Salt Side Down Chocolates

A touch of salt adds flavor to these Wine Country truffles

Sweet treats are nice, but any cook will tell you it’s the salt that really makes your taste buds stand up and take notice.
Wrapping sweet, salty and a little bit of umami into a truffle-iciously tasty package is chocolatier Julie Herson of Salt Side Down Chocolates.
Using the best stuff she can get her hands on — heirloom cacao, fresh local fruit, cream and wines and artisan sea salts — this Culinary Institute of America grad is putting a new spin on luxe chocolate. The idea: Hand-dipped truffles topped with sea salt crystals meant to be plopped into your mouth salt side down. Prepping your buds with a quick jolt of salty makes the sweet, well, that much sweeter and more dynamic, according to Herson.
Her lineup of flavors change frequently (she’s currently working on a chili-infused chocolate), but recent truffles included the Blushing Bride (cinnamon and plum with Sonoma Valley Portworks’ Aria Petit verdot Port and Murray River Flake salt); spiced orange with French gray sea salt; Sweet Dreams (chamomile and lavender with lavender sea salt); The Flying Esmeralda (Flying Goat coffee with coffee dusted Maldon salt and cocao nibs); a late-harvest Zinfandel reduction chocolate and Le Classic (a French style truffle).
Where to find ’em: Occidental Farmers Market each Friday through the summer, Geyserville Farmers Market on August 19th (5:30 to sundown) and at a number of pairing events at local wineries (see her website). Also at pairing events at local wineries (Kokomo, Sonoma Valley Portworks, to name a few). And…complimentary hand delivery throughout Sonoma County from the online boutique at


8 thoughts on “Salt Side Down Chocolates

  1. These chocolate truffles are awesome but sea salt and chocolate have gone together forever, its nothing new. Chefs have been topping chocolate cakes with sea salt for many years. Makes sense with a truffle too, I just don’t think its that much of her own idea.

  2. I have had the opportunity to taste her chocolates.They are WONDERFUL…. Thanks Julie for sharing your love of Sweets with all of us. Keep up the good work.

  3. Enjoy these but take care of your teeth first. No matter what you do, over time teeth are less shiny than when we were born. But you can combat it with teeth whitening!

  4. The rich, nuanced, and careful flavor of these truffles make them a unique experience. I enjoyed them so much that I now follow Herson’s blog from time and time and get a window into what new truffle she is making or pithy commentary on food and business. I recommend finding them at the market or online (as I have)!

  5. I’ve had these…they are so good! She makes other amazing goodies as well, but the salt side down truffles take the cake!

    1. Sorry, i pasted her locations directly from an email. Clearly Julie was referring to herself, but that wasn’t clear when i pasted it in. My bad.

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