Who doesn’t love chocolate?
Okay, so there are rumors of people who actually don’t love chocolate, but they are probably pretty rare, especially since the global market for chocolate is expected to top over $9.1 billion in 2014. That’s up a total 4% from just last year.
And to stay competitive in the chocolate market, many confection-makers are breaking away from the more traditional chocolates (your basic milk, your basic dark, and your basic white chocolate) and, according to Yahoo! “pimping” out chocolates, creating new, unusual flavor pairings that will either delight you…or confuse you.
To begin with, lemon is getting the star-treatment in the dark world of chocolate. Although chocolate and orange have frequently been paired, adding lemon is a new take on just how well citrus goes with chocolate. In fact, the number of lemon-flavored chocolate products have doubled in just the last year.
And then there is the creation of a sort of meta-chocolate…the idea of making a chocolate, which is already a dessert, into a dessert-flavored chocolate. For example, creme brulee or tiramisu-flavored chocolates have now been introduced.
And for the more adventurous, there are chocolate-covered vegetables. The trend started in Asia, where the sweet tooth isn’t as strong as it is in the United States, and so vegetables were being used to cut the sweetness of chocolate. Look for wasabi-flavored chocolate, or even chocolate edamame. There’s even a purple sweet potato chocolate, made by combining purple potato paste with white chocolate.
Even the more traditional pairings of chocolate and fruits, as well as chocolate with nuts, are getting new, updated twists. In Poland, people are going nuts for chocolates with a fruit-filling of peach. And it seems like hazelnuts may need to step aside in order to make room for pistachios, as well as a blending of seeds with nuts. In fact, chocolate is even appearing in healthier breakfast foods like granola and muesli.
And while floral-scented chocolates aren’t exactly new, it’s another trend that is becoming more popular. For example, the hibiscus, which is a common ingredient in tea, is making a big splash in the chocolate world.
If all of this seems like too much indulgence, read about the woman who attributes her extreme longevity to – you guessed it – chocolate.
[Image via Sodapop.com]