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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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DeBrands "Sweet Potato Pie" bar was probably the weirdest I've had. Not even sure if they are using actual sweet potatos.

That one was interesting. I liked it, but it's a strange one, for sure. 

Some combinations I've had which I thought were "out of the box"

Vosges's Mo's Bacon Bar: oddly the salty smoky bacons works really well with chocolate. Think chocolate chip pancake breakfast minus the pancakes!

Vere's Anise Espresso Bar: The licorice-like flavor of the anise worked nicely with the dark chocolate.

Like Cybele, I also tried Japan's Pumpkin (as in actual Kabocha Squash) Kitkat. I LOVED it.

I also really love the combination of tea and chocolate. Vosges Matcha bar is really nice, as is Chuao's Earl Grey. I'm just WAITING for someone to do a white chocolate with Chamomile tea.
So, what is "weird" to those of us who live and breathe chocolate is probably pretty different from what is weird to the general public. I have noted that there are still many people who come into my shop or by our farmer's market booth who react to some flavors as "weird" that all of us would consider old hat. That is fun, getting to see skepticism turn to enthusiasm, even if it is something very basic to me.

When I see what I think is a weird flavor, it is like a mental puzzle-- how did that chocolatier get there--what were they thinking, how does it work? I learn a lot that way. I am still stumped by one flavor I heard of from a London chocolate shop-- tobacco. I can see how that might work flavor wise- the smokey, bitey intensity of tobacco makes sense with chocolate, yes. But what I remember about consuming tobacco (as a teenager exploring "chew") is that it made me barf. So, how does a tobacco chocolate not make you physically sick?
The most interesting, unusual, and surprisingly delightful flavor combination I've tried is Theo's Coconut Curry Bar in their 3400 Phinney Line. Yumm.
Weirdest so far was cigar truffle by a Swedish chocolatier. Made from real cigars. As I don't smoke, I could only appreciate the taste intellectually; while it was a good blend, the aftertaste was like licking an ash tray (in my opinion - the smokers liked it).

Runner up has to be lobster truffle.
In a shop in Bruges called Chocolate Line I tasted a pizza chocolate - sundried tomatoes and olives which was interesting. He also did a tobacco chocolate using the Papua New Guinea Becolade origin chocolate which already has quite a strong tobacco taste. Room for improvement thought.

One of the weirdest I've made lately is a ganache with the south indian spices - curry leaves, mustard seed, chili's, coriander, turmuric, sambhar powder and asafedita. It was a love it or hate it sort of thing. I loved it, hubby hated it!
Haven't seen it yet!!!
I meant the camel milk bar!!!
I've also tried the Vosges bacon one. This is basically a play on the salty-sweet idea. (Like the whole white chocolate w/caviar that came out a few years ago within the context of molecular gastronomie). It was not bad (at first) but the bacon lefta long, lingering aftertaste that I found to be bitter and unpleasant. I feel that this is the sort of inclusion that can really distract someone from the quality of the chocolate- a good thing if/when the chocolate is mediocre...I guess; more likely a waste of really good chocolate. What I'm saying is that while saltiness can complement chocolate, it can also confuse the taster and take the fun out of searching for subtle hints and notes. That said, I've been enjoying some of those "fleur de sel" bars lately. Anyone else? I find that to be a lot more straight forward than the bacon; just play with the salt and forget the pork. The chocolate can then shine through.
Have any of you tried Vosges new Enchanted Mushroom bar?
Organic dark chocolate + reishi mushrooms + organic walnuts. 66% cacao.

I'd especially like to see Susie Norris' reaction.
I tried this Vosges Mushroom bar in Feb 09 and I didn't like it at all! Not because of the mushroom, I couldn't even taste that. It's mushroom powder, not pieces. It was just weak, and I didn't like the walnuts.

I rated it 2 out of 10. Way too expensive for what you get.


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