I hadn’t tried Hu before, and I found their Hazelnut Praline bar at my local Mom’s Organic Market. The second Hu bar, Almond Butter and Puffed Quinoa I got at The Frenchman’s Corner while I was visiting Fredericksburg.
I’ve tried Salazon’s Gin bar in a previous post, but I hadn’t tried any of their other artisan series bars. The Caramel Peanut Crunch bar got my attention and did not taste as I expected…
The Salazon Caramel Peanut Crunch bar was pretty to look at, where I could clearly see chunks of peanut, caramel and sea salt on the surface of the chocolate. According to the packaging, this bar contains bits of Fisher’s Popcorn Caramel Peanut Crunch in it, which has been locally made by hand in copper kettles at Delaware and Maryland beaches since 1937.
The bar smelled nutty, buttery and salty. I tasted the peanuts at first, followed by sea salt and then the flavor and chewy stickiness of the caramel. The chocolate itself surprised me in that it tasted smoky. Smokiness was not what I expected to taste alongside the sweetness and saltiness of the caramel and sea salt. As my bite melted, the strength in smokiness grew, but mellowed out at the very end. The peanuts, sea salt and caramel provided a nice crunchy texture to the bar.
Salazon: Made in Eldersburg, MD
I love hazelnut, so I definitely wanted to try Hu’s Hazelnut Praline bar! I could immediately smell hazelnut upon unwrapping the chocolate, and I could taste nuttiness when the chocolate started melting in my mouth. Aside from the praline filling, it seemed like the chocolate itself contained nutty notes as well. The praline filling melted quickly and had a toasted nutty flavor to it, which I really enjoyed. The hazelnut flavor seemed strongest at the end of my bite and reminded me of Amedei’s hazelnut spread, but with added saltiness to it.
Hu’s Almond Butter and Puffed Quinoa bar also smelled and tasted nutty, but it also had this bread-like flavor from the quinoa. Like a toasted wheat bread. As the chocolate melted, I could taste more of the almond butter praline filling and the crunchy dry quinoa bits. The crunch of the quinoa was light and airy. At the end of my bite, I tasted mostly almond butter and saltiness. I liked the almond butter flavoring as well as the delicate texture of the quinoa!
When I picked up this bar from The Frenchman’s Corner, it was raining very hard that day and the wrapper got a bit wet. Fortunately it looked like the chocolate wasn’t greatly affected by the moisture and it didn’t taste “off” in any way.
Hu: Made in New York, NY