Ask the Alchemist #84


Your Madagascar bean is listed as from the “Sambriana Valley.” Is this a typo? I see people also referring to “Sambirano” and “Sambriano”. Can you shine some light on the names?

This is a bit embarrassing, and at the same time rather amusing in an infamous way.

Let’s get the name straight. First and foremost the proper name of the region in Madagascar is Sambirano Valley. And that is what you will see on my site….(blush, hanging head in shame)…now. I’ve corrected it.

Yes, I did list those two other versions mistakenly for years. How and why? Just an honest mistake really. At some point my supplier spoke the name, I heard SamBRIano, not SamBIRano, and the rest is history. But….(and here is the interesting, and oddly gratifying part) those two misspellings are out there A LOT. They come up quite a bit on that famous search engine, with some pretty well known chocolate makers, and a lot of small artisan makers. "So maybe there are two legitimate spellings" you say? "I read it on the Internet, so it must be true" you say? I am really sorry to break it to you, but no. The simple answer is that I recognize each and every one I saw as having roots in Chocolate Alchemy and my mistake.

Thanks for the trust folks, but yes, (tongue in cheek here) I do make mistakes and typos, and this one has propagated far and wide. It’s kind of gratifying in an infamous sort of way. I didn’t mean to re-name an entire region of a country. I apologize Madagascar.

Anyway, it is all changed on my site. And if you see someone with the name incorrect, be delicate and not haughty. Maybe just send them the link to this Ask the Alchemist and leave it at that.

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