/ Doug's Chocolate Republic /
Review: Salazon Sea Salt & Caramel
Salazon Sea Salt & Caramel
Posted: 25 September 2014
With this kind of package -- organic ingredients, hand added sea salt, luscious caramel, small batch made bars, rare Dominican Republic single-sourced beans -- the only way Salazon's Sea Salt & Caramel bar could have tanked is if founder Pete Truby were drunk and urinating into the chocolate as it was being produced.
A few years ago, when I thought of Maryland, I imaged scenes of drug pushers and hard boiled cops in Baltimore on
The Wire. Now I'll think of drug pushers and cops and Salazon's salted chocolates.
price/gram: USD 0.042
Cocoa %: 57
OptoJay, the bearer of my
latest stash of American-made chocolate bars, is long gone
from Thailand's shores. He probably doesn't even
remember he was ever here. But his memory lives on --
in my mouth when I pop in a morsel of one of his high
quality chocolate gifts.
Maryland operator Salazon is
a real inspiration. I've come across a lot of
inspirational chocolate founder stories here at the
Chocolate Republic, but Salazon sets the bar. You bet that
pun was intended! Pete Truby founded the company solo
in 2009. Two years later, he was still the sole
employee. In 2012, he started rolling out the bars
nationally. I doubt anyone outside the US, unless they have
a benefactor like OptoJay, has tried a Salazon.
Named for the Spanish word
for 'salted,' Salazon's core competency is a simple one:
manufacture salted dark chocolate bars. Truby
came up with the idea to go the salt lick route during a
backpacking trip to Utah in 2009.
Their little catchphrase is plastered everywhere. "The
Original Salted Chocolate Brand." While there
were plenty of salted dark chocolate bars around before
2009, no chocolate company built its business around it.
Or does it quite like Truby does it at Salazon.
Salazon doesn't just add sea salt to the recipe during the
chocolate mixing process. No way, Jose!
Salazon sprinkles the chocolate on the bar's underside at
the very end, so that the salt has a very distinctive and
bold flavor. Truby wants to the salt to counteract the
sweetness of the sugar and the bitterness of the 57% and 75%
cacao he uses. He calls this "innovation" flavor
Salazon is a bean-to-bar
manufacturer and every single one of the ingredients is
organic. They're not above using emulsifiers, but
hell, those are organic, too. The bar's wrapper
promises that at least 1% of Salazon's gross proceeds go
towards conservation efforts. About the only other
thing that could sway you by now to try Salazon is to find
out Pete Truby was a former boy scout and loves helping out
in old-age homes!
Truby's noble mission for
Salazon wouldn't mean anything more than a U.S. President's
empty campaign promises if the chocolate didn't taste that
great. Salazon's Hispaniola cacao beans are sourced from a
single origin in the Dominican Republic and have a distinct
flavor all their own. I couldn't swear on anyone's
grave that I'd tried Hispaniola beans before sampling this
Sea Salt & Caramel bar.
With this kind of package --
organic ingredients, hand added sea salt, luscious caramel,
small batch made bars, rare Dominican Republic
single-sourced beans -- the only way Salazon's Sea Salt &
Caramel bar could have tanked is if Truby were drunk and
urinating into the chocolate as it was being produced.
Truby here is like a Japanese sushi chef. He sources
the best ingredients and gets out of his own way by
preparing the final product simply with a unique touch to
differentiate his brand from all the other chocolate
products in the market.
A few years ago, when I
thought of Maryland, I imaged scenes of drug pushers and
hard boiled cops in Baltimore on The Wire.
Now I'll think of drug pushers and cops and Salazon's salted