Intensely flavoured artisanal chocolate is definitely not the first food you think about when talking about Vietnam. Frenchman Samuel Maruta and French American Vincent Mourou are rapidly changing that perception with their Marou chocolate, the country’s first single origin artisanal chocolate maker. In the late 19th century French colonialists first brought chocolate to southern Vietnam but Maruta and Mourou are the current pioneers in chocolate making in Southeast Asia. Marou hand selects the cacao from various farms within a few hours of Saigon and then transforms the beans into 7 different types of bars based on the terroir of the regions where they are grown. Currently you can purchase Marou chocolate from select shops in Quebec (see where here) or through their Canadian importer Miss Choco.
I caught up with Vincent, who was delightfully charming for having just flown in from Europe a few hours earlier, at the Marou chocolate factory on the outskirts of Saigon to record this video.
Can’t see the video? Click here.
This is part of an ongoing series on Southeast Asian Chefs. See the entire GFR series here.
Cameron Stauch is a chef currently living in Hanoi, Vietnam. He is eating and cooking his way around Asia in search of cooks and producers who are focused on preserving and enriching their local culinary ingredients and traditions. Follow him @camcooks.