Dandelion Chocolate Review: Ambanja Madagascar

Dandelion Chocolate Review: Ambanja Madagascar : chocolate review  : review Madagascar Dandelion Chocolate Dandelion chocolate bean to bar american chocolate Ambanja We recently had a visit by our friend Lowe from ChocoFiles. The man has reviewed and tasted more chocolate than maybe anyone, so when it comes to his recommendations I listen. After spending some time in our shop he gave me a list of new artisan bean to bar makers I had to check out. One was Dandelion Chocolate out of San Francisco.

Dandelion (creators Cameron Ring and Todd Masonis) has a neat story in that they were ex-tech heads from Plaxo  that sold out and followed a more tasty passion.

Their current offering is quite nice. The “Ambanja, Madagascar”, “Colombia”, & “Ocumare, Venezuela.”  All abundantly qualitative.

On a prior review of a Rogue’s Madagascar we found that the Sambirano valley was producing some juicy terroir and the Ambanja region which is a bit north, north-west from Sambirano is having a similar profile and I am loving it.

Dandelion Chocolate Ambanja, Madagascar

Dandelion Chocolate Review: Ambanja Madagascar : chocolate review  : review Madagascar Dandelion Chocolate Dandelion chocolate bean to bar american chocolate Ambanja


  • Decor
    • Thick paper
    • Beautiful metallic shine
    • Something vintage, something new
    • Simple wave design on chocolate
    • Chocolate is breakable in 1″ x 1″ squares
  • Temper
    • A great temper, beautiful snap/crack
  • Aroma
    • Clean smell
    • Hints of a bordeaux-like wine cork
  • Taste
    • Immediate hit of flavor, citrus
    • Flavors run all around–
      • Pink Grapefruit
      • Black Berries
      • Tart Cherries
      • Oak
    • Salivatious!
  • Body
    • Smooth coating
    • Almost milk chocolate in body in how creamy it delivers
  • Aftertaste
    • Clean, very little body or mouth coat
    • Very mild tanins
    • Lingering dark fruits
  • Notes
    • As this chocolate is being eaten, and your mouth sweats from the burst of flavor you have to consciously slow yourself down from devouring it. For whatever reason you want to rush forward with haste when the opposite is what you need to do. Stop. Roll your tongue, enjoy this flavor-expansion and smile.
    • As an aside I noticed that my afternoon palate had more flavor come out than my morning palate. Your milage may vary but it is something to take into consideration as you sample your chocolates. Try a few times throughout the day on different days to really see where the profile is at its peak.

This bar is just marvelous; really Dandelion is doing a bang up job on their product and I hope to review their Ocumare soon.  In the shop  I consider this to be a bit exotic and adventerous since it really packs a flavor punch which as many of you know from my prior reviews, I search for.  If there was a more comfort need their Colombia chocolate is perfect for you.  For me though, make me think I’m eating a new line of Chocolate Starbursts or some great vintage chocolate wines and you’ve got me.  I love layers of flavors.

Dandelion Chocolate from San Francisco is producing some beautiful chocolate bars. Andy from The Secret Chocolatier profiles their latest entry.
Dandelion Chocolate: Ambanja Madagascar
Date Published: 08/08/2011
This bar is just marvelous; really Dandelion is doing a bang up job on their product and I hope to review their Ocumare soon.
4 / 5 stars

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  • Doreen Pendgracs

    I, too, loved the Madagascar bar from Dandelion. They were kind enough to send me a selection of bars and for me, the Ambanja from Madagascar was bold and beautiful. But for the majority of participants at my tasting event, the Colombian was indeed the favourite.

    • http://blog.nuancelabs.com Andy Ciordia aka Ciordia9

      I totally get that. I’m finding over time with tastings peoples palates do start looking for more layers of flavor. Newbies though are always looking for a more comfortable comparable to old standards. All good though, good job educating the palate. :)