Monday, October 27, 2008

Fleur de Sel

I'm one of those people who loves sweet with salt. Dutch salty licorice is a long-standing fave, though I've drastically cut down because it's a) quite bad for you and b) burns a hole in my mouth, which is already susceptible to canker sores and booboos. Another perennial fave is salted chocolate. I love it in beverages, in bonbons in bars. You name it.

Will it surprise you to learn that I am a terrific snob when it comes to all food, really, but specifically chocolate? I will not touch the commerically-prepared - which is simply insulin-raising crap. (Well, I do have a soft spot for British chocky bars; they're made with a much better quality of cocoa than the Canadian or American counterparts.)

I'm the kind of girl who goes for handmade Belgian bonbons filled with lavender and bergamot ganache, or salty caramel truffles, flown in from Denmark (the ones that go off if they aren't refrigerated and eaten within 5 days). I say, if you aren't spending 3 bucks on a bite, what are you waiting for? :-) Life is too short to eat bad chocolate. And chocolate is too important not to eat it.

Imagine my surprise on finding this, earlier in the week. (So sorry, this is the only photo in the world of it online, apparently. The product must be super new.):

I know, you're thinking, Kristin: Lindt is crap. (Indeed, most of it is, but the Excellence line is actually passable. And they do some fun flavours like Chili and 99% chocolate - I like to call it chalklate.) And if you can't get to Holt Renfrew or Suite 88 - Montrealers have all the cool stuff! - you need a little fix that's available in the quartier.

PS Hey, quick question to all: Are Twiglets Australian or British? I used to be able to get them at M&S in TO till it closed and I've been having such a craving for them for, like 5 years. If anyone could find me some I would sooooooo appreciate it.

PPS To my foreign friends, on a related topic, I'm apparently the only North American who loves Marmite and Vegemite. Loves. Esp. with gobs of melty butter.


  1. I like a gal with good taste in high quality chocolate.

  2. Say, we have a choc place locally that does chili in their handmade chocs. I'd send you some, but you know how that goes. I could, however, manage to send some to your parents for your next trip. Let me know. I can also check on Twiglets for you, I think they have them right in town.

  3. The Buxx is currently dishing out salted caramel hot chocolate ... I'm sure it would offend your more refined palette, but I'm chugging one a day, as my ever-enlarging ass can attest. I'll have to keep an eye out for this new-and-improved Lindt line.

  4. OH I love sweet and salty too - even better if there is a crunch involved! This sounds yum!

  5. I'm a chocolate snob too! Pepper and lime chocolate is a favourite. :)

    We're lucky in New Zealand, in that we have great European-quality local chocolatiers, but when we went to the States I was really horrified by the chocolate. Ick.

    (Marmite is delicious!)

  6. Owh twiglets are British! Do you need some??

  7. I LOVE the Lindt Excellence Intense Orange. It is my favorite. But, I am tempted to try your salty chocolate bar. I do enjoy pretzels dipped in chocolate or Junior Mints and popcorn---so that salt and chocolate combo intrigues me.
    And, those salty bonbons have me drooling. Where did you find them?

  8. I can't stand pretzels on their own, but dip them in good chocolate, and I'm theirs!

  9. Chocolate, chocolate, I'm not the cookie monster, but I can be the chocolate one.
    Now I want some!!!
    I don't know any one that you talk about, but sounds so yummy, and I should eat from all.


  10. Oh I love salted caramels and chocolates!! My favorites are Fran's sea salt caramels. Expensive, but so good to hide a box of 7 for myself in my closet so no one else will find them!!! I will try the Lindt!! I don't usually like it, but...

    I love Violet Crumble I must say...

  11. I only like 70+% cocoa dark chocolate,with low sugar content.

    Twiglets are so British - very strange snack food I always think. The British to quite a range of 'chip/crips' type foods, my husband has some of them sent over by his mother as he says we don't have nearly enough variety in Australia.

    If you like the salty, I can see why you like marmite and vegemite (though I think that vegemite is far superior to marmite of course).

    I've never tried salty chocolate - sounds interesting. We have an insanely good chocolate shop that sells the most interesting handmade chocolates (of incredible high quality that you would love), and one I really like is basil chocolate...

  12. Just stay away from my Cadbury Dairy Milk bars.

  13. Dr. M: Why doesn't that surprise me?? :-)

    Enc: I am so into the Twiglets love gesture. Thank you! Pls. keep me posted.

    Sal: No, I'm all into that hot choc. I get them to do it half sweet, no whipped, fat free, extra salty - no caramel. Otherwise I'm floating on a cloud of sugar high and I get that weird hot milk fat film on my tongue. Try it my way and tell me what you think.

    Diana: It has a little crunch but not as much as I'd like. I love the crunch.

    Andrea: Pepper and lime sounds fascinating. Such a strange combo it's gotta be fantastic. Mmmmm.

    MDS: As you may have seen. the fabulous Enc has also extended a generous offer (if she can find them where she lives). If she is unable to source them, may I follow up with you. Because I sooooo want the twiggies. Thank you also for your extremely generous offer.

    Belette: I saw the intense orange but I haven't tried it yet. I love orange and choc so it's next on my list.

    Miss C: This whole pretzel and choc thing is very popular. I've never actually tried it, insanely enough, cuz I'm not into pretzels. But I'm going to have to branch out.

    Seeker: I'm sorry to have put you on the chocolate one-track mind. :-)

    Karen: I've never heard of Fran's. I'll google them.

    Imogen: Lindt does a 70% dark that's ok. The 85% dark is better and less sweet. (I don't love it too sweet either.) I didn't realize everything I wrote about was salty. Hmmm....

    WendyB: OK, I'm not into those. So you're safe.

  14. I'd say forget Marmite and stick to Vegemite! :)

    Oh I never knew that Lindt made chocolate with salt. My fav is one with chili.. must try that salty version.

  15. The chili one is good, Songy! Try the salt and tell me what you think. And I have equal love for vegemite and marmite :-)

  16. I really have no idea how I miss a few posts.. what is going on with my RSS Feeds = ( Not to mention I missed a Lindt post- AHHHHHHH

    I especially love Macha = )

  17. I love matcha too GJ. It's like speed that's good for you!

  18. I have to admit that when it comes to chocolate, I'll eat just about anything. I'm also a closet milk chocolate fan, even though I pretend to love dark chocolate to keep my fanatical chocolate devotee friends happy!

    Meanwhile, I grew up eating both Vegemite and Marmite and I seem to recall loving them both, but I haven't had Marmite in over 10 years so maybe I'm forgetting the realisation that I did in fact dislike it. Vegemite is still a favourite though, especially with lots of melty butter on toast. Mmmm toast.

  19. Ms. U: Nothing wrong with milk choc as far as I'm concerned. Unless it's cheap. Then it's more apt to taste waxy, I feel, than dark choc of similar quality. Which is why Lindt works better dark, I feel. Once we get fancy-style, milk is even more delish than dark, I think.

  20. I'm going to smear myself in vegemite and take (semi indecent) photographs of myself doing 'typical' Aussie things and email you. Examples of promised photography - swatting flies (off my vegemite smeared body), drinking a long neck of beer, eating a meatpie, wrestling a baby from the jaws of a dingo...easy stuff.

  21. OK, Matt. This wins for comment of the month! :-) You are so hilarious, I half expect to see this in my inbox next week. It's the baby and the dingo I've got my heart set on!!