I didn’t know chocolate could taste this good. At random, I told my friend I was having a craving for chocolate. Nothing new there. What I had in mind was a bar of galaxy from anywhere that was close to us, Boots, Tesco I wasn’t going to be picky. Instead, she pulled a surprise out of her bag and told me to “try this”, a salted caramel truffle by Charbonnel et Walker. Stowed neatly in fancy packaging, how could I refuse. As soon as she lifted the tight lid, I could smell the strong aroma of cocoa and all the luxury sweetness it was about to offer. The truffles were huge, half tucked in mini paper cups and lightly dusted with icing sugar. As carefully as I possible could, I picked one up and put the whole thing in my mouth. I was tempted to let it pop and melt away to perceive what the center revealed. Uncaring of how silly I may have looked. I savoured the taste of sweet and salty mingled together. Took my time eating this delicious treat, hiding behind my mask.
Being one with a curious mind, I looked up the history of when this fusion first originated. I wasn’t too surprised to learn that it was created in Europe and by our french neighbours. In the 1970s a chocolatier and caramélier, Henri Le Roux opened a chocolate shop in Brittany, that is known for its local produce of sea-salted butter. Here Le Roux experimented with different tastes in the endeavour of creating something distinctive and captivating that would make his chocolate stand out. His experimentation led him to stir sea-salted butter into his already incredible pot of caramel. A tentation that saw him win the “best sweet in France” award. He achieved what he set out to do.
Decades on and here I am eating a moreish truffle. The silky smooth salted caramel is enclosed within a thick milk chocolate shell, with just the right consistency of ooze. As all the ingredients merge together with one bite, the taste of sea salt, chocolate and caramel are not lost. I watched the rest of the chocolate disappear under their lid, knowing I would soon be making a stop at Liberty or John Lewis to pick up my very own sumptuous box.