Bar-B-Que or BBQ is a great tradition among the southern states in the US, from Kansas down to Texas and all the way to the Virginias. Each region has it’s own way of making BBQ sauce (sweet, spicy, savory, thick, thin…) and different woods used in pit (mesquite, hickory, pecan, apple…). You get the idea. The same is true for all the many variations of beef and other meats as jerky.
The new wave of where to find BBQ and jerky flavors has gone beyond the potato chips we’ve seen for many years. These days, they are a gourmet flavoring for all kinds of treats.
At this year’s Apollocon in Houston, Texas, some brought along a couple of chocolate bars to share in the ConSuite. They were not what you would expect to see at a sci-fi/fantasy con. Or maybe you would given the eclectic mix of people and the foodie reputation Apollocon now has. These chocolates are from Wild Ophelia, and are guaranteed to be all natural with no preservatives and gluten free.
In both cases, the flavors were astoundingly correct. It was a pleasant surprise for my taste buds to say the least. The chocolate itself was of a smooth consistency, darkly rich and an excellent carrier of the BBQ and jerky flavors, respectively.
Smokehouse BBQ Potato Chip Dark Chocolate (70% cacao)
From the website:
Featured Artisan: The Billy Goat Chip Company
Varietal: Russet Burbank Potatoes gown in Idaho
Where: St. Louis, Missouri
Flavor Profile: A sweet, savory and spicy warm-the-back-of-your-throat chip entrenched in dark chocolate.
Craft: Billy Goat Chip Company hand selects, slices and seasons their potatoes to ensure the highest quality craftsmanship. Their chips are made with NO added preservatives, MSG or gluten. Their Kicker seasoning is the magical powder that flavors the chips with a zing unlike any other. A ripple cut potato slice that “holds” more seasoning is a crucial characteristic of the Kicker chip, adding increased flavor to each bite. With so many snack foods relying on salt and artificial flavorings, it’s refreshing to taste a superior chip that’s all natural.
Beef Jerky Milk Chocolate (41% cacao)
From the website:
Varietal: Piedmontese and Angus Cattle
Where: Plains of Idaho
Flavor Profile: Natural smoked fruit woods and peppered spices perfectly match our rich milk chocolate.
Craft: As far back as the late 1800s, cattle ranches have been an important part of the agricultural economy of Idaho. The cattle are treated humanely, raised in lush green pastures. They are accustomed to crisp, clean air and wide-open spaces as nature intended and have never received growth hormones. With a grass-fed, 100% vegetarian diet, the end result is a gluten-free product with no artificial ingredients. With minimal processing, it is surely the purest transition from pasture to plate.
The Wild Ophelia website also touts a New Orleans Chili Dark Chocolate Bar, Peanut Butter & Banana Milk Chocolate Bar, Salted Chowchilla Almond Milk Chocolate Bar, and a good half dozen other quixotic flavors. To help you get your hands and lips on these delectable goodies, a store locator is available.
Keep these delectable taste treats in mind when looking for something new to try or even as gifts for the holidays. They are sure to please the adventurous foodies in you life!
— Ann Cathey
Photos by Christopher