Did someone say chocolate? Well if they did, then we all know they got my attention because it just happens to be one of my passions. I can only say that it is truly a dream job to come in and find I have chocolate to review.
Two bars of MIA chocolate landed on my desk a while ago, and I managed to resist. But as the weather has turned colder and my sweet tooth has woken up, now seems a good a time as any to be thinking of chocolate again.
With the first MIA chocolate bars rolling off the production line in Madagascar just 11 months ago, the daring ethical and speciality food brand is celebrating its one year anniversary with a bang after its six-strong range of luxurious chocolate bars launched in Whole Foods. The unique range of fair-made MIA chocolate bars launched on the 14th September and includes the 100% Cocoa, 75% Dark Chocolate and a variety of inclusion bars in a 65% dark chocolate base: Coconut, Almond & Coconut, Cranberry & Hazelnut and Candied Orange.
For us, we have the Coconut Dark Chocolate and the Baobab & Salted Nibs Dark Chocolate to taste test. While the Coconut is now available, if you want to try the Baobab bar yourself, you will have to wait a little longer as it is not available to buy until mid-November.
I am going to throw it out there and say the Coconut has been a favourite because as I sit and type I find the tiniest piece left in the packet. It has flakes of coconut on the bar and is a 65% cocoa content. Quite a sweet edge to a dark bar, but it does have an unusual texture too, with the crunchy flakes combining in as you eat.
I expected the Baobab & Salted Nibs to go a lot sooner, and since half the bar is still here I can get a good sample and try to find out why it was second choice. And personally, I think it is a good job no one ate more because I actually prefer this one. It has a more rounded sweetness but from a fruit flavour rather than a heavier sugar taste. This makes it quite light in the mouth and easy to enjoy.
Of both bars, the only down side I can find it that I am still searching for wayward nibs and coconut flakes long after the chocolate has disappeared, and that means I need to wash them down rather than linger on the aftertaste of the cacao.
Co-founder Brett Beach said:
"It's been a busy 11 months with our chocolate now available in 9 countries, some exciting new product development and a successful crowdfunding campaign, but this listing in Whole Foods is the perfect cherry on our one year anniversary cake. Whole Foods are the benchmark for the speciality and natural food sector so we’re delighted to be on shelf ahead of Chocolate Week and the festive season."
The MIA chocolates are also available through Amazon, Borough Box and Cocoa Runners.
Set up by a group of foodies with a shared passion for the African continent, its people, wildlife and natural ingredients, MIA, short for Made In Africa, is different for its ability to deliver delicious tasting and beautiful products that are entirely crafted in Africa. With 65% of the world's cocoa coming from Africa but less than 1% of chocolate actually made there, bean-to-bar chocolate company MIA is out to change this shocking status quo. The entire bean-to-bar chocolate making process, including the roasting, shelling, grinding, tempering and even packaging, takes place under one roof in Madagascar to utilise the freshest and best ingredients.
By doing this, MIA also brings three more benefit to local communities in Africa (vs. export of raw ingredients). The MIA brand is partnered with Proudly Made in Africa (PMIA) to ensure that products aren't just made on the continent but are produced with as many locally sourced ingredients and materials as possible.
MIA is committed to a 1 for Change programme which ensures that 1% of all MIA sales are dedicated to development projects in places where a little goes a long way. Whether it's projects to help save local endangered species or to improve a community’s livelihoods, the scheme is central to the brand’s philosophy.
For further information, visit: www.miafoodie.com