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It’s So Hautt Right Now

It never fails.

When I go shopping, I get waylaid by the goodies at the checkout stand.  If it’s a grocery store, I’m apt to pick up a copy of More magazine and a York Peppermint Pattie.

If it’s a place like the Dollar Tree, my impulse item is likely to be a multi-pack of Extra gum in a strange flavor. The Dollar Tree also places pregnancy tests at the checkout.  For a dollar. A pregnancy test.

If it’s a department store, it’s probably scarves or keychains or umbrellas, which I usually buy but never remember to carry.

Today is my mom’s birthday, so yesterday I went to the Fresh Market to pick up a cheesecake. Normally I would have made her one from scratch, but my springform pans are still packed in an unmarked box that lies hidden in the garage. I was hungry when I made my trip, so naturally I also picked up a chocolate Napolean, ginger lemon tea cookies, every sauce and noodle for Thai cooking, several boxes of lentil curry, rosemary foccacia, herbed goat cheese, an individual key lime tart for my mom’s dessert the day BEFORE her birthday (got to prime her for the big celebration), and deli items including a broccoli, apple, cranberry slaw (drool) and a black sesame noodle salad (DROOL).

I push my tiny cart up to the checkout, which is strewn with last minute buys like organic malt vinegar chips, fried green beans, Bon Appetit magazine, and assorted discontinued wines. I’m able to resist all of this, because I have already indulged my impulsivity in each aisle.

The young lady rings this all up (gasp) and as I take my debit card out of my purse, which is resting on the little stand they have thoughtfully placed there for just this reason, I look down and to the right sits a basket.

Look at that basket, sitting there ever so innocently. There are candy bars sitting in the basket. The candy bars have gorgeous images of ingredients floating on a white background. I’ve never seen a candy bar like this. I pick one up.

Cue the mystic pagan voices wafting hauntingly through the air.

Is that – is that BACON I see on one of the bars?

Yes my fellow gastrofiends, it is.

I have stumbled upon a selection of exotic chocolate bars from Vosges – Haut Chocolat. They haz a website. The creator of these confections worked with the Adria brothers of El Bulli, attended Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and has traveled extensively. Aside from being consumed with an all encompassing jealousy, I’m damned impressed.  Let’s see what all her fancy-pants provenance has wrought, shall we?

 

I bought two bars. Mo’s Bacon Bar and the Black Pearl Bar.

Mo’s Bacon Bar contains Applewood smoked bacon, Alderwood smoked salt and 45% cacao deep milk chocolate.

Black Pearl Bar contains ginger, wasabi, black sesame seeds and 55% cacao dark chocolate.

Tasting results:

Mo’s Bacon Bar

The bar was smooth and semi-glossy. Upon rubbing, a satisfying cocoa aroma emerged. Upon touching with the tip of  my tongue, the chocolate flavor presented as only mildly sweet, with almost no bitterness. Upon taking my first bite, and letting the chocolate rest on my tongue, pressed up against my palate, the smokiness of the bacon burst forth, and was ameliorated by the crystalline texture of the salt, which in turn encouraged a return of the chocolate flavor.   The only possible drawback is that the texture and intense smokiness of the bacon is almost reminiscent of BaconBits, but the salt is the savior in this scenario. After mouthing, sucking and nibbling,  it went down my throat.  And I liked it.

Black Pearl

Each square of chocolate is embossed with the Vosges logo, as on the other bars, and the chocolate is even darker and glossier than the Mo’s bar. The aroma is milder, and the licking is sweeter, oddly enough. Upon letting it rest on my tongue, all I can taste is chocolate. The sesame seeds have the same texture as rice krispies, only on an impossibly tiny scale. After I chewed the first square, I only had the briefest, barest hint of ginger. The next square I decided to let melt in my mouth, keeping all the bar in contact with my tongue and palate, in the hopes I could discern the wasabi and sesame seed.  Alas, the wasabi cannot be properly classified as even a hint or mere suggestion. It is ephemeral at best, MIA at worst. That makes me a sad panda. The sesame seeds seem to be eviscerated, and I think their flavor was eviscerated as well. The remaining ginger makes an occasional ghostly appearance, but it cannot compete with the strong chocolate flavor of the bar itself.  I’m disappointed in the Black Pearl, but there are many others to try, and based on Mo’s Bacon Bar, I’m more than willing to continue the experiment!

Ooh! I just got a piece of sesame stuck in my gums, and it was attached to some wasabi. At last, the heat.

EDIT: It’s 20 minutes later, and I now have a persistent taste of black sesame in my mouth, with only a hint of the chocolate remaining.  How interesting! It’s the gift that keeps on giving, apparently.

 

They sell libraries of these exotic bars.  I would not be opposed to my fellow e-ho’s gifting me with such a library, if they were so inclined . . .

 


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2 comments to It’s So Hautt Right Now

  • In a similar vein, or clogged artery, a work-friend of mine’s girlfriend has made a creation to last the ages: bacon chocolate chip cookies. I expect along the same line as aforementioned potato chip cookies what with the sweet and salty, but with a slightly smoky kick. The amazing thing is how well it blends that you don’t pick it up as bacon (until someone tells you), but more akin to a sweetened cranberry or currant.

    Also, she makes chocolate bacon brownies; a few carefully stashed in my freezer for a special occasion…

  • Amon-Rukh

    Them chocolates sounds pretty F*in’ good, so although I think that Vosges chocolates tend to be awfully overpriced in general, I think I could probably be convinced to try both of them. Probably. 😛

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