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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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The tomato, basil, and mint truffle by B. T. McElrath has been one my top experiences as far as filled chocolates. I also was recently given a sample of a bar from L'Artigiano that was salted milk chocolate with a hint of olive oil, that I would really want to try again and review for The Chocolate Note. I already reviewed McElrath, read it here. I am about to review an interesting sheep's milk dark chocolate from Choco-Lina.

Otherwise I've had and enjoyed some of the usual unusuals -- balsamic, curried coconut, habanero, etc.
hmm, well i didn't think the last bar i had was that strange--lemon, pepper in white. but i think they forgot to label it correctly as puke-flavored. that's a pretty weird flavor.
The folks over at Chuao Chocolatier have a great program where they solicit flavor suggestions from employees and customers. I was out in California about two years ago visiting their then-new manufacturing plant (too big to be a workshop, too small to really be called a factory) and Michael shared with me a piece that was suggested to them this way:

A small dark chocolate egg filled with a dark chocolate ganache made with olive oil and flavored with lemon (including the peel) and very small pieces of sun-dried tomato.

In a word: YUM!
A chef who had gone to Italy brought back a bar of chocolate with cactus pear in it. One bite was enough. I couldn't bring myself to ear more as it tasted perculiar at best.
Getting Smoked Blue Cheese to actually work was hard. And it certainly qualifies as weird
I cannot believe I forgot to mention that one!
We do a blue cheese stuffed black mission fig on a candied pecan. I guess it is weird, but it rocks! It is all about balance, baby!
No, not weird at all. You have to try that blue cheese on a fig from a 'Sultane' (aka Sultana, Grosse de Juliet, Noir de Juliet, and Dark Sultane) fig tree. Not all figs are alike - as it is with all ag products, the cultivar can make all the difference in the world!

yeah I hear you! it's the smoke that makes it difficult, not so much the cheese... IMHO

Here are a few of my thoughts on atypical flavors.

I think cheese & chocolate are a great combination, though I admit that I scrunched my nose the first few times. (Chocolate as a savory was quite a welcome education for me.)

Of course it's not really that surprising. My mother likes to make chocolate dipped cream cheese squares.

I've had a few of Chuao's cheese items. (I think a goat cheese & pear william piece was the most recent) and their stout ganache and the olive sphere Clay mentioned.

I enjoy Jeff's blue cheese truffle (I ate one last night!) and many of the uses of chili peppers and chocolate. (Though some are far too spicy for me that it kind of messes up the decadent aspect.)

I've tried a few of the Zotter bars as well, though I stuck to the traditional flavors ... you know, things like bananas and curry & citron and polenta.

I really like Theo's Bread & Chocolate, which has little bread bits in there, a little on the salty side.

There are a few chocolatiers using balsamic vinegar - it's kind of like tangy jam in the end. I don't mind pop rocks. The first time I had that combo was at a CocoaBella event when Christopher Elbow & Chuck Siegel made a peanut butter praline' with pop rocks in it. The next year, Elbow came out with his pop rocks bar (I haven't tried it yet, but it's in the chocolate fridge).

I think I had someone's chocolate covered spiced corn nuts, but at the moment I can't remember who made them (oh no! my brain is too full of chocolate!) ... maybe that was Chuao as well.

I had a sun dried tomato & chocolate piece a few months ago, but honestly, it tasted just like raisins.

L'Artisan du Chocolat here in Los Angeles has a kalamata olive, but I think the coolest one was a vodka and cucumber - tasted like "fresh".

One of the oddest consumer candies I think I've had (besides durian taffy) would be the Pumpkin KitKat. Not pumpkin spice, but pretty much a squash cream & milk chocolate KitKat.

The Root Beer piece from Michael Mischer (which I picked up at your recommendation last week, Clay) is certainly one of the odder combos.

Even Koppers has a fun line of chocolate drops called Savouries - cayenne, black pepper, rose, curry, thyme, orange blossom - which isn't really that innovative in today's market compared to some things, but certainly more affordable than many others.

Vosges does quite a few uncommon combinations. I like the spices, especially the cardamom truffle called Ellateria, but the wasabi (black pearl) didn't work for me.

The whole bacon thing is lost on my as I don't eat pork. I think I'd plotz if I saw something like salmon roe and chocolate.

As long as no one starts covering those Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Jelly Beans in chocolate, I think a little trial and error is a good thing.
I might be late to reply, but I have made in the past 3 years beer stout, smoked NZ venison salami (something for non-pork eaters) and deer velvet chocolates. Only the salami has a strong taste. half of tasters spit it out, 1/3rd loved it - including myself. My green tea-wasabi has been a hit with Asian customers. As it was said: the balance is the secret. On the more traditional side, a prune based plum Slivovitz is causing taste waves where I live now: Australia. I still like traditional taste, but the press loves crazy selection!

cool to see your bread comment! i used to spread rounds of artisanal baguette with apricot preserves and enrobe them in 56% by Callebaut..... and also the same process with a thin slice of gianduja on each round of crusty bread.... the texture combo and the salty- sweet- dark is pretty phenomenal 


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