|Characteristics:||distinct regional cacáos cultivated in Vietnam|
|Ferment:||sub to optimum|
|Impact:||Vietnam’s first boutique barsmith.Marou forms a portemanteau of Sam Maruta & Vincent Mourou’s last names. This duo took the American dream on the road… overseas. They shelved gigs back in the States for this foreign venture.Operating in the undergrowth of the candy giants that use Vietnam as a hedge against potential disruption to the world’s primary suppliers of cocoa – West Africa and Indonesia – should either of those collapse under political instability & even global warming (which would dislocate the “20/20 Zone” where currently cacáo only grows).
There Marou identifies seed lots for their boutique line that pays a premium & in turn delivers higher quality produce which, in return, fetches a significiantly higher consumer price.
In the process Sam & Vincent harbor a real appreciation for chocolate culture & their responsibilties towards it. They operate in-theater / on-the-ground which presents its own set of challenges, such as maintaining bar temper in tropical climates.
Just shy of 100% vertically integrated (although that could be in the cards), the guys man the frontier of cacáo development in Vietnam’s emerging economy, working directly with growers / Bromans, providing input on post-harvest methods, then crafting bars back at their studio.
Chocolate-covered Cacáo Nuts
by Sacha Gold