Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Melt Bar - SEA SALT

Melt Chocolates have been at the top of my shopping list for sometime and I couldn't resist spending a mind blowing £6.50 on this 90g bar when visiting Chocolate Unwrapped!

About Melt: Louise Nason is the founder of Melt which she started in 2006. Chocolate seems to have been in her life since she was just knee high to a grasshopper. From an early age Louise was always baking, especially if the recipe included chocolate. Having become a mum Louise made a monumental career change and decided to set up her own chocolate boutique and 6 months later her first shop opened! 

Louise is supported by Head Chocolatier Chikako Watanabe. Their website has a great feel and is filled with some fantastic images and information. Melt's boutique is located in the heart of Notting Hill at 59 Ledbury Road, near Westbourne Grove. They also have a concession at Selfridges in Oxford Street and you can also find them in Wholefoods on Kensington High Street and Lidgates in Holland Park Avenue. Some very select addresses! 

I was interested to read about where they sourced their chocolate and it seems that they went to some considerable length to locate the very best cocoa. They haven't gone to the big producers, far from it, they've gone to the micro-cocoa producers that are fundamentally focused on making only the very best chocolate. For example, Mott, based in Grenada has developed his own chocolate factory over many years to form the Grenada Organic Farmers Cocoa Co-op. They've also gone to places you wouldn't even consider such as chocolate producer Art Pollard, located high in Utah's Wasatch Mountain range in the heart of the Rockies. To ensure great quality they've sourced a single origin chocolate from the department of Santander, Colombia. The cocoa from this region closely resembles those of the Criollo beans in Venezuela.

The Packaging: I haven't been to Melt's shop but you can tell from the packaging that quality is high up on their agenda. As always seems to be the case 'simplicity' wins through. I like the way they've wrapped the bar in waxed paper which is very tactile and makes refreshing change to silver foil or cellophane. There is plenty of information on the back of the box with useful tasting notes.

The Chocolate: According to the back of the box this milk chocolate has a 38% cocoa content and an ingredient that I've never seen in chocolate before, barley malt extract. What is this chocolate going to taste like, I ask myself? I'm not looking forward to tasting this bar of chocolate. 'Have faith in the chocolate maker', I say to myself as I break off the first chunk. Well, before I do that let's just take in the aroma. Wow! This is chocolate heaven, it is so rich, familiar and sweet. I've followed the instructions to the letter and placed a big square of chocolate on my tongue. The salt is embedded in the bottom of the bar so your tongue picks out the rough Maldon salt immediately. Note Maldon Salt is not as caustic as normal table salt. As the gorgeous chocolate melts and you roll it around your mouth you pick up traces of salt which blends in perfectly with the sweet, sweet cocoa.

This is a lovely bar of chocolate and I can't fault it but at £6.50 (this was the price at Chocolate Unwrapped) was hefty for a 90g bar. This is why I'm going to give it 9/10. If you buy directly from their website prices start from £6.80 but if you live in Notting Hill £6.80 isn't going to break the bank. Put this on your Christmas list and cross your fingers that Father Christmas will remember!

I couldn't find this bar on their site but there are plenty more to choose from. If you'd like to explore their full range of bars click here MELT

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