Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ChocolateBet: June 15, 2011

Chocolate of the Day:

1 bar
Lillie Belle Farms
Very Good - Very Good +
Weight: 1.5 oz. (42 g.)
Calories: 225 calories (estimate)
Cost: $4.00
Purchased from: The Chocolate Garage, Palo Alto, CA

Today was Day #5 of Chocolate and Bacon Theme Week. While I have been playing mad scientist this week and combining unsuspecting chocolates with bacon, there are several ready-made chocolate and bacon products available. One such offering: The Oregon Bacon Bar, from Lillie Belle Farms (based in Southern Oregon). Made with three ingredients: organic milk chocolate, bacon and salt, this bar was very tasty. The pieces of bacon were just the right size and texture -- not so hard/dry or chewy that they would jolt the eater out of the tasting experience; they were a seamless extension of, and addition to, the chocolate. Choosing the right milk (my preference is deep milk) chocolate to blend with bacon also results in a finished product that is tastier than its constituent parts.

When tasting any combination, I prefer to taste the individual components first, and then determine whether the combination of the two (or three) flavors result in anything that is better than the individual ingredients. This is not always possible when buying a finished product, and it is trickier than one might imagine if you're creating something at home. Side-by-side pairings may work better than blends (as with wine and chocolate). And my hat is off to those chocolate chefs and chocolatiers, or food lovers in their own kitchens, who succeed in creating new and wonderful blends of all kinds.
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