I think I tried chocolate covered bees when I was in high school, about a hundred years ago. Friends actually held me down on the floor and forced it on me. They're dried and granulated, so you could not detect any bees per se or even individual bee parts, only the knowledge of them and the crunch that comes with granules of any kind. I didn't know much about chocolate then, so it was probably run of the mill quality. People do eat with their eyes and their heads however, so the thought was enough to cause me to not want it again. There are so many ingredients people have added to chocolate, I have to ask myself the point. More specifically, what do you (the chocolatier) wish to get out of the combination with chocolate? If it's just to sensationalize the end product, fugettabout it, in my book. (The poop thing comes to mind here.) If to produce a real flavor sensation, terrific.
I believe more chocolate combinations are attempts by chocolatiers to widen their potential customer base.
I go the other way because I am prominent in healthy chocolates for folks with special dietary and/or religious needs.
David's Delicious Chocolates
I found a dark chocolate with a bacon taste in my wanderings.
David's Delicious Chocolates
the e home for healthy chocolates for folks with special dietary needs and/or religious needs
Coco Sala in Washington, D.C. sells chocolate covered bacon strips. I thought my kids would love it but the combination was just too much to handle. They love chocolate. And they love bacon. But not together!
When it comes to different flavours, I feel it is interesting to note the difference in origins of cocoa beans, for example, whilst nearly all European manufacturers stay away from Smokey Cameroon beans there are some factories that only purchase these smokey beans. In Douala and surrounding regions their cocoa beans are forced through fermentation with the aid of fires, they part sun dry and part artificially dry. However when the beans arrive in Europe if they have a smokey smell to them they are instantly rejected by the receiver most of the time as the flavour is affected. The rejected beans are then normally sold as salvage (tonnes of the stuff) however I had the pleasure to taste a chocolate bar made from these "smokey" beans and I thought it was rather unique and different yet still enjoyable. The barbeque effect was to my liking. Unfortunately due to the lack of demand these smokey beans are rarely used for chocolate making.
I also happen to like the taste of smokey cocoa beans, at least those I've tasted. I'm sure there is "good smokey" and not-so-good smokey. I'd probably take such a bar as you described over one that was just bland. For me, it's how it tastes at about the 75% level. At 50% of below, you can disguise a lot.
I believe (so I've been told) that this 'smokey' effect also changes the colour of the cocoa powder that is produced from these beans. I've actually got some in storage not that I would know how to turn them from "bean to bar". I agree with the minimum 50%.
I am going through the "Bean to Bar" program at Ecole Chocolat. The program includes tastings to compare chocolate from different regions, cocoa percentage, etc. I've found a couple chocolate bars that had the taste of smoke - one good and one bad.
The Michel Cluizel 85% Grand Noir had an incredible smokey flavor - reminiscent of sherry oak barrels burning in a barbeque pit, with a nice scotch whiskey lingering aftertaste.
On the other hand the Michel Cluizel Mokaya 66% Mexique had a terrible smokey aroma / flavor. While on the one hand it was somewhat bland, it had an unpleasant tobacco undertone. Made me think that they were smoking cigarettes or cigars while they prepared the chocolate! YECCH!
For me the weirdest combination so far were pretzels covered with chocolate. IDK if that counts as weird enough but that's all I've got now)
I have tried camel's milk chocolate. Several years ago when the volcano in Iceland stopped air traffic in Europe I had to fly to India. I decided to stop in Dubai. On the way back home to the US I got stuck in Dubai for 24 hours (free hotel and food!). I bought several varieties of chocolate made with camel's milk, though I thought the best was the 70% bittersweet cacao, though it had some camel's milk.
By the way, camel's milk is healthier than cow's milk: according to the company, camel’s milk offers five times more vitamin C than cow’s milk, has less fat and less lactose and more insulin, making it a good option for diabetics and people who are lactose intolerant.
You can buy their chocolates by calling the company (Al nassma).
I have to butt in regarding camel milk. If the company actually says is has less lactose, fine, it may. If they say it has more insulin, then they're big-time confused or just misleading you. No milk has insulin. Further, it wouldn't matter if it did because you can't take insulin orally. If you did, it would be digested and denatured as a protein and would therefore have none of the effects you'd expect from insulin. For a diabetic, they'd probably be better off with chocolate with higher cocoa content than milk chocolate, which has more sugar than very dark chocolate. Sorry for the distraction -- I just don't like anyone being mislead, even unintentionally. OK, back to chocolate!
Very good points. I was merely restating the company's marketing. I will avoid that in the future without referencing peer-reviewed research.
Note that I did say that the best was 70% bittersweet even though it also had some camel's milk. So to your point, chocolate with higher cocoa content is better for diabetics, and in this case it is the best tasting chocolate with camel's milk anyway.