Lol lol lol yes, all laughs aside, obviously I did not take this picture because I'm not one to waste money on the cuteness of little/big pairs. I could complain more about the internet in Ireland but you know how that goes. Instead, let's talk about the wonders of chocolate bars. This week's theme: Under the Sea.
Cocoa Bean Chocolate Co.: Sea Salt
Cocoa content: 53%
Notable ingredients: flaked Maldon sea salt
Cocoa Bean Chocolate Co. is a pretty adorable-looking company run by two sisters from Limerick. They started making this stuff in their kitchen, basically, a few years ago, and have since set up in County Kerry (southern Ireland) to manufacture. They have some really wacky flavor combinations, which we'll hopefully see more of in the coming months. I got this bar at McCambridge's in Galway, which is a terrific specialty foods store comparable to Formaggio and Cardullo's, both in Cambridge, MA.
I've had varying degrees of luck with my sea salt bars on this blog: Nirvana was way too salty, Vosges was just right (see salt entries here.) It's a tricky balance to achieve and it can taste like a supermarket cookie if the cocoa content is too low. I think this bar did a fabulous job and could even have been a few shades milkier, as Vosges's salt bar was. The snap here was really great, and the bar broke smoothly and cleanly -- no air bubbly inconsistencies here, which is impressive for such a small company.
You'll be seeing a lot more chocolate from McCambridge's on this blog -- they have a great selection of local things. I may have been wrong about Ireland's chocolate skills after all! This bar gets an A-.