Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Salazon - Organic dark coffee bar - July 24, 2013

Chocolate of the Day: 

Salazon Chocolate Co.
Organic Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt and Crushed Organic Coffee (bar)
Good + - Very Good
Weight: .75 oz. (21.25 g.) in 1/4 bar / 3 oz. (85 g.) in 1 bar
Calories: 105 calories in 1/4 bar
Cost: $4.00 (estimate)
Purchased from: Whole Foods, Los Altos, CA

Welcome to Day #6 of Chocolate and Coffee Theme Week.

I recommend this well balanced and skillfully crafted, organic dark chocolate coffee bar from Salazon Chocolate Co. (Eldersburg, MD).

The 57% dark chocolate bar (made from cacao beans from a single co-op in the Dominican Republic) had a wonderful, more complex flavor and tasting arc than I've been used to tasting recently. (That is one advantage of a buying a bar from a company that makes their own chocolate from scratch.)

Happily, the organic, fair trade ground coffee, sprinkled on the back of the bar (from Larry's Beans in North Carolina) was flavorful but didn't overwhelm the rich dark chocolate flavors.

Just the right touch of salt (evaporated sea salt from Brazil) added interest and helped to round out the other flavors.

Conversation with Salazon founder, Pete Truby

I enjoyed speaking with Salazon founder, Pete Truby, this afternoon about his chocolate + salt. ("Salazon" means salt-covered in Spanish.) When Truby founded the company, he decided to focus on making a high-quality (bean-to-bar, small batch) single-origin line of chocolate bars with sea salt.

Salazon bars are made with organic, fair trade ingredients, and come with Rainforest Alliance and Kosher certifications as well.

Truby took an active role in selecting the cocoa and coffee beans in today's bar. The company aims to help improve living conditions for the community of cacao farmers (co-op) in the Dominican Republic where the cocoa beans are grown, fermented for a week and air dried. He also flew down to Chiapas, Mexico, where the coffee was being grown.

"Cacao is grown in the developing world. If you want good beans, you need to be aware and involved in the community. We can't fix everything, but maybe we can help with a well...We try to have the best relationship possible with our co-op," Truby explained.

I would like to add: And the results speak for themselves. Better beans + better care along all the steps in the process = better chocolate.

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