Go ahead…what’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear about bacon chocolate bars? How about “gross,” or “ewww,” or – obscure pop culture reference alert! – “Has Jim Gaffigan become CEO of Ghiradelli?”
Bacon and chocolate? The first I encountered this confectionery contradiction was in Chicago while killing time between flights at O’Hare airport. There on Concourse B, a unique little chocolate “boutique” catches your attention. Vosges Haut-Chocolate specializes in exotic chocolates with ingredients like curry, black sesame seeds, goji berries – even edible flowers.
But the candy that seems to have everyone talking is the chocolate bacon bar. The founder of Vosges is chocolatier Katrina Markoff, and she explains that she first got the idea when, as a child at the breakfast table, she had a whim to combine the strips of bacon and syrupy chocolate chip pancakes. To her, the marriage of salty and sweet flavors was magical, and her obsession to recreate this taste sensation followed her into adulthood. At least, that’s what it says on the back of the package – it’s a good story, even if invented by some geeky copywriter on Madison Ave.
So let’s get to the point: how does it taste?
Well, my unofficial taste test didn’t produce the results I expected. I predicted my tasters would either love it or hate it, but it didn’t seem to elicit any such strong reaction. Those who like it (and I include myself in that group) find the taste intriguing; the salty smoked bacon and sweet chocolate do confuse your taste buds, but I find it a delicious dilemma. Those who don’t like it, seem only to be able to describe the taste as “odd.” At about 7 bucks for a 3 oz. bar, the consensus even among those who like it is that the taste isn’t intriguing enough to merit that price for a candy bar.
A few friends have told me they find the taste addictive. They will either need a lot of cash, or resort to sneaking Hershey bars into the Waffle House. But my personal opinion is this experience belongs in the “If you’ve never tasted it, try it at least once” category of gastronomic adventure.
Have your own opinion about chocolate + bacon? Feel free to click on Comments below and add your two cents’ worth to this review.