At Chocolat Chocolat, we love hearing stories from our customers about their quirky chocolate-eating behaviours and rituals. For example, we know a customer who just cannot make it through any day without five (never more, never less) of our white chocolate buttons, enjoyed at 8:30pm every evening on the sofa with a cup of Earl Grey. And another Chocolat Chocolat fan who simply has to have some of our Caramel and Sea Salt whenever she’s in Cambridge. Whichever way you like to enjoy your chocolate is completely fine by us, and it’s always interesting to hear of different chocolate and drink combinations (perhaps there’s another blog post in that!) and when, where and how people like to eat our favourite foodstuff. However, even we were startled to hear of a recent consumer poll, which claimed that a growing number of Brits are choosing to consume chocolate in an altogether different way, creating a new taste sensation by (wait for it)…melting chocolate over their chips! Hmmmm. We’ve yet to try it ourselves so cannot pass judgement – but let’s just say it’s not necessarily a delicacy we’re in a rush to replicate for our next dinner party! The story did make us start thinking though, about how chocolate has historically been used as a savoury food ingredient with potentially more palatable results than French fries avec chocolat…
Olé for Mole!
If, like us, you’re a fan of the film Chocolat, you’ll recall how Juliette Binoche’s character Vianne knocks the socks off birthday party guests with a roast chicken in chocolate sauce, which is devoured in stunned silence by those lucky enough to be tucking in. Dark chocolate can be added to garlic, onion, tomato sauce, chilli and spices to make a fantastic barbecue sauce for chicken and indeed all types of meat. The sauce – and variations on it – is known as mole (pronounced mole-ay), which originated in Mexico early in the colonial period. Legend has it that upon hearing that an archbishop was going to visit, convent nuns in the state of Puebla went into a panic because they had nothing to feed him. After bringing together what they did have, chilli peppers, spices, day-old bread, nuts, and chocolate, they killed and cooked an old turkey and smothered it in the sauce they’d made from the thrown-together ingredients. The archbishop loved it and mole has been enjoyed ever since as one of the most respected ceremonial dishes in Mexico.
A subtle touch
It’s worth pointing out that, unlike the chocolate and chips combo we mentioned at the start, mole and dark chocolate in most cooked dishes provides a subtle silkiness, rather than the strong cocoa taste that you’d expect from your favourite chocolate bar. Which we think is much easier on the palate!
We’d love to know your thoughts on savoury chocolate combinations. Have you tried chocolate with chips? Do any other savoury chocolate dishes hit the spot for you, or do they get your tastebuds in a twist?