La Vita Dolce

Monday, February 2, 2009

In honor of February, the month of romance, winged creatures and all things pink, posts from now until Valentine's Day will be dedicated to The Sweet List. So what renders something worthy of the list? Sweet treats, deals and destinations are musts along with, to Cupid's delight, obvious romantic and feminine inclusions. As long as you can finish the phrase ______ is so sweet, then it's a shoo in. 

So to kick off The Sweet List (drumroll please), here's our sweet starter:

Fran's is well-known for their two varieties of "salt chocolates." 
Photo Source: Fran's Chocolates

Not surprisingly, I selected chocolate. But what is surprising is the fact that these divine delights are unlike any other chocolate I've ever tasted. In one small bite there's an explosion of distinctly separate flavors that blend to create a harmonious yet perplexingly taste. With a combination of sweet and salty and even smokey flavors, the caramels were rich and complex but with that all-too-familiar melt-in-your-mouth coating and chewy sweet inside. But I know the real secret behind these pleasure is the snowy-like salt that topped these candies. 

Being partial to dark chocolate (okay, in love with dark chocolate), I naturally preferred the Gray Salt Caramels to their milk chocolately counterparts, however both were delicious. Perhaps it's also because the gray salt that tops the dark chocolates comes from Brittany, France. Not only do I generally love all things French, but Brittany is also where the best oysters that I've ever had in my life were harvested from before making their way my dinner plate in Paris one fateful evening. 

Gray salt is harvested by hand on the beaches of Brittany.
Photo Source:

Known as sel gris in France, gray salt is harvested by hand-sweeping the surface of shallow pools to collect the precious gift of the sea. 

At a price of $48 for two dozen, these chocolates aren't terribly priced, especially considering their quality, but if you're looking for a similar most budget-friendly version, Trader Joe's does carry Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels although the availability of these may vary by store and season. 

In my research I did find several delicious looking chocolate and sea salt recipes, one of which I had to share: Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel & Sea Salt.

Try out other sweet combinations of chocolate and sea salt 
including this ooey-gooey cupcake recipe.
Photo Source: A Good Appetite


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