Last year, I sung the praises of a small chocolatier, Chuao, for its unique and delicious flavor combinations, like strawberry balsamic and spicy Cabernet caramel. I had a chance to try their newest bar, the Firecracker, and it was no exception.The chocolate smelled typical enough — bittersweet and slightly smoky. But once I took a bite, my experience took a turn for the bizarre. First, I tasted creamy dark chocolate then gradually intensifying heat and a tingly, burning sensation in the back of my throat. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, loud crackling and popping, at which point I realized there was not only an explosion of flavor, but also a physical explosion of some kind. To find out what the cracker of the Firecracker was, read more
While at the fancy foods show back in January, I had the opportunity to meet some of the lovely folks at the San Diego based Chuao Chocolatier. They were launching a new product called ChocoPod and they wanted to know if I would be interested in trying some. Would I be interested? What kind of question is that!? Of course I would be interested! So fast forward a few months and a lovely little package arrived containing six Chocopods, one in each flavor: Passion, Modena, Picante, Candela, Banana, and Dulce de Leche.
The ChocoPod is an individually wrapped "bar" (I put bar in quotes because it's really more like a flattened chocolate bon-bon) that is shaped like a cacao pod. The chocolate is either 41% or 60% cacao and encompasses a small caramelized center.
Immediately we decided to ruin our lunch appetites and try a few of the flavors. First up was PartySugar's vice: Dulce de Leche. The Dulce de Leche was nice, but plain, sort of like a fancy thinner version of a Carmelo square. Next up was Banana which was also tasty, but not exactly memorable. It was a caramel center with a kiss of banana flavor. Next was the ridiculously delectable Picante (spicy cabernet caramel). OH MY (and yes, that did need all caps) this was tasty stuff. It was a nice cabernet flavored caramel with a lovely spicy bite that lingered in the back of your throat. It was definitely a winner. After those three, we took a little break, rested our palates (and let the spicy cabernet linger) and started back up after lunch. To read about the rest of them, read more