With Valentine's Day almost upon us, we’ve got chocolate on the brain. While no one can resist a dipped and drizzled strawberry or an artfully decorated set of super-rich truffles, perhaps your significant other prefers some more, uh, esoteric sweet treats? These unconventional chocolate-covered finds range from spicy to savory to boozy to out-and-out weird, and they've all got our attention.
In addition to offering healing and energy classes, herbal tinctures and gem essences, The Pinecone Apothecary in upstate New York sells its own gluten-free artisanal chocolate bars. In the “Sushi Bar”, organic toasted seaweed is coated with dark chocolate and finished with brown rice crisps.
In possibly the most Valentines-y gift ever, Bliss in a Bottle takes wine and chocolate pairing to a new level with its selection of red, white and sparkling vino—all dipped in white, milk or dark chocolate and finished with toppings like crunchy toffee, chopped nuts and candied lemon peel. The website offers tasting notes for each chocolate-wine combination, which you can explore as you crack open the wine and its candy coating.
For the seafood lover in your life, nothing is more romantic than Big Island Candies’ chocolate-dipped cuttlefish. Dried and shredded, the chewy, savory ikura is then coated in creamy milk chocolate for a completely unique eating experience you’ll find, it's safe to say, nowhere else.
Spicy Jelly Beans
Tabasco-flavored jelly beans are already an out-there concept, and this chocolate-dipped version is even more intriguing. Spicy, chewy and sweet, they’re infinitely snack-able and won’t fail to heat things up.
As if wasabi peas aren’t addictive enough, now some pastry chefs coating them in chocolate (pictured). And there's also ChocWasabi: a line of the crunchy, spicy orbs covered in milk or dark chocolate. Founded by a father and son, and funded by a KickStarter campaign, this four-year-old company sells itswares in 6 or 13 ounce packages.
Located in Philly’s bustling Reading Terminal Market, Mueller’s Chocolate specializes in weird handmade treats, from anatomically correct chocolate hearts, livers and kidneys, to a whole white onion dipped in dark chocolate and finished with sprinkles. First conceived as a gag, the chocolate-coated allium has become a tradition at Mueller’s, which claims it's “for the person who is sweet on the outside but nasty on the inside.”
While crickets and worms aren’t the way to most people’s hearts, if you’ve fallen in love with an entomologist or someone who loves practical jokes, a box of Chocolate Dipped Insects will make them very happy (or disgusted). Each box contains three packets of white and milk chocolate-dipped creepy crawlies, though you may not get through the first bag.
Although pig’s blood is a common ingredient in many Southeast Asian cuisines, its popularity hasn’t quite swept the States just yet. David Briggs of Xocolatl de David in Portland, OR, calls his quirky pig’s blood truffle “a very savory chocolate with a slight tinge of iron/liver-like flavor.” For those feeling squeamish, his gorgeous chocolates also come in less-risque flavors like orange and cardamom and coconut lemongrass.
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