Since Halloween is fast approaching, I thought I'd return to a post on candy, specifically exotic chocolates. A friend who knows my interest in weird foods picked me up one (chocolate with bacon), and he reported that the store he got it at had several other odd chocolates, too. I wasted little time in checking out the place myself. The store was World Market, which as the name suggests stocks all sorts of foreign imports--mostly furniture and housewares, but they do also have a food section. (Word of warning, though. World Market is a decent store, with an admirable selection, but I would advise against giving them an email address to get "information and coupons." Spam-wise I've known Nigerian princes and penis-enlarger companies that show more restraint.)
All in all, I tried four new unusual chocolate combos--with sea salt, with bacon, with beef jerky, and with pomegranate. Going in I figured that the pomegranate one would be good, the sea salt one might be okay, and the meat ones I thought might be risky--either great or awful. The results were somewhat surprising. The pomegranate/chocolate baby was dreadful--I had problems choking it down. The mixing of the sweetness/tartness of the fruit with the chocolate created a hideous abomination. The sea salt and the bacon were underwhelming. Both of these didn't taste much different than regular chocolate--only tinges of salt, and bacon, respectively. Meaning that they didn't taste bad at all, but if I'm paying extra for exotic fare, I expect it to actually taste like the different ingredients in some significant way. The beef jerky/chocolate was my favorite of the bunch. I could taste the beef, and the resulting hybrid was oddly palatable. It probably sounds like a questionable flavor, but it really works well.
If anyone's interested in giving any of these a try, the chocolate/bacon and the chocolate/beef jerky were both made by Vosges Haut-Chocolat, out of Chicago. The chocolate with sea salt is made by Lindt & Sprungli, the same Swiss company that makes the delicious chocolate/chili pepper mashup I posted about previously. The chocolate with pomegranate is put out by World Market itself.
If you hand these out to kids on October 31st, they might be unsure whether or not you're turning the tables and are playing a trick on them, which they may later consider a special treat, depending on their individual palates.