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Marou makes exclusively Vietnamese chocolate, with fine beans sourced from around the country and local sugar. Founded by two Frenchmen and based in Saigon, Marou was part of the early wave of in-country production for international markets. I love their emphasis on regional, rather than national terroir. There are many different soil types, cacao varieties, and microclimates throughout Vietnam, and Marou highlights the variation by careful sourcing and gentle roasts to maintain the original character of the beans.

Bà Ria 76%


Flavor: Molasses, dried red fruit? Sort of savory, a bold flavor, almost like barbecue sauce, peppers, a bit dusty like cocoa powder. If it melts fully, interesting notes of honey, wood, maple syrup emerge.

Recommendation: Recommended.

Notes from 2019

Aroma: soft raisin, port, vanilla, a little wood/earthiness, bread crust, pipe tobacco, leather

Flavor: Raisin, bread, chocolate bread, dark toast, dark chocolate covered cherries, éclair – pastry and rich cream, cocoa powder, tea – some mild tannins, coffee grounds, chocolate ice cream, a slight starchiness, and a little fruitiness coming through – dried cherries. Recommended. An overall pleasant bar, mild and mellow, if not thrilling.

Lam Dong 74%


Flavor: Raisin, brownie, delicate fruity and floral notes once it melts fully.

Batch info: 20183; Best by October 9, 2022


Recommendation: Recommended.


Notes from 2019:

Flavor: grass, some fruit tang, wood, grapes, sour yellow fruit, honey, beeswax, some floral? A creaminess and tanginess like lemon ice cream, a hint of smokiness/meatiness, delicate and pleasant, a nice creaminess, earthy and slightly sour. Recommended. Pleasant subtle flavors and a smooth texture.

Aroma: leather, port, smoky, cocoa, spices, orange

Dong Nai 72%

Flavor: Brown sugar, graham cracker, brownie, milder and sweeter than some of the others they make.


Recommendation: Recommended. A pleasant bar.

Notes from 2019:

Flavor: Nutty, toasted flavors, cocoa powder, rich chocolate flavor, brownies, with light honey, fruity (peach) and floral notes. Pleasant acidity at finish. Long lingering flavor. Highly recommended. Lovely delicate floral and nutty chocolate flavors.

Aroma: lilacs, lilies, very floral, honey, beeswax, honeysuckle, delicate fruit

Tien Giang  70%


Flavor: Raisin, molasses, whole grain, Fig newtons, dry leaves, earthy spice note like turmeric, graham cracker

Good, a distinct profile which is nice.

Recommendation: Recommended. I didn’t like this one as much as some of their other bars, but it's worth trying.

Notes from 2019:

Flavor:Some acidity, more pronounced fruitiness, hint of tannins, gentle spicy/woody complexity, very slight back-of-the-throat bite. Prune, molasses, honey, floral, spices. A little grassiness, smoky pine. Smoky, cured meat undertones.)

Ben Tre 78%

Flavor:  Little bit in back of throat, slightly spicy and earthy, very little bitterness. Also graham cracker and a slightly dusty cocoa powder taste, but also a little dried red fruit as it melts – dried cherry. Wildflower honey, dried fig.

Recommendation: Recommended. Pleasant, good complexity and interest.

Notes from 2019:

Flavor: dark, wood, dried cherries, black licorice, pepper, tannins, coffee, black tea. Starts out a little bitter/tanniny, bitterness fades to cocoa powder, a little sour – starfruit. Earthy, cocoa powder, yellow fruit tang.

Dak Lak 70%


Flavor: Delicate, sweet, floral, apple, floral liqueur perhaps, cherimoya, marshmallow, rose/violet, beer, fresh yeasty bread,


Batch info: Best before October 16, 2022; Batch no. 20168


Recommendation: Highly recommended. Delightful and interesting.


Saigon 100%


Aroma: dusty earth, cocoa butter, hint of red fruit


Flavor: A fair amount of earthiness with some sourness and a classic cocoa powder aftertaste. A little natural sweetness. Overall, well-balanced with a nice range of flavors.


Recommendation: Highly recommended. An intense, well-made 100% bar.


Batch info: Batch 20086; Best by December 29, 2021

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