On the Lookout for Chocolate

If you’ve spent some time on this site, you already know that I am quite a fan of chocolate. Dark chocolate especially, and I have at least one or two squares every day. (Ok, dark chocolate with the exception of my long time favorite Toblerone.)  I’ve shared with you where to find chocolate in New York City and where to find it in Paris; you’ve read about chocolate served in a cheese box, chocolate that’s blue, and even chocolate made with pop rocks.  And you’re sure to see a whole lot more in the future. I am always on the lookout for a bar to discover.  And it’s rare that I will come back from a trip without a few new wrappers in my bag.

Lindt, Chocolat + Fleur de SelSo I was very excited to find this relatively new bar (introduced in 2008) in a local Coop supermarket here in Zürich.  It’s not a shocking flavor or something that’s never been done before.  It’s actually a rather common culinary trend right now.  It just hadn’t been done by Lindt: chocolate… and??  Salt. In fact, I often add the latter when I taste my few squares each day.  I take a piece of dark chocolate, whether it’s a pure origin bar or flavored with espresso, and I sprinkle it with a few grains of high quality Fleur de Sel (hand harvested from the salt marshes of Brittany, France) or Maldon salt (from England), depending on my mood.  Now Lindt has added 3% sea salt to its classic dark chocolate blend, giving us: Lindt Excellence, A la Pointe de Fleur de Sel (A Touch of Sea Salt).

That said, don’t expect to look at the chocolate and see large, noticeable crystals.  But take one bite, and you will taste them right away.  If you let the chocolate melt on your tongue, you can feel the tiny crystals as the chocolate melts away.  Or you’ll feel a few morsels afterwards in your teeth.  Lindt’s deliciously smooth 47% dark blend has a pleasant mouth feel, and the salt creates a very nice balance.  And you really do get a taste of salt in each and every bite.  In order to share accurate information, I ate the whole bar.  I even did this test with a second bar.  Again, solely for research purposes :)

Lindt, Chocolat + Fleur de Sel

While Lindt’s Summer Edition chocolates weren’t imported to the US when I reported on them in August 2008, this Fleur de Sel bar most certainly is.  I double checked with consumer relations in New Hampshire, and they let me know that it is available in Lindt retail stores as well as online.

If you like the taste of chocolate and salt, below are a few more bars to look out for: Vosges Haut Chocolat’s line, which always has a strong component of salt, my favorite of which is the Barcelona Bar (hickory smoked almonds, grey sea salt and 40% deep milk chocolate); Sal de Ibiza‘s 70% bar made with Flor de Sal; Paul de Bondt’s Fior di Sale barTheo’s 3400 Phinney Bread and Chocolate bar; and last but not least, my newest discovery and current favorite from Basel, Switzerland - Beschle’s Grand Cru Triniatrio au Fleur de Sel et Pistaches (65%).

Chocolate with salt

12 Responses to “On the Lookout for Chocolate”

  1. jen laceda says:

    Oh Kerrin – what fabulous chocolate sensation these are! You make me want to go out and buy some dark chocolate with fleur de sel. I have a feeling this trend has not reached Canadian markets – or palates – as of yet. Maybe soon…

  2. Steve says:

    Luvit, another great discovery. We can always count on Kerrin, especially when it comes to chocolate. But I’m curious, if you’re not a big salt eater, will this chocolate be too “salty”?

  3. Kerrin says:

    Jen, it’s up to you to show those Canadians then!! ;) I remember finding fantastic dark chocolate in my Canadian travels that was made with pure maple sugar crystals. It was excellent. That said, a tiny pinch of salt wouldn’t have hurt…!

    Steve, good question. Adding salt to chocolate doesn’t make it “salty” per se. Salt (not too much though) is almost always added in baking because it brings out the flavor of other ingredients, enhances their sweetness. In this bar, the salt does likewise, and softens the chocolate’s bitterness. The play on sweet and salty in chocolate is definitely one worth trying…

    Here’s a great article on the topic of salt that was just in the NYTimes, “How Caramel Developed a Taste for Salt”: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/31/dining/31cara.html Enjoy!

  4. Monika N. says:

    Oh, wonderful. I’ll have to check out the Beschle choco on my next trip home (surprise surprise, there even is a Beschle online shop in Japan!). Salt & caramel and salt & choco is the latest fad here, too. But then, watermelon is sprinkled and eaten with salt in Japan.

    Re Basel: Have you ever visited the Basler Fasnacht? It’s the best in Switzerland. Really. That would be a nice trip and you can buy the choco at their store ^-^ . Double luck.

    PS: I’m immensely enjoying your blog!

  5. Lani says:

    I can’t wait to taste this new bar! My favorite combination to eat is salt and chocolate and just put it on chocolate covered pretzels. I will keep looking for it in NY. I am sure that it will soon appear. Thanks for the heads up!!

  6. AmyRuth says:

    Ah, Kerrin…. perhaps I could help you out with that Chocolate Research….??? he he
    I have this NY’s resolution to taste/eat a weee bit of chocolate each day (for my health, right?) Seriously, I find the pleasure of sweet and salty to be so addicting. I love having knowledge of new chocolates beyond my scope as well. Thank you so much for expanding my horizons.
    AmyRuth

  7. Marie-Isabelle says:

    Qu’est-ce que c’est bon ! rien que d’y penser !
    Moi, je vote pour le Beschl’es Grand Cru Trinitario etc…
    Il faudra me montrer où en acheter à Zürich, j’aime tellement la pistache…
    après mes enfants et ma famille bien sûr.
    Bisous en chocolat, au chocolat, pour le chocolat et sur le chocolat !
    Marie-Isabelle

  8. Stéphanie says:

    Cet après midi j’ai eu un fou rire. J’étais en formation et la formatrice nous a apporté du chocolat : du Lindt à la pointe de fleur de sel!!! j’ai donc pu goûter “on the spot”. Yummy!!!

  9. Sibyl says:

    Kerrin – now that you’ve discovered Beschle, you MUST go to their patissérie in Basel and try their gâteau St. Honoré – it is indescribably good – nobody else’s comes even close.
    I haven’t tried the Lindt bar yet, but was very disappointed in Lindt’s chili bar – not a taste of chili to be found. If you want to try some truly HOT chocolate, go to Beat Heuberger’s shop at Morgartenstrasse 12 in Zurich – as Switzerland’s king of chilis, he makes it himself with a variety of different chilis to create very subtle flavors, the hotness graded from 1 – 10. I didn’t make it past 6.

  10. Jenn says:

    This sounds like an amazing combination! I’m so glad that you’re dedicated enough to do all of this tedious research in order to educate all of us…. ;)

  11. russ says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmm chocolate! mouth watering just looking at it. can you somehow implement smell into your site pleeeaaassseeee :) and than taste as well. ha

  12. Chocolate from Around the World (including Croatia) | MyKugelhopf says:

    [...] mocha flavor.  More confection than high quality chocolate bar I’d say.  A flake or two of fleur de sel rounds it out nicely though.  Also available in milk chocolate – even more like a Crunch [...]

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