Madagascan cocoa beans are renowned for their quality, having been granted the “Fine Cocoa” label by the ICCO (UK). Beautifully aromatic, they offer floral notes, fresh acidity and a tart finish. Products made using Madagascan beans stand out from chocolate manufactured in large quantities in major producing countries. Yields, however, are limited. On average, 4,500 tons of chocolate is produced every year in Madagascar. Around 95% of Madagascan chocolate comes from the Ambanja district in the Diana region, where most of the island’s best producers are located. The vast majority of cocoa beans are exported to be processed elsewhere. It is only very recently that two Madagascan companies have made the decision to produce locally.
There is no such thing as 100% Criollo chocolate, and there are no 100% Criollo plantations in Madagascar. All three main varieties of cocoa tree can be found:
Trinitario : 35 %
Forastero : 60 %
Criollo : 5 %
Forastero trees produce the least aromatic cocoa. The quality of Madagascan cocoa is a result of the island’s abundant Trinitario and Criollo varieties. Unusually, all three varieties are used in the production of Madagascan chocolate.