At last Saturday's Fire & Knives Mixed Grill (more on that soon), Food Futurologist Morgaine Gaye ran through a number of trends that we should expect in the UK soon. Some have already taken root in America and elsewhere in the world, others are all new.
One such trend was Meat & Sweet, with particular mention of bacon and chocolate.
I immediately recognised one of the images in Gaye's collage as the Vosges Haut Chocolat Dark Bacon Bar that my very lovely friend Andre Dang brought back from San Francisco for me just a few weeks ago.
Vosges was founded by owner and chocolatier, Katrina Markoff, who trained and graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris before honing her skills working in a number of countries around the world. One of the company's mission statements is to create luxury chocolate that also brings to the consumer knowledge of a range of common and more unusual ingredients, and through them, an awareness of the countries and cultures which produce them. Vosges is also committed to green environmental policies, and the fact that it's Chicago based factory is powered entirely with renewable energy indicates that this is more than marketing lip service.
Clearly, the business model works as Vosges has several boutiques in Chicago, New York and a couple of other cities.
I was sure I'd love this chocolate as I have always been a huge fan of meat and sweet, to the extent that I often weird out friends with my food choices – crispy bacon with tinned peaches, for example!
Sadly, it didn't live up to my expectations.
Whilst the small dry bits of bacon within the chocolate gave a nice hit of salt and an interesting chewy texture, they didn't pack the bacon meatiness I was hoping for. If I had been given a piece in a blind tasting, I'd have certainly detected the bacon but struggled to identify it as such from the taste. The chocolate itself was decent enough, though not amazing.
I think I'd be better off crisping up some streaky rashers and dipping them in melted chocolate myself, as per one of Gaye's other collage images!
The bar is priced at $7.50 but you'll have to add a whopping $76.00 in shipping charges to that if you want them to send a bar to you here in the UK! That or find an Andre Dang of your own to bring some back for you in his suitcase!