We are no strangers here to Lindt chocolates, and it’s generally a happy association — on our part, at least. The latest example of Lindt’s chocolates to cross my desk is a new flavor in their “Excellence” line — dark chocolate with caramel and sea salt.
It arrives in the standard Lindt packaging, a flat bar, 3.5 oz, and lightly scored so that it can — theoretically, at least — be broken into ten wafers. Mine may have endured less than gentle handling in transit — it was in shards of various sizes. Happily, that had no effect on the flavor.
Now, I doubt that I’m unusual in thinking of caramel as soft, chewy, maybe even gooey. Not this time — it crunches. The caramel is hard pieces disguised by the smooth surface of the chocolate, which is not a really heavy-duty dark chocolate: it’s noted as 47% minimum cocoa, so it’s about a medium dark. The texture is firm, but not brittle — it’s quite a smooth mouthful until you bite down and get the cruchiness of the caramel. The caramel flavor is almost masked by the chocolate — almost, and the sea salt adds a certain unidentifiable quality to the blend. (Chocolate and salt, if it’s not already, should be listed as a classic combination — there’s nothing quite like it.)
This is one of those instances in which I’m tempted to run out to the nearest retailer and stock up. Happily, Lindt’s website offers a store locator. (And surfing through the website is an adventure in itself, just to see the various flavors of Excellence chocolate bars — I mean, yes, coconut seems logical, but lime? Lychee?)
At any rate, if you want to treat yourself to something a little out of the ordinary (but not too far out), this one is definitely a candidate.