Exotic chocolate…with bacon?!

Now don’t get me wrong: I’m a die-hard dark chocolate fan all the way.  Give me a bar of the 85% good stuff and I’ll be happy for a good long while.  However, I’m also experimental, especially when it comes to desserts, so I wanted to share with you all today my favorite experimental (read: weird) chocolate: Vosges.

Vosges seems like your standard upmarket gourmet chocolate brand at first glance: they call themselves “haut chocolate”, their bars are expensive and pretty, and they name their concoctions all sorts of bizarre-sounding things. Sure, they make great plain and dark chocolate, but where they really shine is in the exotic bar and truffle department.  The prime example is Mo’s Bacon Bar, pictured below, which contains applewood smoked bacon, Alder wood smoked salt, deep milk chocolate, ranking in at 41% cacao.  The other bars below are the Red Fire bar (Mexican ancho and chipotle chillies, Ceylon cinnamon, and dark chocolate at 55% cacao) and the Black Pearl bar (ginger, wasabi, black sesame seeds, and dark chocolate at 55% cacao).

 

I’ve tasted all three of these and I have to say, I’m impressed.  Let’s be honest, we’re all going to be nervous tasting bacon and chocolate, but you really should give it a try.  As I mentioned in one of my last posts, mixing savory and sweet is definitely the new “it” thing, so here’s a delicious way to start.  What I love about all three of these is that they are truly unique; when I go to the chocolate aisle in a store, or even a standalone gourmet confectionery, I’m almost instantly bored and unsurprised by the selection.  At most, they have a bar with some sort of exotic nut in it, but usually that’s a stretch.

I think what Vosges does is bold, and fortunately for them they also get it right.  All of these bars remember that the chocolate is what’s important here, with the other flavors serving only to support and enhance the cocoa.  I was especially impressed with the Black Pearl Bar, as it managed to retain the silky smoothness of milk chocolate while also including the lightly crunchy texture of sesame seeds and the slight savory tang of the wasabi.  Definitely not your standard Hershey’s bar.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture of my favorite bar, but it’s called the Naga Bar and it’s made of sweet Indian curry, coconut, and milk chocolate at 41% cacao.  41% is typically below my threshold of cocoa, so the fact that I love this bar so much says something.  Each bite is a beautifully perfumed indulgence in coconut and in cream, in curry and in spice.  It would have been easy for Vosges to get the balance wrong on the Naga Bar, for it to be curry-esque or too Bounty Bar-y, but it’s perfect.  I would prefer a bite of the Naga Bar to 90% of desserts I’ve had in my life–it’s that good.

If you can find one of their stores, they also sell some sweet truffles.  They come in all the unique flavors the bars do, plus a lot more that I’m forgetting at the moment.  Their presentation is unusually unique, so here’s a picture of what they look like:

Finally, I’ll leave you with a picture of the last interesting thing they do: chocolate bunnies.  But these aren’t your standard, run-of-the-mill cutie pie Easter bunnies.  Oh no, they’re much, much weirder than that…

Scary, I know.

Vosges website.

Mark posted this on July 5, 2008 and is filed under Quips n' Tips.

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