This may be the most frequently asked question we get about our chocolates due to the beautiful designs and colors. In fact, we get many customers asking us if our chocolates are edible!
Believe it or not, each Chocolot chocolate is individually decorated. When you produce tens of thousands of chocolates per year you can do the math and realize it’s quite a labor intensive and time consuming process to make these delicious treats.
Excellent infographic from Caputo’s Market in Salt Lake City which explains the big differences between fine chocolate and industrial grocery-store chocolate.
Source: Caputo’s Deli
I have been asked from time to time what the word “artisan” means. I guess it has different meanings, but to me, it means making something by hand with passion. It isn’t making something in a large factory with big machinery by workers who are there just to get a pay check. Artisans are usually small operations with workers who are passionate about what they are making and use local, top-quality ingredients whenever possible. It is all about having pride in what they are making and how they make quality products. Lately, the word “artisan” is being taken over by big businesses trying to make their national brands sound like they are small, local, and hand-produced. Let’s hope Artisan still means something.
By the way, “artesian” refers to underground water.
p.s. An excellent tongue-in-cheek poke at the death of the word artisan in The Atlantic Wire
From time to time we have customers look at our sea salt caramels and ask us what “Fleur de Sel” means. Quite simply, it’s a salt. But it’s a very special salt, in our opinion.
When the salt is harvested, the harvesters only scrape off the very top part of the salt formation (aka, the fleur, or flower, of the salt). This salt is very flaky, and typically tinged with a bit of gray. Because of the structure of these salt crystals as well as the fact that it has a higher moisture content than the regular table salt we’re used to, it doesn’t dissolve as easily and adds a nice bit of crunch to whatever you add it to. We like to add bit a bit of Fleur de Sel to peanut butter ganache, which gives it some crunch. Fleur de Sel typically tastes more minerally than it does salty, which adds a nice complexity to your food.
We use Fleur de Sel to top our caramels as well as our molten caramel chocolate bar. The slight bit of saltiness you taste with every bite adds complexity and broadens the range of flavors that you taste in our caramels. Interestingly, the salt actually makes things taste sweeter as well.
Fleur de Sel is generally referred to as a finishing salt, which means that you generally don’t cook with it, but apply it right before serving to ensure the salt maintains its structural integrity.
If you’re interested in learning more, I’d recommend checking out David Lebovitz’ post detailing his experience visiting the salt marshes in Brittany.
Also, don’t miss Mark Bitterman’s post, which delves even deeper into finishing salts, and Fleur de Sel in particular.