I never thought anything could trump the ridiculously tasty cheese and chocolate combo, which I raved about a while back, but I stand corrected.
Bacon and chocolate isn't a new phenomenon, of course, but it's the classy versions I'm in love with, not the heart-attack-in-a-plastic-container that you can get at a certain food fair.
To be precise, my new obsession is Mo's Bacon Bar, just one of a number of choc/pig offerings from Vosges Haut-Chocolat. Founded by Le Cordon Bleu-trained Katrina Markoff, the company's candies focus on "exotic influences of an 'East meets West' theme."
Translation: Markoff has traveled the world and thrown a few ingredients she found into the mix. The Italian collection, for instance, features Taleggio cheese, balsamic vinegar and Tuscan fennel pollen.
Sadly, there are no Vosges boutiques (for they can not be mere "shops") anywhere near here. The closest is Vegas. But you can buy some of the products in CostPlus World Market (ooh, the glamour!) and online.
It's best to start with baby steps, as this really is love-it-or-hate-it stuff. I tried Mo's Bacon Bar, which contains applewood smoked bacon, alderwood smoked salt and "deep milk chocolate" (45 percent). It comes in its own box--as should anything that costs seven bucks(!)--which only adds to the allure. The chocolate is smooth, while the bacon bits and salt providing a smoky, salty, crunchy counterpoint. I loved it. My husband loathed it. Like I say, take it slow.
If you're intrigued enough to go online, be warned: Once you start delving, you might not be able to stop. Even the home page is evil, flaunting a bacon gift box (three words: Bacon. Caramel. Toffee).
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So far, my shopping cart contains a bacon bar library (for my bedroom shelves, perhaps?), the bacon chocolate chip pancake mix and the cute flying chocolate pig.
Not clicking the "checkout" button takes all the willpower in the world, believe me. Then again, if shops are selling 2010 diaries already then it's officially not too early to start Christmas self-gifting, is it? IS IT?????
You have been warned.