Hello crazed Chocolate Monsters and mighty Ladybugs. I kept my promise, new review. This makes it two in one week. I know, I know, I already gave myself a pat on the back, but thank you all anyhow, so very much. He he he! So this review is based on a new company for me, Mindo. I have never heard of them before, never tasted anything from them. Nevertheless, I have found some really cool information about this chocolate company's journey from their website that I will now summarize and share with you. Their story begins with an auto repair shop in Ann Arbor, Michigan. In 2007, Jose Meza and Barbara Wilson retired from the auto repair shop that they had both owned for years in Ann Arbour. Jose is from Riobamba, Ecuador and has not been back to visit his home in 41 years. Sometime after their retirement, Jose and Barbara decided to return to Ecuador and spend time there since the climate is amazing and the landscape is absolutely gorgeous. In 2008, they purchased a plot of land in Mindo, in a small town situated within the Andes Mountains. I can just imagine this beautiful sight. Despite the fact that they retired from their auto shop, they still wanted to keep in contact with the new owners. There was a problem though. It is expensive, and not easy to get internet access for communication in the Andes Mountains, especially in their remote area. So Jose and Barbara decided to solve their dilemma by opening an internet café for themselves as well as others in the area who suffered with the same issue, no internet connectivity. Once their café was opened, they began to roast, and serve locally grown coffee, and as time passed by, their menu simultaneously grew larger. Barbara was constantly baking. Her baked goods became so popular that people would want shipments sent to countries as far as Belgium. Now the two entrepreneurs ran into secondary problems. Barbara needed chocolate to continue baking her famous sweets, especially brownies, but could not find anything of quality in Ecuador. Whenever she went back and forth from Michigan, she would pack a few pounds of chocolate into her suitcase for their Ecuadorian café. That was kind of ridiculous, and did not make any sense. Barbara and Jose then decided that there must be a better way to get their hands on quality cacao. They purchased cocoa beans and a tabletop juicer. From there forward, they experimented with many batches of chocolate. Eventually, it became so good that people began to take notice of the fine chocolate with quality ingredients. Their precise method for the chocolate creations did not go unnoticed as well. The café became a further success. Barbara and Jose began to devote more time to the cacao processing. They would go on huge hunts for farmers that were growing the exquisite flavor, Nacional variety of cacao. At the same time, they made sure that their farmers were practicing environmentally-friendly methods. On their property, they set up facilities that would give them the ability to ferment, dry, roast, and winnow cacao.
In 2009, Mindo Chocolate Makers opened in Dexter, Michigan. These two entrepreneurs had set up a business that eventually spanned internationally. Since then, Barbara and Jose have been on a quest to make the most delicious chocolate. They still, to this day, split their time between Mindo and Dexter since they have operations in both places. At Mindo Chocolate Makers in Ecuador, daily tours are available with information about Barbara and Jose's chocolate making experience. They even offer week-long intensive courses solely for the making chocolate. They believe that great chocolate starts with great beans. Theirs happens to be Arriba Nacional cacao. At Mindo, the “bean-to-bar” is taken to the extreme. They work directly with organic farmers in Ecuador. All of their chocolate bars are then carefully hand-wrapped. They inspect every chocolate bar before it goes out into the market to be perfect, blemish-free, and overall - flawless.
There you have it, a little background on Mindo. You can of course check them out on their website: http://mindochocolate.com/.
Now for the tasting and review. Let’s start with the wrapper. Simple, subtle but it works. The chocolate bars are enveloped in plastic wrapping for further protection. Each chocolate is stamped with the company name and logo, which happens to be a cacao bean. How neat is that? I love the idea. As for the taste. Remember, this is a dark chocolate, 77% to be exact, but the truth is that it does not taste as though the cacao content is high, meaning it is not bitter. There is a sweet aftertaste that lingers around, most likely due to the dried, Michigan cherries. That occurs after the chocolate has smoothly melted in my mouth, and this step does take its time. Prior to consuming, I observed and could visibly see the dried cherries immersed within the bar. They are larger than normal in size, very generous of Mindo. This is quality chocolate and a true delight. I highly recommend the Mindo Michigan Cherry Bar for a pleasant surprise.
Chocolisciously Delifghtful Ingredients: Organic Cocoa Beans, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Dried Michigan Cherries
Chocolisciously Delightful Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
My name is Soriah and I am an enormous lover of fine chocolates. I enjoy strolling through charming towns and by chance, finding a little, delightful chocolate gem hidden in the corner, offering bon bons that are ready to be just devoured.