Lindt Excellence with Sea Salt

Chocolate bars are prone to faddism, just like everything else. One would have to be living in a cave to have not noticed the marriage of chocolate and salt. Often, it’s paired with caramel, but plenty of chocolatiers have added it to plain bars. The idea is appealing but the execution often leaves something to be desired.  My main critique is I am not a deer at a salt lick, so please don’t trowel on the sodium. I understand the urge to go for an intense flavor explosion, rather than subtlety or balance; but, restraint can be a wonderful thing when it comes to salt, especially with chocolate.

Lindt’s dark chocolate with “hand harvested fleur de sel” is becoming ubiquitous, and a definite bargain at $2.59, in most supermarkets. The flavor is mild: the salt added with a light hand, and the chocolate not boasting a high cacao content, though they don’t tell you what the percentage is.  When I see sugar as the first ingredient I know this will not be the deepest bar on the block. Interestingly, the lower cacao content may enhance the experience by softening the effect of the salt.

Unlike other bars where fleur de sel is sprinkled on top, this one has incorporated it. That means there’s no crunch. Even I, who love various textures and mix-ins, didn’t miss them here. Actually, it might have detracted from one of the Lindt’s hallmarks, extreme creaminess.

The chocolate is beautifully tempered and snaps audibly.

I am partial to thinner slabs of chocolate as they melt faster in my mouth, providing a more immediate chocolate rush. All Lindt’s Excellence bars are thin. If only they weren’t so sweet. This one has 19 grams of sugar per 40 grams of chocolate. Normally, that would deter me, but here, it’s cut by the salt and not cloying, at all.

I would buy this again in a heartbeat, it’s creamy, different, satisfying, inexpensive, and easily available.

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