I'm returning this week with another flavored chocolate from Alter Eco; I always seem to buy Alter Eco bars in pairs now. And I find that, while I'm sometimes hesitant about buying flavored chocolate, I am enjoying Alter Eco's flavored bars. (Part of the reason for my hesitation may be that I know I can only save the plain chocolates to use in brownies and flourless chocolate cake, and I do like to always be ready to make either of the two recipes.)
The Dark Salted Almonds bar contains the same 70% cocoa dark chocolate as last week's Dark Salted Burnt Caramel had. This time the added ingredients are exactly what you would expect: small pieces of roasted almonds and some sea salt. The almonds are pretty visible from the back of the bar and even somewhat from the front. Here I do have to apologize for the ugly face of the chocolate; that was my fault. (Story time: I was out of town for a couple of days, so I left the air conditioning off, and this chocolate was in the cabinet, so of course it got warmer than it should have.)
There are quite a few almonds in here, probably more than I would have expected--and I'm glad. While small, the pieces aren't tiny; they're big enough that you can get the texture of that specific almond crunch. You can taste the salt fairly strongly, as well, which of course goes well with the almonds. In fact, the salt plus the plentitude of almonds makes this chocolate a little reminiscent of a peanut butter cup. That's definitely a nice effect.
Of course, at 70%, this chocolate is darker than what you'll find in most peanut butter cups (even the dark chocolate ones are usually lighter, often significantly so depending on the brand). It can even taste somewhat unsweet at first--or at least that's how I generally feel when chewing on dark chocolate versus letting it melt. But once I moved on to the second piece, I had adjusted and the chocolate became a nice and consistent base element for the almonds and salt. Those took more of my specific attention.
Once again, this was a pretty nice bar. It's good for snacking and munching. I want to call it something you could bring on a hike (almonds just make me think of hiking, I guess). Depending on the type of foods you buy, this can even be a replacement candy bar chocolate since it is reminiscent of peanut butter cups. Note that I use the word reminiscent loosely: it all depends what your taste buds are accustomed to. If you buy a lot of processed food and food with artificial ingredients, this probably won't remind you of peanut butter cups (not to say that you won't enjoy it--it'll just have a different effect). But if you're more into whole foods, this'll be a great indulgence.
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