Here at TCHO, our best meetings are the ones where we get a little funky and explore new chocolate pairings! Because we have so many tasty chocolate bars, we like to push the boundaries a bit to find unique and scrumptious flavor combinations.
Pairings of TCHO chocolate bars and another complementary ingredient can be fun party snacks or experiments to try on your own. The great thing about chocolate is how universal it is: its complex flavors pair well with a myriad of other foods and seasonings, making for some quite creative pairings! Here are some of the weirdest yet most delicious chocolate pairings that you most certainly should try.
We recommend that you taste the chocolate by itself so you have a baseline of flavor to compare the pairing to.
- Break your bar of choice. It should snap, not bend.
- Take a moment to smell the chocolate along the broken edge before tasting. Notice the aromas.
- Chew a piece of the chocolate but don’t swallow and let the chocolate completely melt over your taste buds.
- Take a couple of breaths through your nose and breathe in the aromatics. Does the chocolate taste fruity? What kind of fruit notes do you taste? Is it earthy? Acidic? Floral? Nutty?
1 + 1 = 3:
For the pairing, the ultimate goal here is for both the chocolate and the food or drink you’re pairing with to be elevated. The sum of the parts is greater than the whole. Tasting Note: We generally try to match the size of the chocolate you taste to the bite or sip size of the pairing. You can do whatever you like, just know that different ratios will taste differently! Also, if your food or drink are different temperatures than the chocolate, this will affect the outcome as well. Try to taste at similar temps when possible!
- Time to combine! Take a bite of the chocolate and let it melt until there’s almost none left on your tongue and take a similarly sized bite or sip of your pairing.
- Let the flavors meld and evaluate if you think the flavors complement each other. Does the chocolate enhance the flavor of its partner and vice versa? Is the chocolate fruitier? Does the cheese or beer cover up some of the more subtle flavors in the chocolate? Is the cheese funkier? The beer hoppier? Do all of the notes combine to create an explosion of flavor?
Chocolate and cheese: our two main food groups! In all seriousness, pairing chocolates and cheeses is actually pretty popular, and for good reason. Gouda is one of the best cheeses for pairing thanks to its mild nutty, caramelly flavor, with a hint of fruitiness. These flavor hints are best combined with a fuller-bodied chocolate, which is why our Mokaccino chocolate bar is heavenly alongside it. Coffee and cheese may sound a little odd to you, but we promise it’s worth the taste test!
Our Mokaccino grinds Blue Bottle coffee beans in with our milk chocolate and has won eight international chocolate awards. After this pairing, you may never eat cheese without chocolate again.
Lambic Raspberry and Mint Chip
One of our favorite and eclectic discoveries has been the pairing of raspberry lambic beer and our Mint Chip Gelato dark chocolate. Lambic beer is made by the wild fermentation of natural yeasts, which becomes a sour, funky beer with fruity and tangy notes from the raspberry juice.
To create our Mint Chip Gelato bars, we worked with gelato shop Gelateria Naia, and used the same process NASA uses to make ice-cream for astronauts: we freeze-dried it! The end result? A bite-able mint chocolate chip gelato scoop, but airy and crisp. Nosh on a few chunks with your glass of raspberry lambic - the lambic beer has stronger oaky notes, which pairs well with chocolate, lightened up with the fresh vibes from the raspberry and mint.
Bacon and Toffee + Sea Salt
The ultimate sweet and salty combination! "Millionaire bacon" has become a popular brunch order: drizzled with caramel, honey, salt, and sugar. In short, we've learned that bacon is a great complement to anything sweet, especially when additional flavors are added into the mix. We recommend trying your own twist on millionaire bacon by melting our Toffee + Sea Salt milk chocolate for 15-20 seconds in the microwave, then drizzling the creamy fudge mixture over slices of crispy bacon. The sweetness of the toffee will complement the bacon and sea salt. Let harden for a few minutes, then serve!
Herby Goat Cheese and 95% Deep Dark
To all the funky goat cheese lovers out there, this one is for you! Cypress Grove's Purple Haze is a gently tangy, herbaceous, and floral goat cheese that melds with the 95% Deep Dark for a delicious bite of decadence! The fennel pollen from the cheese and the warm cocoa notes from the chocolate bring out some scrumptious savory vibes (almost like caramelized Italian sausage), with amplified lemony notes in the chocolate and a pleasant lilt of lavender in the finish. A welcome addition to any party spread!
Have a weird chocolate pairing of your own that you recommend? Tag us on Instagram at @tchochocolate to show us!