibs and salt give just the right amount of twist.
September 6, 2020
There's a lot going on in this chocolate!
July 22, 2020
Quite simply one of the best purchases I have made from Menakao. Albeit eaten mid-summer, the fudgy spicy undertones made this bar feel like Christmas. Outstanding.
July 9, 2019
This Chocolate is the perfect combination of crunchy cocoa nibs with chocolate that is slightly butter and citrus
February 5, 2017
Yum! Rich and smooth chocolate balanced by the smoky nibs has a pronounced fruity, roasted note that I can't get enough of. Definitely a repeat buy!
November 14, 2015
I loved this chocolate! I tried to make it last but it was gone in 2 sittings! Yummy!!
February 24, 2015
I am not usually a fan of added bits into chocolate but I think that Menakao really make it work. The nibs enliven the chocolate and the sea salt, successfully blended in, prevents it from being too bland. It looks glossy and tastes chocolatey. However I dont feel that it deserves four stars as it does not bring anything else to the table and, while simple can be brilliant, it is not quite pulled off here.
December 10, 2014
Depth of flavour combined with extra texture - really works
October 5, 2014
Utterly delicious - I really like sea salt with dark chocolate and the cocoa nibs give a lovely crunch.
Energy 2501.61kJ/597.5kcal Fat 41.82g of which - saturates 10.8g Carbohydrates 44.28g of which - sugars 39.4g Protein 11g Salt 0.11g
- Milk (traces), nuts (traces)
- Cocoa beans, cane sugar, pure cocoa butter, cocoa nibs, sea salt, emulsifier: sunflower lecithin
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One of only a few chocolate makers in the world that make chocolate at the source, Madagascar-based Menakao produce some a deliciously fruity range of bars using local beans. Read more about Menakao