73% dark chocolate bar made with cocoa beans from the Costa Esmeraldas Plantation in Ecuador

Ingredients: cacao beans, organic cane sugar, cacao butter, sea salt

Maker`s description:

What happens when you mix Ecuadorean cacao beans with pure salt from Canada`s West Coast? A delicious salty crunchy with the perfect melt of chocolate on your tongue.

About the farm:

In an area near the sea not typically known for growing cacao lies the single estate Costa Esmeraldas plantation. Entirely owned and managed by the Salazar family, it produces an elegant cacao bean on reclaimed pastures. The plantation is also hard at work reviving traditional varietals almost lost to the oil palm industry. Andrew Shepherd`s Vancouver Island Salt Company uses pure seawater from Canada`s wild west coast to handcraft a range of artisanal salts. The Costa Esmeraldas plantation is not far from the sea, which might explain why this chocolate marries so well with the essence of ocean waters.

About my tasting experience:

  • Hard snap;

  • Floral aroma and sea breeze scents;

  • Creamy mouthfeel and slow melt;

  • Intense chocolate base with salty undertones, pleasant hazelnut truffle softness;

  • Sometimes you can feel crispy salt crystals on the palate (but I did not notice a real crunchiness);

  • Slightly fruity and medium-sweet;

  • Piquant and persistent savory finish.

NB: I purchased this bar a few months ago but it is noticeable the sugar bloom which is caused by moisture coming into contact with the chocolate. As the moisture dries, the dissolved sugar crystallizes onto the surface of the bar. It also causes a dusty appearance.

Obviously, it affects the color but also the flavor. It pains me I could not enjoy the full potential of this bar. It is not that easy to work with salt as inclusion in chocolate.

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