Bar: Halen Mon (Vietnam)
Maker: NomNom Chocolate (Llanboidy, Whales)
Price: ~$6.50/85g (gift from a friend)
Munch Factor: 7.5/10
Ingredients: Cocoa Beans (Vietnam), Sugar, Whole Milk Powder, Vanilla (98%). Halen Mon Pure Sea Salt (0.5%). Halen Mon Oak Smoked Sea Salt (0.5%). Beech Smoke Extract (0.2%).
Appearance: a moderate to light brown color in a plain blocked mold with flecks of black salt all over, randomly placed throughout the bar.
Aroma: dully smoky, like clothes after a bonfire, and a little creamy (though the fact that it’s chocolate I’m smelling may have biased my senses).
Melt & Snap: beautiful melt & okay snap.
Flavor: sweet, melty and earthy before the salt starts in and the bar fully melts. The smokiness of the salt blend in to the point of reminding me of the first bites of the Reese’s cups I ate as a kid. It’s almost nutty before your brain identifies the flavor. The finish is short and sweet and leaves you wanting more.
Complaints & Complements: a friend of mine here in Korea tried this bar and immediately scrunched up her face and said “짜!!” which means “salty,” and repeated it a few times. The level of salt in this bar is high & strong, and certainly not for everyone. But I’m personally enamored of this bar, and can’t wait to get my hands on more. Bring on the smoked salt!
Context: In my office before lunch, and a few hours after breakfast.
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