I can't figure out how to make those little accent marks above the "e", dammit. I used to know how to do that, and I really need to figure it out since I still have quite a bit of French chocolate to write about! So, Pierre Herme (accent over the last "e") makes a line of chocolate bars called, "Meditation". They are single-origin chocolates that we are supposed to savor and discover the finer nuances of a fine chocolate. Sao Tome (accent over the "e")is a Portuguese-speaking island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, off the western equatorial coast of Africa. (I lifted that last sentence right off of Wikipedia - I couldn't have said it better). So this is essentially an African, probably forrestero, chocolate. It is laced with "hand-harvested French sea salt". This chocolate is smooth, dark and well balanced and the fleur de sel just pops out at times. Chocolate with salt is a magical combination: think chocolate-covered pretzels and then take it up a notch and you have a truly exquisite product. This is a 75% chocolate done really well. I usually find 75% bars to be too sweet, but this one is just right and the infusion of salt makes it even better! The texture is of the highest quality, impeccably smooth. I seem to only have one of these bars in my French collection. Big mistake. I think I would give up the rest of my collection for just two more of these!
Pierre Herme is quite the esteemed patissier and chocolatier, and he has several books out on his creations. He has many boutiques in Paris and even one in both London and Tokyo. However, none in the good ol' USA. I have tried, so far unsuccessfully, to see if there are any American distributers of his chocolate bars. No dice. For eye-candy though, you can have a look here: Chocolate Desserts by Pierre Herme