Wine Spectator: Like Salt for Chocolate

Salt is a flavor enhancer; this is without question. Since time immemorial it has been used to render nutritious but unappetizing foods delicious, to make sustenance pleasurable. Even the Bible refers to it, and uses it as a metaphor for life’s challenges: “Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt?/ Or is there any taste in the white of an egg?” (Job 6:6)

Salt has been showing up more and more in fine chocolate. It’s a little surprising because we associate salt with savory foods, but in the case of chocolate it doesn’t just enhance flavor. In a recent conversation Dr. Danielle Reed, associate director of Monell Chemical Senses Center, which researches taste and smell, in Philadelphia explained, “The unexpected power of salt is to block bitterness, so one explanation for the popularity of the salt-chocolate combination is that the bitter notes in chocolate may be muted.”

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