Chocolate has really upped its game in recent years. Forget your favorite grocery store chocolate bars; today’s favorite flavors are gourmet and loaded with rich and decadent ingredients. New and more unique combinations are added every day. Some of our favorite trends in artisan chocolate include:
* Sea Salt – Sea salt has been around for thousands of years, but only in the last few years has it become a favorite ingredient in chocolate bars and other delicacies. The balance that sea salt provides to the sweetness of chocolate makes a great treat even better. Sea salt is often combined with caramel and chocolate in the same candy for a very special combination of flavors and textures.
* S’mores – The combination of marshmallow, chocolate and graham crackers is a classic. It has enjoyed renewed popularity in recent years, and is found in many forms, often with other additions, like nuts, peanut butter or caramel.
* Smoke – Smoky chocolate has taken off recently. The subtle hints of smoke combined with rich, dark chocolate is really an amazing taste. Smoking cacao beans and adding the ground beans to the bar results in a unique creation.
* Green Tea – Several chocolatiers are combining green tea with white chocolate to make a light and subtle flavored candy. As you might imagine, this trend originated in Japan.
* Fruit – Of course, fruit has been used to flavor chocolate for years, but today’s flavors include intense flavors and unique combinations. Varieties like blackberry orange and strawberry champagne are very trendy, as are chocolate with orange peels and apricots.
* Bacon – It seems that bacon is featured in nearly every food, and chocolate is no exception. You’ll find many chocolate candies and bars loaded with bacon crumbles for another take on sweet with salty.
* Maple – Maple is a newer flavor addition to chocolate. It’s often paired with caramel and chocolate for something really rich, and sometimes with bacon to add another sweet element to the chocolate bar.
One of the great things about chocolate is that it pairs so well with so many other flavors. It’s an ingredient that tastes great on its own, and combines with other flavors to create a completely new take on dessert.
Be sure to try all of these unique chocolate combinations so that you have the luxury of enjoying all the different qualities you can find in great chocolate paired with other great flavors.