Monday, November 22, 2010

Madécasse Chocolate Sea Salt & Nibs

2.64oz (75g) bar
Ingredients: Cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, sea salt
14g sugar/37.5g serving (37.3% by wt.)

I've seen Madécasse bars for a while, elegantly rustic in their raffia-tied paper envelope, but they're a high-midpriced option and I've generally had something cheaper or more novel to try, so I've passed them by. Not long ago I saw Madécasse on sale and went for it, picking up this sea salt and nibs bar and accidentally overlooking its slightly high sugar content. I haven't eaten many sea salt bars, because while I enjoy the salty-sweet combo, I haven't seen much of it in super-dark chocolate. This isn't super dark, either, but there are certainly worse things than to be stuck with a slightly-too-sweet chocolate bar.

So how is it? The front looks clean and sharp, the back is laid with jagged waves of nibs, and the scent is sweet in that fragrant-tropical-fruit sort of way. The flavor is a bit tart, with the crunchy nut-like texture of nibs, and then a sudden punch of salt. It sounds overwhelming, but after a piece or two the saltiness becomes much mellower, a background counterpoint to the sweet/bright/nutty chocolate. Taken together it's enjoyably complex, more interesting than most plain chocolate while just containing the usual ingredients and salt. Personally I shy away from tart chocolate—my palate just tires of it quickly, so I won't go out of my way to buy this again, but in my opinion this is still very good stuff.

Bonus: According to Madécasse, not only the cacao but also the finished product come from Madagascar, and they pay their farmers “above fair trade prices.” Assuming that's true, then good on them. Good chocolate, too.

Conclusion: Madécasse Chocolate Sea Salt & Nibs uses basic chocolate and salt to create a complex, interesting bar.

No comments:

Post a Comment