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Decadent chocolate and ... curry?

There are very few people in the world who don't like chocolate. It's common knowledge that those who claim not to like chocolate occasionally sneak a piece and secretly savour it. At least that's what chocolate lovers believe, because a chocolateless existence is too difficult for them to conceive.

Chocolate comes in a variety of flavours. Connoisseurs tend to favour dark chocolate with a high cocoa content. To the general public, flavours only extend to big brand varieties such as mint, strawberry, orange, hazelnut, and mixed colour slabs. But chocolate, in all its divinity, can’t be so easily bound. Chocolatiers experiment with a wide range of flavours and have come up with some unusual combinations that just happen to work very well.

Who would have thought that madras curry and milk chocolate truffles would make a good combination? Chocolate pioneers looked to Northeast India for inspiration and came away with the idea of merging the local curry varieties with chocolate for an explosion of spicy flavours. If curry chocolate doesn't tingle your taste buds, have no fear. With all the culinary research going on there is bound to be a flavour that'll get your juices flowing.

How about chocolate and tea? The demand for earl grey or green tea chocolate is growing rapidly as adventurous souls try them and become hooked. The flavour is strong and undoubtedly unique. A subtler taste, perhaps more appealing to beginners in the chocolate experimentation journey, is an infusion with rose tea. For a complete floral experience, white peony and rose tea is recommended.

Asia, a continent well known for unusual foods, is undergoing a taste conversion. Processed cheese has been flavoured with chocolate in an attempt to entice the Asian population to embrace cheese, the potential of which has long been ignored. They are not alone is this phenomenon. Cheese flavoured chocolate appetisers are sweeping through Europe, creating a stir wherever they go. The flavour is apparently enhanced by adding herbs or spices to the blend. The result is Roquefort and walnut, goat cheese and hazelnut, and Pont lâ'eveque cheese with thyme.

Other unusual sweet and salty combinations include chocolate and bacon, for a rich smoky flavour, chocolate covered potato chips, and chocolate with sea salt with a hint of vanilla. Adding chilli to chocolate is an old Aztec tradition still popular in Mexico today. The bite provided by the chillies gives the flavour an interesting kick and lends to the overall taste experience. These days other kicking combinations include peppers, peppercorns and the very strong Habanero chilli for the feisty at heart.

The availability of unique chocolate combinations is increasing as word about their delectability spreads. You needn't search for a specialist chocolatarie to get your herb or chilli fix. Supermarkets have started stocking many varieties and are looking to include more brands as the blends fly off the shelves. If you're a plain milk chocolate fan you could just find yourself in the minority, as more and more people convert to the rich and unusual.


About the author:
Sandra wrote this article for the online marketers The Post House guesthouse and bed and breakfast one of the most beautiful guest houses in a quaint Cape country village