I feel very fortunate as a blogger to be introduced to some really interesting products. Receiving those sort of occasional emails really brighten my day 🙂 I was recently sent one from the team at Matale Chocolate – Thibault and Eloi.
Matale are based in Melbourne and are bean to bar producers, they produce fine, ethical, dark chocolate from scratch. Their chocolate is lovingly made using a careful process of roasting, stone grinding and tempering batches of cocoa beans, which all affect the taste, texture and colour of the bars.
Matale ensure that they source the very best quality cocoa beans, which they describe as “a challenging but rewarding endeavor.” They have developed personal partnerships with various co-ops and farmers, that are sourced with the help of some wonderful institutions that help with trade relations and also with training the growers on better land and crop management.
At Matale, we believe in promoting the creation and development of co-ops so essential in assuring a better % for the farmers and the chocolate industry.
The deliciousness of the end product that I got to try can definitely attest to the search for those beans being very worthwhile! I was sent a bar of the 72% Cocoa Malekula Pantation Vanuatu (a slow developing dark chocolate offering balanced tannins, leading to a subtle cinnamon and coffee finish. Long lasting with a silky finish) and also the 68% Cocoa Somia Plantation Madagascar (A lively dark chocolate of great intensity characterized by a fresh citrusy overtones with a silky texture) – both from the 2013 harvest.
I sat myself down with the two blocks one fine Sunday. I can appreciate the care that had been taken with these bars. Undoing the cardboard outter wrapper, sweet little stickers identified the type of each bar and held on the next wrapping of foil. The bars are yours to break into whatever sized pieces you’d like, so I was fairly liberal with my first snap and I started with the 72% bar. It was wonderful. Rich in flavour and a lingering loveliness. I really enjoyed it. I can imagine it would pair perfectly with a bold red wine. Bliss.
Similarly with the 68%, I really liked it but it was noticeably different in taste to the 72%, highlighting the importance of sourcing varied and high quality beans. This one had more of a fruity flavour to it, a luscious citrusy infusion. While I enjoyed the delicious darkness of them both I probably preferred the first I tried, albeit only slightly more. Marvelous Matale. A very close race between the two.
These are unique blocks of chocolate. Care given from bean to bar to produce some really special and memorable blocks of chocolate. I thoroughly enjoyed eating them and it also served as a solid reminder to me to give thought to how things are made, the process and knowing things are done right.
Thank you Matale – your chocolate bars are made with love 🙂