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Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt Threesome

Best Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt triple test

What's the best dark chocolate with sea salt? Alter Eco, Theo, or MadecasseEverybody can agree that a pinch of salt makes chocolate better. It’s actually scientifically proven! It’s no surprise every brand has its own chocolate sea salt bars. We got our hands on some sea-salt-powered chocolate bars and did a little test. Let’s see what these three brands interpret as a chocolate and sea salt bar! (Spoiler alert: They couldn’t be more different!)

Alter Eco Deep Dark Sea Salt Organic Chocolate

The first bar we tested is the Swiss-made Alter Eco Deep Dark Sea Salt Organic Chocolate. The label says RICH BOLD SALTY SWEET. Elsewhere on the packaging, it reads “Our smooth, Swiss-made dark chocolate meets its match with a generous stirring of Fleur de Sel de Guérande.” A fancy way of saying “This salt came from a French marsh.” So how does it taste, you ask? I loved the balance of bitter and sweet that’s going on in this bar. The bar has a smooth sheen and a nice snap. No complaints as far as the chocolate, this one is excellent.

My wife and I had a somewhat different opinion on Alter Eco’s take on salt. I felt chocolate and salt were pretty well balanced. The chocolate is the star, and the salt makes it a little more interesting. My wife found it not salty enough, arguing that you buy a sea-salt bar expecting a salt flavor and this bar really only has a hint of that. I can totally follow her argument. Alter Eco made a tasty, well-balanced product, but if you expect this to be all about the salt or appreciate some of the graininess that comes with it, you should look elsewhere. The salt is only enhancing the rich and fruity chocolate flavor. You could probably fool someone not paying attention that this is regular dark chocolate. Ultimately, we have a bit of mixed feelings about it. Especially since Alter Eco advertises a ‘generous stirring’ of salt on the package.

Theo Sea Salt Dark Chocolate

Moving on to the Theo Sea Salt Dark Chocolate bar. “Rich dark chocolate with a pinch of sea salt – sweet, salty, irresistible” is what it says on the package. The chocolate is pretty neutral. Definitely not as complex of a flavor going on here. It’s not bad—it very much serves its purpose as a vessel for a salty chocolate—but there’s better chocolate out there. The real star is the salt. If you’re looking for a little crunch from your sea salt chocolate bar, this is for you.

This bar has tons of salt crystals and tastes plenty salty. It does exactly the opposite of the Alter Eco. The package promises a pinch of salt, but delivers salt galore! I can appreciate the crunch, but I prefer chocolate with salt, not salt with chocolate. There can be no mistake that when you like this chocolate, the salt is why. That’s why my wife likes this one the best.

Madecasse Sea Salt & Nibs

What's the best dark chocolate with sea salt? Madecasse with sea salt and cocoa nibsOur final bar received the Paris Salon Du Chocolat Best in Show award: Madecasse (pronounced Mah-Day-Kas) Sea Salt & Nibs. We’re cheating a little bit because Madecasse also added cocoa nibs and not just salt. It’s also 63% dark chocolate, where the other two were 70%. I didn’t let any of this stop me from crowning this my favorite bar. By far the best tasting chocolate of the three we tried. Very fruity and a little smokey. I feel Madecasse achieved a great balance between chocolate and salt.

Like the Alter Eco, you might be disappointed because the salt here is clearly meant to enhance the flavor, not to be the main selling point. This bar didn’t satisfy my wife’s salt craving. The cocoa nibs, the salt, the fruitiness, they all work together to create an excellent chocolate.

Conclusion

Doing this little taste-test raised an interesting question. We were both left wondering: What do people want when they buy sea salt chocolate? I have to agree that people most likely want a no-frills salt flavor when they grab a bar from the supermarket shelf that’s labeled ‘sea salt’. If that’s you than the Theo is the one to go for. If you prefer to enjoy your afternoon coffee with a great piece of chocolate with lots of interesting flavors and textures, the Madecasse is a winner.

What do you expect from a sea salt chocolate bar? Tell us in the comments.