Strange Pairings. How many of these chocolate treats have you tried? Are you brave enough?

Deb Morris Blog, Chocolate, Chocolate Facts

Food delicacies and preferences vary by culture, upbringing, available ingredients and income level. To some, the idea of eating roe from sturgeon is unimaginable; to others, caviar is not only a status symbol, but a delicious appetizer that you can spread on a toasted baguette. But would you eat chocolate covered caviar?

  1. Chocolate and Caviar. Yes, that’s right – salty-oceany-low-tide-roe pairs wonderfully with chocolate (or so we’ve heard). According to Imperia Caviar’s website, the recommended chocolate to pair with caviar is white chocolate. The sweetness of the white chocolate offsets the saltiness of the caviar to make a very pleasant taste experience. Prices for caviar swing widely, depending on the brand. Some companies try to pass off salmon roe as caviar for a lower price, but if it’s authentic, you can expect caviar to start at $90/ounce, with prices as high as $1,000/ounce.
  2. Chocolate and Crickets. You might be thinking, “not in the US, surely?” That’s what we were thinking anyway. Turns out, there are companies here in America that have a whole line of tasty insect treats including Don Bugito out of San Francisco. They sell many varieties of crunchy cricket snacks including a dark chocolate amaranth cricket snack pouch. Crickets are an excellent source of protein, fiber, vitamins and iron; pair them with chocolate and you’ve got an antioxidant power source.
  3. Chocolate and Parmesan Cheese. Why not? We have chocolate cheesecake and chocolate hummus after all. It turns out, this isn’t just an amazing taste combination (and yes, we’ve tried this one for ourselves), but it has actually been proven to be a desirable pairing. As reported in Huffington Post, “According to the Foodpairing tree for Parmesan cheese, the best chocolates to pair include dark chocolate (64%), milk chocolate (43%) and white chocolate (31%).”
  4. Chocolate and Caramelized Onions. Speaking from experience, we can tell you that this combination works very well together. When you caramelize the onions, the Maillard Reaction occurs. This is a chemical reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavor. Onions not only turn brown, but sweeter and nutty tasting as well. This, combined with chocolate brings a whole new complexity to the combo. Want to try it out? We found this Caramelized Onion Chocolate Cake recipe on the web (let us know how it turns out!)
  5. Chocolate Covered Pickles. This is one of those crazy combos that get people talking. It’s a newer trend and we could only find one company in Ohio that has run with it. To try this out at home, you must dry the pickle (whole or sliced) off with paper towels. Water and chocolate do not mix well!! Then coat the pickle with sugar, then let them sit for about 15 minutes to dry out more. Melt a few ounces of dark chocolate with a tablespoon of shortening or coconut oil in a microwave, 30 seconds at a time. Mix thoroughly, dip your pickle and let the chocolate set. Serve it at your next cocktail party.