First of all, thank you for hanging out here with me while I blogged everything Hanoi, Vietnam for the whole year. This may or may not be my last post about this beautiful country. Meanwhile, I would like to wish everyone an advance Happy New Year 2021! Let’s keep on doing our magic 🪄 in the kitchen.
If you’ve read: Chocolatey Goodness @ Maison Marou Hanoi, then you would know why I’m writing this post.
Yep, I’m dedicating this post for the outrageously awesome Mekong Kumquat 68% Tiền Giang single origin plus chocolate bar. It’s so amazing that it earns a blog post from me.
When I was at Maison Marou Hanoi in Vietnam late last year, of all the chocolate bars there, I went and bought only one that is the Mekong Kumquat 68% Tiền Giang as a souvenir for myself. I’m not a fan of citrus in chocolate and would avoid it at all cost but I choose this bar because it had just received a Silver award at the Northwest Chocolate Festival Awards right before my trip. My curiosity was piqued.
Behold! The amazing Vietnamese chocolate bar that is Mekong Kumquat 68% Tiền Giang. I love the packaging design and color combo.
Chocolate bar: Mekong Kumquat 68% Tiền Giang
Origin: Tiền Giang province
Range: Single origin plus
Maker: Marou Faiseurs De Chocolat (Marou Chocolate Maker)
Ingredients: Cacao nibs (60%), cane sugar (30%), cacao butter (8%), dried kumquat (2%)
Price: 130,000 VND (RM23.50)
Mekong kumquat 68% Tiền Giang is from the single origin plus range by Marou Faiseurs De Chocolat. Tiền Giang, a Southern province in the Mekong Delta where kumquat grows in abundance offers its warm citrusy terroir to the chocolate bar. Because the bar is made only from this single province, it’s called the single origin. The plus is an extended range of single origin.
The main reason I was so interested in Marou Chocolate is because of the ingredients. Most chocolates used soy lecithin, an ingredient that I want to avoid whenever possible. When I found out that Marou doesn’t use soy lecithin but the real cacao butter instead, and what more the other ingredients they used passed my stringent rules (not highly processed and no nasty chemicals), it became my must-try. Tried I did and the rest is history. In other words, I’m as happy as a duck. 🦆
What really amazed me about this chocolate is how Marou could achieve such a bar of high-quality chocolate by using simple and real ingredients. This brings all the other chocolate I’ve eaten so far to shame. Marou is a bean-to-bar chocolate maker. The ability to manage and control the whole process of chocolate making from the sourcing of raw cacao beans to the final product means that they have the skill and opportunity to produce high-quality chocolate beyond the norm. The result was amazingness.
Upon shedding its first layer of the orange-blue designed paper packaging brings you this luxurious gold paper wrapper affixed together by the M fluted sticker which obviously stands for Marou. Usually, chocolate bars are wrapped in foil but not Marou as they use a gold paper wrapper. I am beyond happy that they took the steps to reduce waste as the paper is eco-friendly while the foil will take a few hundred years to decompose.
Arghhh! It’s broken. But did you noticed that the chocolate has no sign of melting but only brusing due to improper storage by yours truly? I brought it home from Hanoi to Malaysia in tropical temperature except when it’s cooler on the flight. Hey, if Marou can do this, so can the others. I quickly learn that it’s the taste, aroma and the emotions it evokes that rattles my being, and not the cosmetic though it does play a slight moderate part on it.
Talk about cosmetic, the carved design of the chocolate bar is unique and classy. The color of the bar is dark brown with a reddish tinge. It snaps and shines beautifully. Smell wise, it’s a mixture of fragrant citrus and chocolate.
When I took my very first bite of the chocolate, I knew I’ve found THE chocolate I’ve been looking for all my life. It was perfect including the sweetness level. Surprisingly I love the citrusy combination of kumquat and the dark tone of the chocolate. The kumquat and cacao didn’t overpower each other. Instead, they meld together creating a beautiful delicate harmony that makes your tongue dance in delight and arouses your soul. No joke! It invokes the feeling of being transported to the land of Tiền Giang visiting the kumquat and cacao orchards when you’re actually enjoying the bounty in your home.
I’ll end this post by saying that the Mekong Kumquat 68% Tiền Giang chocolate bar is one of the best chocolate I have ever tasted if not the best. From the wondeful terrior (flavor profile), aroma, ingredients and packaging, this chocolate bar is definitely a class of its own and it’s no wonder why it won an award. Remember, I don’t even like citrus in my chocolate. I have no regret buying only one chocolate bar and you bet I’ll buy the whole range when I have the chance in the future.
This chocolate bar sounds too good to be true, yeah? I urge you to try it yourself and come back here and let me know what you think.