January 11th, 2010 by Rosa
Salazon Chocolate Co. is a newly launched company that’s specializing in organic salted dark chocolate. Thanks to my candy press status, I got to try them out via free samples from Pete Truby, the company’s founder.
According to their FAQs, Salazon is Spanish for salted. Their wrapper features a striking picture of salt farmers in South East Asia. Salazon’s natural sea salt actually comes from South America; the photo was just too pretty to pass up.
It’s also featured as the design on the bars themselves. They plan to change the photo in the future (necessitating the expense of getting new molds, perhaps?) and are inviting people to submit their own travel photos for consideration.
There are currently three bars in their lineup. The “plain”, so to speak, is their “organic dark chocolate with natural sea salt.” The salt crystals visibly line the bottom of the bar (they’re not mixed into the chocolate).
The chocolate has a firm snap and a clean, smooth melt. It smells dusky and sweet, with notes of citrus. The salt does wonders – it brings out the many flavors of the chocolate, making it brightly sweet, tangy, and fruity, with an almost sour/salty tint. If you’ve never had salted sweets before, this bar will give you a flavor epiphany.
Next is the “organic dark chocolate with sea salt and organic turbinado cane sugar.” This seems to be Salazon’s alternative to a salted milk chocolate bar. Rather than dial down the cacao, they turned up the sweet by adding turbinado sugar, which has a large granule (visible in the photo below; see the brown speck just above the watermark?).
The salt’s effects are much more tempered here, thanks to that additional sugar, and the taste of the salt doesn’t come through much. The chocolate, still smooth and creamy, feels a bit thicker, and the bar tastes more muted. I mostly get a milky, caramel sweetness with a bit of a raisin finish. If I didn’t know that it was dark, I could swear it was milk.
The third and final bar in the Salazon line-up is “organic dark chocolate with sea salt and organic cracked black pepper.” I often seek out chili chocolates to try, but I have less experience with pepper and chocolate.
The bottom of this bar, flecked with big bits of cracked black peppercorns, is a visual treat. The salted chocolate component is back, with the sharp, tangy, sour, saltiness of the “original”, followed by a black pepper finish (full of olfactory peppery-ness). I don’t think I like it, exactly, but I did enjoy the evolving flavors and found them intriguing.
Salazon’s debuting with a solid product line of tasty bars. An OM and my best wishes for them as they make their way onto the market.