If chocolate truly is one of your favorite foods, then surely it makes every other food better. There are some classic combinations like peanut butter that satisfy the sweet-salty lovers. Others are more obscure like orange peel, a fruity and rich partnership, but somehow have worked for generations. Below I have listed a variety of foods that are fine on their own but are brought to another level when covered in our favorite ooey-gooey goodness.
Chocolate and…meat? Bacon has been in the spotlight for the past few years as being the exact ingredient needed to add a salty surprise to sweets. I have seen bacon doughnuts, bacon lollipops and even bacon-flavored soda. Just like dipping your favorite breakfast meat in leftover pancake syrup, the rich fatty flavors perfectly complement an equally rich partner of chocolate. The magic goes beyond breakfast as some have been coating beef jerky with chocolate or incorporating cocoa into their favorite sauces or stews. It all goes back to the origins of chocolate (as I explained in a previous post), the Aztec and Mayans of present-day Mexico consumed cocoa in recipes that did not include added sugars — thus making them savory. Mole, a traditional Mexican sauce consisting of vegetables, herbs and spices mixed with bitter chocolate, is used to cover meat dishes like chicken or enchiladas. Interested in adding chocolate to your next meal? Check out chocolate hot sauce or a sweeter barbecue sauce to give some flair to your carnivorous practices.
Chocolate and…peppers? We have all indulged in decadent desserts that have a sneaky vegetable mixed in with the sugar and flour: zucchini bread, black bean brownies, carrot cake. But would you be brave enough to try a chocolate treat that is a whole raw vegetable? Some people can’t say no to a spicy challenge and will dare to eat an entire jalapeño pepper dipped in chocolate. Confectioneries sell them just like strawberries, the produce dipped in dark chocolate and drizzled with white on top. I have even seen recipes that stuff the peppers with peanut butter before their chocolate bath. The richness and sweetness of the chocolate complements and balances out the fiery kick.
Chocolate and…cheese? These two are inarguably the greatest gastronomical creations ever to exist. In November of 2016, Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne, Australia, introduced an epic creation. Its Instagram post read, “It’s an Italian blue cheese ripened in chocolate liqueur, then rubbed in cocoa and decorated with chocolate chips.” This monstrosity is imported from Italy, of course, and looks intimidatingly delicious. As this announcement proves, food connoisseurs from all over the world have done research on what type of cheese pairs well with different variations of chocolate. So whether you indulge in a slice of dairy that has chocolate in it, or take a bite of the two yourself to make the flavors dance in your mouth (think Remy in Ratatouille), you may find yourself enjoying the bizarre combination.
I was curious as to what I could do with chocolate to take part in this tasting party. The dining hall at school (I have limited resources) had a fondue pot, so I got creative. Probably too creative. I dipped strawberries, potato chips, French fries and spinach in the melted chocolate, and here is my verdict. Obviously the strawberries and chips were the best, considering these are classic chocolate complements. What surprised me was that I enjoyed the spinach more than the fries. Over all, since chocolate was in the equation I enjoyed everything on the plate — as well as the shocked looks on my friend’s faces.
Comment below the weirdest chocolate combination you have tried, or would be willing to try. After all, when dealing with chocolate how could anything taste bad?