Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mo's Bacon Bar

I have my share of obsessions: craft beer, first wave U.K. punk rock, Philly sports, chili, bad reality TV, Polish food, early '70s movies based on dystopian novels. Add another one to the list: gourmet chocolate. It's my latest fascination. It's emptying my pockets and fattening my waist line. I'm not talking Hershey bars or anything like that. I'm talking bars retailing for $7+ with somewhat exotic flavor combinations. My wife and I may or may have not spent over $100 on relatively small on-line order from DeBrand Fine Chocolates  in Fort Wayne. It may or may have not been insanely delicious.

I've been trying it all: chili chocolate, beef jerky chocolate, Cajun chocolate. But bacon chocolate takes the cake. I've found that everything is better with bacon - especially chocolate. Mo's Bacon Bar is one of many offerings from Vosges Haut-Chocolat, a company founded by French-trained Chicago chocolatier Katrina Markoff. I've never really considered myself an up-scale "haute cuisine" kind of guy, but in the case of candy I may be willing to make an exception. Yummy is yummy, ya know? Markoff's chocolate itself is out of this world. But when you add in the complementary flavors of something like bacon, that takes it to another level entirely. Inspired by Markoff's indelible childhood experience of eating chocolate chip pancakes and syrup with bacon, this bar is made for those of us who dig the sweet-and-salty thing. Hickory-smoked applewood bacon is chopped into bits and cooked into the milk chocolate along with a pinch of Alder salt. Perhaps bacon lovers might quibble about there not being "enough" bacon in the bar, but clearly this was a case where balance had to be considered. To my mind, it's just the right amount of bacon bits. The chocolate, so sweet and creamy, is still the star. But the addition of the saltiness and crunch of the bacon makes for an incredible flavor combination. It's a fairly large bar (three ounces), and surely sane people do not eat the whole thing in one sitting. I am not a sane person. Sure, I always intend to eat a quarter of a bar and save the rest for later. But it never works out that way. Once I start to eat a Mo's Bacon Bar, I know I'm going to finish it. I do not have the will power to stop. I will say, however, that this is one of those cases where it's "worth it" to be a pig. If I'm going to pay almost $8 for a candy bar, I'm 100 percent all-in. Calories be damned! It's not like I'm eating one of these things every single night (well, usually not).

I wholeheartedly recommend all the Vosges products (the Organic Peanut Butter Bon Bon bar is truly orgasmic), but my "pick" is Mo's Bacon Bar. I really do want to lose 11-14 pounds before my wife and I go to the beach next month, so certain sacrifices will have to be made. Ice cream, cupcakes, gourmet chocolate: something's got to go. Well, I could cut back on beer. Yeah, right! Perhaps the beach body aspirations need to be put on the back-burner. There's always next year.


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