This is a chocolate of firsts. Not only are we the first retailer of Salt's Chocolate from Cardiff, Wales; but also this is the first chocolate made from cacao from the Awajun division of Rioja in north western Peru. What we also love about this chocolate is that the Awayan people are a native population and cacao growing (along with banana) provides them with an alternative source of income to logging. Given that these people are one of the poorest communities in the region, buying chocolate from their cacao can only do them good.
Many state that Peru is the true birthplace of cacao, whilst others will say Mexico, Brazil and others. The pinnacle of chocolate can be seen to be bars made with Criollo cacao as it is a fine flavour bean. Whilst we have read that the actual Awajun district grows mainly Criollo, the region of San Martin, according to C-Spot, states that 84% of the region's cacao is CCN-51 - a forced hybrid (15% being Criollo). This being said this chocolate actually produces a flavour more akin to Criollo than CCN-51.
The chocolate itself is presented in a large 93g form. The mould is thick, but not perfectly formed - this is after all, Salt's first production run for retail and may not have invested in a vibrating plate yet. But this is true chocolate. It isn't chocolate created by a multi-billion Pound, multination conglomerate. This is chocolate produced on a small scale with harder to work with beans - and we love what Katie has done.
The snap is deafening, it is well crafted. It does have a noticeable level of acidity which belies the 70% cocoa level. The astringency is there gives it a lovely twang. It's also earthy, but ultimately very good.
|Ingredients||Cocoa beans, sugar, cocoa butter.
|Variety||Criollo - but cannot confirm this|
|Dietary||May contain traces of soya, Suitable for vegetarians.|