Chocolate has a certain set of natural matches, like peppermint, peanut butter, and caramel, but sometimes, those classics can be a real snooze. Theoretically, anything can be dipped in the sweet stuff, and over the years culinary risk-takers have made pairings that led to many a raised eyebrow and confused-yet-grumbling stomach. Here are 15 of those combinations.
An onion has many layers, and at Mueller Chocolate Company in Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market, the final one is chocolate and sprinkles. The unusual dessert was created in the '80s by Glenn Mueller and his wife, Theresa. “We were in a building at 5th and Market, right next to Channel 3," Mueller told Philadelphia City Paper. "The comedians were doing a half-hour spoof called ‘Double Muppets, Hold the Onions.’” What started as a gag for the show became a real product that’s sold in multiple chocolate shops all over Philadelphia.
Thanks to Americans' (un)healthy love of bacon, you can get the delicious meat prepared pretty much any way you would like. Lovers of salty sweet combinations might be intrigued by chocolate covered bacon, which can be found at county fairs, chocolate shops, and novelty stores across the country.
3. CORN DOGS
As if corn dogs weren’t decadent enough, you can also get them dipped in chocolate. They can be found wherever you can also find fried Kool-Aid and beer-battered bacon.
Roses and chocolate are a classic romantic duo, so why not save time and money by combining them? For Valentine’s Day, candy company Roni-Sue’s Chocolates sells chocolate truffles with actual rose petals inside. They’re not currently on sale, but you can make your own version of the treat using this Instructables tutorial, where you literally dip whole roses into chocolate.
5. SLIM JIMS
This is a recipe so outlandish, you need to make it yourself. Using Habanero Slim Jims and homemade ancho chili chocolate, you can create spicy sweet meat sticks for the whole family.
6. BEEF JERKY
Knowing that someone has taken the time to dip Slim Jims into chocolate, it probably shouldn’t shock you that chocolate beef jerky also exists. But what’s more surprising is that it’s mass-produced and can be purchased at a grocery store. Chocolate company Wild Ophelia makes bars of chocolate with actual bits of beef jerky in it. If you find that ratio not to your liking, there's always the homemade route of drizzling some melted chocolate over Jack Link's.
7. CHILI PEPPERS
Another spicy and sweet option: chocolate-covered chili peppers. A frequent treat at county fairs, these chocolatey peppers are an exciting change from the usual (read: boring) selection of chocolate-covered fruits.
You might have seen scorpions in your lollipops or vodka, so it was only a matter of time before the creepy-crawlies were smothered in chocolate and put on your plate. You can have one these unnerving candies mailed to you for the surprisingly low price of $5 on Thailand Unique.
In January 2015, chef René Redzepi's opened his Tokyo pop-up Noma in the Mandarin Oriental hotel. The restaurant intrigued eaters who were treated to things like cuttlefish "noodles" in wild rose petal broth and shrimp covered in ants. For dessert, the restaurant served cepes mushrooms dipped in chocolate. According to Action Bronson, they’re delicious.
Here is another off-the-wall take on chocolate-covered dining: Cheetos. The Cereal Baker details the steps for making these crunchy candy snacks (with both regular and white chocolate) at home. Good luck having any left by the time the chocolate hardens.
For Valentine’s Day this year, Instructables user noahw suggests you look for inspiration in the sea. Simply boil a squid and dip it in chocolate to create a delightfully nautical treat. While we can’t tell you what they taste like, they certainly look cool.
12. WASABI PEAS
If you want the crunch of the chocolate Cheetos, and the spiciness of the chocolate chilis, consider these dark chocolate wasabi peas. Nuts.com sells bags of them for about $8 a pound. According to Kay from Medford, New Jersey, they’re “Delish!!!”
13. SUN-DRIED TOMATOES
The Cereal Baker—not content with just creating chocolate Cheetos—has also made chocolate-covered sun-dried tomatoes. The cook's review of her own creation is hesitantly positive: “I don't know if I can describe the flavor exactly, but I know it wasn't like ‘Ew, this tastes like a chocolate-covered tomato.’ So I consider it a success!”
The kale takeover of 2015 wouldn't be complete without a chocolate-covered kale chip. This concoction actually isn't so odd, as chocolate-covered potato chips are pretty popular in their own right. It was only a matter of time before everyone's favorite superfood got dunked in chocolate. This recipe will guide you through making the somewhat healthy—if a bit schizophrenic—snack.
While chickpeas don’t seem inherently dessert-like, if you roast them with a little cinnamon, maple syrup, and vanilla, they become very sweet. Add a nice layer of chocolate, and you have a somewhat healthier variation on malt balls or Whoppers.