Dark Chocolate is every bit as complex and satisfying as wine. Each cacao bean reflects the unique genetic heritage, terroir, growing conditions, and horticulture of the Theobroma cacao tree, and every cacao farmer and cacao buyer has a gastronomic perspective and level of skill that hugely influences the resulting chocolate. For this reason, eating a dark chocolate bar is one of the purest, most satisfying ways to experience the unbounded intricacies of chocolate itself.
Another way to experience the power and revel in the versatility of chocolate is to drink it. The history of drinking chocolate dates back to the deepest shadows of pre-civilization; for hundreds of years, and possibly for thousands, French, Spanish, Aztecs, and Olmecs have consumed it as a drink. When melted down, superbly crafted dark chocolate reaches its fullest expression. It is complex and stimulating; an entire jungle of Theobroma cacao chocolate trees spring up from your taste buds, revealing before you unexpected textural dimensions and infinitely varied flavors.
Choosing the bar is your opportunity for adventure. Let your imagination run free and your personal tastes deliver you into the wild. Nothing is off limits here; use your favorite dark or milk chocolate. If you crave intense red fruit and berry notes with a pleasant tartness, try the bold, ripe flavor of Dandelion Madagascar 70% Dark Chocolate. If you're in the mood for intense red wine and tobacco flavors, use the agile Dick Taylor Dominican Republic 74% Dark Chocolate. Melt it down, stir in a finishing salt, like Taha'a Vanilla or Halen Mon Gold, and taste the beautifully deep flavor your favorite chocolate was destined for. It's your turn to explore.
Recipe adapted from the "Drinking Chocolate with Taha'a Vanilla Salt" recipe in Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes.
Drinking Chocolate with Taha'a Vanilla Salt
- 1 1/2 cup hot water
- 6oz Woodblock Drinking Chocolate OR 6 oz dark chocolate, such as Dandelion Madagascar 70% Dark Chocolate or Dick Taylor Guatemala 70% Dark Chocolate, chopped or broken into small pieces
- Two 2-finger pinches Taha'a Vanilla Salt, Bitterman's Fleur de Hell™, or Bitterman's Chocolate Salt, plus more for rim
- Heat the water in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Once the water begins to steam (you don't want it to boil), add in the chocolate and stir until melted.
- Remove from heat, let thicken for 5 minutes, and then stir in salt.
- If desired, rim glass or mug with additional salt, then serve.