When my pals at Cybercandy asked if I would be willing to taste test some new chocolate bars they’d gotten in from Austrian chocolatier Zotter, I was at first thrilled … and then a little repulsed … and then intrigued. Among the flavours the company blends into their handmade, organic chocolate bars are chilli, hemp, ketchup, banana curry and bacon. Yes, bacon.
This was an experiment I suspected would go horribly wrong. I’ve tried candied bacon before – in a cupcake (obviously), dubbed “The Elvis” (it also included peanut butter and banana) – and wasn’t a fan. I love bacon. I love chocolate. I also have really weird eating habits, and don’t tend to enjoy combinations of sweet and savoury.
And yet, under Zotter’s watch, this surprising combination actually works. The fondant-style centre of their Bacon Bits bar tastes nutty rather than meaty, with a really intriguing hint of salt. According to the explanatory notes on the inside of the wrapper, the secret ingredient is bacon crackling which is roasted and then caramelised. It is then mixed with hazelnut nougat and cinnamon, and covered in noble bitter chocolate made with fairtrade and organic ingredients.
The Birds Eye Chilli bar is a little exotic, as it seems as if every chocolate firm has embraced the combination of late. Zotter do things slightly differently though – this bar again has a creamy, fondant filling rather than adding the chilli flavour to the chocolate. It’s a sweet pink colour, which belies its fiery heart, and is set off deliciously with their slightly bitter dark chocolate.
Browse what’s left of the Zotter range at Cybercandy’s website.