Flavor Explosions

16 12 2007

I’ve been thinking some about a recent Wall Street Journal article on the concept of umami, but I haven’t yet organized my thoughts enough to say something about it, so I’m going to talk about chocolate instead. I’m a big fan of chocolate, though I won’t sin for bad chocolate. Bad chocolate includes Hershey chocolate bars, like you’d find in vending machines, or those foil wrapped, chocolate colored bits of wax offered in American candy dishes at Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. I don’t think I’m really finicky, maybe just selective. I can pass up Russell Stover chocolates unless I’m awfully hungry, but I’ll go to some lengths to obtain Leonidas, Teuscher or Neuhaus. I’ve also become very fond of Cote d’Or Mignonnette, dark or milk. Not so much for most of the English Cadbury chocolate, which is on the sweet side for my tastes.

The current trend in chocolate is in unusual flavorings. I have mixed feelings about this development, but not so mixed that I’ll reject very much of it. In general, I’ll pass on raspberry flavored because it reminds me of scented soap, but that’s just my opinion. Here are a couple of chocolate makers and their offerings:

Vosges Chocolate:

  1. Mo’s Bacon Bar (I’ve tasted this one and it brings to mind Mad Magazine’s ice cream flavor of choice: Chicken Fat Ripple.)
  2. d’Oliva – Kalamata olives and Venezualan white chocolate
  3. Goji – Tibetan goji berries and pink Himalayan salt (Are there salt mines in the Himalayas?)
  4. Calindia – Indian green cardamom, walnuts and prunes. yum.

Tuescher:

  1. Dark Chocolate with pink peppercorn
  2. Bittersweet with ancho chili
  3. They probably have lots more, but I couldn’t find them.

Christopher Elbow Chocolates: This guy is the real thing. Everyone else tries, but Christopher gets it done. I can’t stop myself: His name is Elbow, but he charges an arm and a leg. He grew up in Liberty, Missouri and has a shop at 18th and McGee in Kansas City. These are actually chocolates, rather than chocolate bars.

  1. Rosemary caramel
  2. Fresh Lime
  3. Russian Tea
  4. Lavendar caramel
  5. Persian, to name just a few.

That should be enough to get you started…

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4 responses

16 12 2007
thebee6

The Christopher Elbow chocolates sound completely great! And I’m with you on the raspberry chocolate/scented soap connection, much as I enjoy chocolate cake with raspberry filling, especially if it comes with whipped cream on top.

17 12 2007
teuscher of beverly hills

Glad to hear you are a fan of Teuscher Chocolates.

I would like to point out that each store has its own website. I am not sure which site you are referring to in your blog, but I suggest you visit http://www.teuscher-beverlyhills.com

We have attempted to make the shopping experience as enjoyable as our chocolate!

All the best.

17 12 2007
foghorn

Egghead: It’s very cool that you got the attention of Teuscher of Beverly Hills. Perhaps you should offer your services as a Chocolate Reviewer.

While Chicken Fat Ripple might not appeal to everyone, another one of those flavors was Lasagna Chip . . . some might prefer that.

The Rich Art stores also carry beautiful and oddly-flavored chocolates. One, I recall, featured paprika. Perhaps that was in memory of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 (I was afraid to ask).

7 01 2008
Erin

Hey now, never underestimate “bad” chocolate.

I’m a HUGE fan of m&ms. My fellow culinary students and I often buy large bags and binge before, eventually, going back to the 73% Schokinag that makes up the majority of our chocolates in the confections class at the CIA.

If you’re ever in borders, see if they have the book “Chocolates and Confections” by Peter Greweling. He’s the candy teacher here, and his book is amazing. It’s one of those ones I keep on my shelf and wish desperately that I was a natural at confectionary work….

alas, alack 🙂

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