Self-proclaimed chocolate-lovers, it’s time to put your devotion to the test. Are you (but more importantly, your tastebuds) adventurous enough to stray from the traditional path of baked-chocolate-dessert-paradigms, and enter the titillating world of savory chocolate? If the ideas of cheese and chocolate pairings, bacon and chocolate croissants, and chocolate-y sweet potato fries make you go “Amen!”, then hang on tight. If those scrumptious ideas make you react along the lines of “Gross, that ain’t right!”, read on anyway because your socks are about to be knocked right off your feet.
- The Classic Choco-Bacon Combination: I present to you the more well-known combination of chocolate and bacon (Bocolate? Chacon?). This one works as long as you’ve got them together in a croissant, salad (chocolate-covered bacon bits tossed in salad? It’s the best of both worlds, and Haylie Duff knows it!) or by itself— really, anything goes. It’s chocolate and bacon, guys. You can’t go wrong, right?
- Chocolate-y Potato Chips: Next up, it’s two of your classic go-to comfort foods (much like the choco-bacon combination, actually) combined: chocolate and potato chips. WHAAAAT?
Check out this recipe for dark chocolate sweet potato chips. Alternatively, try dipping your Lay’s potato chips in melted chocolate and letting them cool off. Seriously, though, whoever came up with these has sixth-sense (for chocolate, that is). Chocolate and white-potato chips (that’s your classic supermarket potato chip) also go phenomenally well together—the saltiness and the slightly-fried, starchy crunch blend together in perfect harmony with that aromatic cocoa. You’ll know it once you try it that the three were meant to be: potato chip, chocolate, and your tastebuds.
- Sweet Potato Dessert Fries: Let’s take it up a notch and toss in some other tried-and-true chocolate combinations: peanut butter (hello, Reese’s!), coconut shavings (Bounty, I’m looking at you!) and fruit (chocolate-dipped strawberries, anyone?). You are in for a treat because this dish incorporates all of them. All hail, the Superfood Sweet Potato Dessert Fries (capitalization is necessary).
Just LOOK at that beautiful symphony of color, flavor and texture, would you?! That dollop of suspiciously good-looking white atop the mountain of fries is (yes, you guessed it) ice cream. I mean really, it’s enough to make a grown woman cry.
- Cheeseboard Chocolate: Let’s just say your future networking nights might find you yawning at the age-old (pun fully intended) wine and cheese combination. Oh, you have apricot with your cheese? Cute. Throw in some chocolate and we’ll talk. Let’s clear some space on the cheeseboard for cocoa!
If you’re feeling brave, pair it with cold cuts—prosciutto, salami, or pate. I recommend dark chocolates for these, the darker the better (think 85-99% cocoa range). Of course, milk chocolate brings something to the table too—it must work because it’s heavenly paired with bacon!
If you don’t know where to start or how to pick your cheeses, check out this guide to cheese and chocolate pairings, and let this beautiful arrangement be an inspiration to you.
Another great non-cheese-platter combination is chocolate-covered peanuts tossed in a bowl of asiago-topped popcorn!
- Plot-Twist Ham & Cheese: It’s all about a chocolate revolution. So let’s revolutionize one of America’s favorite lunchbox staples: the ham and cheese sandwich. It’s SO incredibly simple: melt some 70% cocoa (or more) dark chocolate and dribble the sauce so it sits all cozy between the ham and the cheese. Unlike the choco-bacon croissant, the chocolate here is drizzly so that it (let’s hope) runs down your chin. Ta-da! You’ve made a ham and cheese sandwich with a plot twist. Hint: the stronger the cheese, the better.
A personal favorite of mine is a chocolate bagel sandwich with dark chocolate sauce, sliced cucumber, mayonnaise, and smoked (it’s GOT to be smoked) turkey.
That concludes this chocolate-y ramble, but by no means should you allow this to spell the end of your (and my) chocolate adventures. Go out with your newfound bravery and traverse the plains that is the Internet with the hope that one day, armed with all the above suggestions, you could host a get-together with like-minded chocolate-devotees and out-combine each other in a potluck to end all potlucks.
Honestly, experimentation has never been so, well, good for you.
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