An extraordinary chocolate with a fascinating background story. Marou is a line of chocolates that is infamous for not only its rich, depth of flavour but its striking packaging.
While “Vietnam” and “chocolate” are two words that don’t seem to go together, chocolate was actually introduced to the country as early as 1890 when the French encouraged local farmers to grow the product. However, it’s really only in the last twenty years or so that cocoa was re-introduced to Vietnam, taking advantage of its ideal combination of heat and humidity.
In 2011 two Frenchmen Vincent Mourou and Samuel Maruta started Marou, they have now become known one of the best known artisan chocolate makers in the world. Marou source their beans from five provinces across Vietnam. For their core range, they have chosen a different cocoa percentage for the bars from each region, from the Tiền Giang 70% up to the Bến Tre 78%. Each region has its own distinctive flavour notes, and Marou have chosen recipes that enhance their unique qualities.
The fermented beans are transported to Marou’s chocolate factory in Saigon, where they are transformed into chocolate by bespoke machinery. They are roasted, winnowed, ground, tempered and moulded into some of the most beautiful chocolate bars in the world.
Marou’s attention to detail doesn’t stop at the chocolate itself though. Every aspect of the of the way each bar looks and feels has been carefully thought out, with particular care and attention being given to the wrapping.
A finished bar of Marou chocolate is a small work of art, and unwrapping it takes you on a journey deep into the provinces of Vietnam (See below for a map showing where each bar comes from).
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In our monthly Meet the Maker series, you hear from our makers on their own journeys as artisans and entrepreneurs and how we, The Great Diggers, have changed their business for the better! In August, we’ve recently caught up with Virginie Nantas from Entre 2 Retros. A French innovative company known for the production of bags and fashion accessories made from recycled car materials. Learn more about her journey below.