It’s strange how something once known as ‘bitter water’ has become one of the world’s best-loved remedies for an aching sweet tooth. From coating seaweed to making ganache, chocolate has found uses in some of the most scrumptious (and sometimes bizarre) delights ever to have graced our pantries and menus. Chocolate was famously used in drinks by Mesoamericans as early as 1900 BC, but it was only until the early 16th century that it was introduced in Europe and the world beyond it. Of course, chocolate isn’t exclusively used in drinks anymore; in fact, the sheer variety of chocolate-based products today can surprise you. And while chocolate-y surprises are great, there are some products out there that really redefine the word “unique”. In fact, here are some of the most “unique” chocolate-based foods around the world today. And yes, there may be even a business opportunity there!
Bakeable Kit Kats
“Have a break – have a Kit Kat”. Did you know that this slogan has been in use for almost 50 years? Well, you might. But you probably didn’t know half the unique flavours that Kit Kat Japan has invented, ranging from grilled potato and French salt to sports drink! So it was really not too big of a surprise when the Japanese branch finally came up with a bakeable version of the popular chocolate bar. The bakeable mini bars turn into a crispy wafer biscuit post-baking and the sugar content hardens, giving the bars a wonderful texture. A few flavours are available, including original chocolate and mini pudding. Japanese pizza stores are even beginning to use these mouth-watering treats as pizza toppings, though we’re not quite sure if that’s a good idea. But one fact we do know: the Japanese are definitely spoilt for choice when it comes to chocolate bars.
Chocolate covered bugs
As revolting as it may seem, chocolate covered bugs seem to have a pretty strong fan base. Whether it’s grasshoppers, giant ants or scorpions, coating insects have become the latest craze in the chocolate market. Entomophagy, also known as the practice of eating insects, is actually common to cultures in many parts of the world. The combination of chocolate with entomophagy could be a move to encourage more people to add insects to their diet, the benefits of which are outlined in a recent FAO report. And while many would not entertain the idea of eating them on a daily basis, we can’t deny that these chocolate critters would make an excellent snack for Halloween or science fairs.
Not all chocolate products are a sugary delight; at least where alcohol is concerned. Chocolate stout boasts a lovely chocolate aroma and a smooth body, with most variations having an almost pitch-black colour. Depending on when the chocolate is added during the brewing process, the strength of the cocoa taste can vary from light to rich and dominating. The addition of chocolate also contributes to the quality of the beer, making it deep and earthy. However, some chocolate stouts don’t actually contain chocolate at all; instead, chocolate malt (roasted malt that has acquired a chocolate colour) is used to give the drink a notable dark chocolate flavour.
Chocolate and cauliflower cake
The last entry on this list is something we can all try at home. It’s a great way to introduce healthy vegetables into your diet without compromising (too much) on your love for chocolate. Of course, adding cauliflower to chocolate cake may not have been what you had in mind; but the results will surprise you. The texture of the cake is softer and has lower carb content, so you can enjoy this delectable treat without having to worry too much about putting on those extra pounds. If you prefer something richer in taste, you could also add cauliflower to chocolate brownies instead. This combination just goes to prove that healthy eating isn’t that hard to stick to; with a sprinkle of creativity and brilliance, even bland vegetables can become part of your daily diet. Here’s a sample recipe that you can try. There many more creative flavours out there; but when it comes to chocolate, nothing could be better than your personal favourite!
- Bakeable Kitkat : firstwefeast.com
- Chocolate coated bugs: www.ifood.tv
- Chocolate stout: www.independenttampa.com
- Cover photo: www.flavorfulfortifiedfood.com