Two Pigs in a Pod: Tasting Bacon and Chocolate by Zotter

Zotter Organic Chocolate from Austria

Zotter Bacon Chocolate

Zotter Hand-Scooped Bacon Bits (left) with its layered nougat and dark chocolate and Zotter Mitzi Blue Bacon and Grapes (right) with its unique disk shape

I’ve tasted Zotter’s organic chocolate bars before, but only recently laid my hands on some of their flavored bars.  Zotter Hand-Scooped is a complex layering of ganache or Nougat and chocolate couvetures to make something that’s full of surprises in texture and flavor.  On the other hand, Zotter’s Mitzi Blue chocolate is a small solid chocolate disk fused to the center of a separate large disk, usually of a different flavor.  From there, the possibilities are endless – giving Zotter a creative license to combine all sorts of flavors that go well beyond simple pure chocolate.

For the Hand-Scooped Bacon Bits bar, Zotter combines bacon with hazelnut nougat and cinnamon and enrobes it with 70% dark chocolate.  The Mitzi Blue Bacon Bits with Grapes is actually dried grapes, or what most of us would call raisins, in milk chocolate with hazelnut nougat [2].  Both strike me as great ideas if you believe the popular adage bacon makes everything better.  Let’s see.

Zotter Hand-Scooped Bacon Bits in Chocolate

Cinnamon and nuts dominate the aroma.  The flavor is pastry-like and sweet, at least compared to my usual staple of dark chocolate.  I can feel the crunchiness of the bacon against the backdrop of soft hazelnut nougat, but neither the nuts nor the bacon were distinctive for me.  Something happens with the melding of flavors so they lose their identity.  Cinnamon was the most present, but still it all combined to make something new and relatively intense.  I have to admit, I’m not a fan of cinnamon in chocolate and the cinnamon is one flavor that stood out just a bit.

If you like cinnamon in chocolate, this may be one for you.  It has potential as a complement to a good light-roast cup of coffee.  It has this chocolate coffee-cake quality to it.  A good bar, but I’m looking forward to trying the Hand-Scooped Ginger more.

Update:  I tried it again a few weeks later with some coffee and it was a really nice complement.  The nutty spicy flavors were just asking for a something to drink and coffee pairs well.

Zotter Mitzi Blue Bacon Bits with Grapes

Zotter Mitzi Blue Bacon Bits with Grapes package art [3]

Zotter Mitzi Blue Bacon Bits with Grapes Milk Chocolate

Zotter goes all the way and uses full cream milk chocolate in this bar so you get a sense of richness.  So even though milk chocolate is often, in my opinion, the White Zinfandel of chocolate, Zotter shows us that it can be done with high quality and care resulting in full flavors rather than dilution.

The center disk appears to hold most of the bacon – little crunchy bits with a hint of salt.  I would have liked more salt to bring out the savory character of the cocoa butter and milk, but I also trust that Zotter had a reason to do things this way.  The raisins were big and plump adding interest to both the texture and flavor.

Of the two bars, this was my favorite – ironic since I’m not big on milk chocolate, but this bacon chocolate bar is rich, creamy and way more interesting than the average milk chocolate bar.

As for Hand-Scooped Bacon Bits, try it with a crisp light roast coffee. I’m excited to move on to the Hand-Scooped Ginger chocolate next.

Notes:

[1] I paid for these bars myself.

[2] Nougat is simply chocolate (with sugar) mixed with nuts or fruit or both.  In Europe is it most often associated with nuts.

[3] Mitze Blue package photo courtesy of Zotter Chocolate.

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