27 Oct 2023
Tomato & Maqaw Pepper, Salted Egg Cereal, Black Truffle might sound like snippets from a restaurant menu, but is actually a list of some chocolate bar flavors by the Singaporean brand Fossa. Consumers today are more and more open to experiment with new flavors. 66% of people in our 2023 global Taste Tomorrow consumer survey say they want to try new flavors or a combination of tastes which are unusual at first, versus 60% of people in 2021.
Explore 6 chocolate brands that are catering to this desire by developing sweet and savory chocolate bars.
We’ve reported on the ‘swicy’ trend – sweet and spicy – in patisserie and chocolate before. Because the rich and complex flavors of cocoa harmonize well with spicy ingredients, we’ve seen loads of product releases such as chocolate bars with pink pepper for a surprising burst of heat or truffles with chili for a warming quality. Any ingredient or food product derived from the pepper family is suitable, from pink peppercorns to gochujang or ghost peppers for the true adventurers. Because spiciness is not a taste, but a sensorial experience, adding chili to chocolate makes for an extra-layered eating experience.
Now we’re turning our attention towards ‘swalty’ – sweet and salty – chocolate. Swalty or sweet and savory chocolate has of course been popularized by salted caramel and sea salt-flavored chocolate products, but now the horizon is expanding. Inspiration is drawn from all over the culinary world, using different spice blends in chocolate or incorporating the flavors of well-known dishes. Since this trend is geared towards culinary daredevils, the sky is the limit. Chocolatiers are pushing the boundaries with the most crazy and outspoken flavors.
by Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé
The bean-to-bar chocolate makers at Rózsavölgyi Csokoládé from Budapest, Hungary have a track record of making rather unique additions to their chocolate. This Olives and Bread bar is no exception: 73% chocolate is flavored with roasted olives, toasted bread and olive oil. Think of it as an appetizer turned into a sweet snack.
This dark chocolate with porcini mushrooms comes from The Forager Collection from chocolatier Domantas Uzpalis at Naïve. The flavors are complex, layered and intriguing. This bar contains 4% porcini, and the earthy, mushroom flavor is undeniable. ‘I collect the porcini in the wild and combine it with silky soft chocolate following a special technique which I developed myself’, says Domantas.
by Alicja Confections
Alicja Confections sells postcard chocolate bars that can be sent through regular mail. They offer a subscription service too, so there’s a new flavor each month. ‘Every chocolate is a new, weird, interesting, funky, delicious flavor you won't normally find anywhere else’, they say about their collection. That’s no lie, proves their salty and sweet Ramen Bowl bar. The 33.6% milk chocolate is flavored with crushed-up ramen noodles, soup base and soy sauce. Funky indeed!
by Vosges Chocolate
Silky smooth dark chocolate paired with salty crunchy bacon from a beloved sustainable family farm in New Hampshire, that’s Mo's Dark Chocolate Bacon Bar from Vosges Chocolate. Do you think combining chocolate and meat is too out there? Consumer reviews come down to an average rating of 4,5 out of 5 stars. So there definitely is a market for this curious swalty combination of smoked bacon, chocolate and a sprinkling of smoked salt.
by Fossa Chocolate
The Satay Sauce bar by the Singaporean chocolate brand Fossa is inspired by the traveling satay hawkers that used to prepare skewered meat on a portable charcoal grill. The Tanzanian cacao is flavored with peanut praline and aromatic spices such as cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, anise, fennel seeds, peppercorn and sea salt.
It’s not just chocolatiers that are crazy about fusion flavors. Pastry chefs around the world are experimenting with desserts that include vegetables and herbs. And we’re not talking about pumpkin or sweet potato… they’re using black garlic, fennel and radishes. Dive into the gastronomic green desserts trends.