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What's the weirdest flavor/inclusion combination you've not only heard of in chocolate but have actually eaten?

Inquiring chocolate minds want to know.

I will start things off by saying that I think the Austrians are among the most adventurous when it comes to flavors in chocolate.

I used to think it was the Spanish when I was tasting the work of Enric Rovira (chocolate covered corn-nuts, pretty good actually) and Oriol Balaguer (the saffron truffles were definitely an acquired taste, and it was a lot of fun to give someone his pop-rocks chocolate without telling them what it was ...).

Lately, however, I think the prize has to go to Zotter. I took a look at a bar with an asparagus or artichoke and something or other filling and decided instead (whatever possessed me I do not know) to try the mustard and coffee bar. It wasn't nearly as bad as it sounds, thought it is not something I would buy for myself (I got mine at Fog City News in SF) ever again.

There is another Austrian company I have heard of that is making camel's milk chocolate for sale in the middle east. I would definitely try it (at least once) just to know how it tasted different from cow's milk.

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John:

Thanks for sharing. Done with restraint, I think that this would make a lovely combination. I can see how a real fruity olive oil would add complexity to this.

:: Clay

I used www.foodpairing.com extensively to reserch food combinations.  Does anyone else in the group use this?  Their sibling site, albeit not as extensive flavour wise, is www.foodpairing.be if you want to give it a go. 

John - 

I was lucky enough to sit in on a lecture/discussion/demonstration on the technology behind foodpairings.com in 2010. It's been VERY useful to me. I recommend it to everyone who's interested in the subject.

:: Clay

I once tried a Passion fruit puree truffle by Paul A Young for which he won a taste award. It was absolutely amazing. The flavour was precise and exciting. 

I have also come across Zotter who makes the most unheard of flavours although I have personally not tasted his collection. In one of his chocolates he has incorporated beetroot as a flavour. I read somewhere that he once wanted to make blood flavoured chocolates, but didn't end up going through with it. 

Hmm...I'll be in SF this coming weekend and I'll look for the Zotter.  The weirdest flavor for me was truffles in ganache.  I think it was Oriol Balaguer but I got it in that shop on Park Ave and about 58th street about a year ago.  It was vile.  Expensive and vile, and I'm pretty adventurous.  I did like the olive oil/gray salt thing by Xocolatl (sp?) and I didn't expect to.  This stuff is really getting expensive when you open it all up and there's basically a single portion (~50 gm or so) inside.  When it's great I don't mind at all.  When it isn't (as with the truffle chocolate) it bites.
Hi, I know it is late in the discussion, but I though I should say we made chocolate covered "biltong" that turned out divine, but very few people were actually willing to try it although it is a fairly common combination in South Africa. Then for a beer fest I made a good old Castle Larger beer truffle on the basis of a water truffle with no cream etc. just the beer and it is so popular I have to make it all the time.
I googled "biltong" and found it was a type of cured meat.  This kind of makes sense that it would be good, as the whole salty-sweet thing is very popular now (salted caramel with chocolate, bacon bits on chocolate, etc.). 
Yes, biltong is very "South African" we all love it and I am surprised at my fellow South Africans reluctance to try it.
Have you tried Artisan's buffalo milk chocolate yet?  It's very creamy and sweet.  At the 92Y event last weekend, we paired Pralus' Barre Infernale Lait with a 3-year-old gouda.  It was amazing!

2 questions:

1) Where can you find the Artisan's buffalo milk chocolate and

2) When pairing cheese and chocolate (OK, maybe a stupid question, but I really don't know this) do you taste them together or separate, and if the latter, which goes first?

I got it in London, but you might be able to get it by mail order.  The Meadow might have it, but I don't know if they carry the buffalo-milk bar.

 

We had everyone taste the chocolate and cheese together.  I think the cheese was called Roomana, but I didn't see the label.  I just know that it was a 3-year-old gouda, so it was crystalline, nutty and almost butterscotchy.

The importer for Artisan du Chocolat is in Salt Lake City, A Priori. They are affiliated with Caputo's Market. I was the person who put the two together, so I can let them both know that there is interest in the buffalo milk the next time an order gets placed.

As for tasting/pairing cheese/chocolate. There is no correct order. Try it both ways and see if there are differences. Also important is to keep the relative amounts the same as large differences/changes in amount will change the balance of the flavors.

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