Some people get really snobby about sea salt, demanding to know its pedigree like a bottle of wine. But when a craving hits, who's got the time to be picky? If chocolate-covered pretzels satisfy the urge, what more do we need to know?
Chocolatiers, however, deny that choice of sea salt is incidental or inconsequential. They swear by salts of specific origin, paired with chocolate blends that best accentuate the salt's color, aroma and subtle flavors. Smoked salt from Wales is sweeter; gray salt from Brittany delivers a dose of minerals; a pink Hawaiian variety is reminiscent of a beach in the shadow of a volcano. According to confectioner Fran Bigelow, these factors give the finished chocolate a resonant connection to its provenance.
Bigelow, of Seattle-based Fran's Chocolates, explained this phenomenon to National Public Radio: "Chocolate's one of the most craved foods in the world, but we also crave salt. And it seems like the combination of the two has just struck a chord with so many people. It's really unbelievable" [source: National Public Radio].