This bar features Tien Giang cacao beans, which are sourced in Vietnam. I experienced the beans for the first time in a dark chocolate bar and all I remember is a strong (albeit nice) acidity with a faint chocolate flavor. It was good but it felt like it needed a loving arm to hold onto.
There is a belief in the chocolate world that you honor cacao by making dark chocolate with no inclusion so you can “let the beans shine.” Well, let me tell you something. I liked myself before I met my husband but I became a stronger, better person after I fell in love with him (and yes, he’d say the same thing about me.) Sometimes, cacao is like us and it needs a partner to make it stronger. If you dare to listen, it will tell you what it needs.
Last fall, I welcomed Map Chocolate’s Love Shack into my life. Mackenzie Rivers, chocolate-maker at Map Chocolate turned the Tien Gang beans into a work of art. She honored the Tieng Gans beans by giving them a partner to play with: lemon cookies. The cookies echoed the acidity of the bean, while bringing enough sweetness to balance the chocolate. Now that’s what I called “honoring the bean” and I am grateful for Mackenzie for this match made in heaven.
Map Chocolate is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to get equipment that will help her stay small (yes, I know), and I hope this post will encourage you to contribute. If anything, please watch the video because you can see me at the 3 min 29 second mark (just saying.)
To learn more about Map Chocolate, read my interview with founder Mackenzie Rivers here.