When a colleague offers me some of his Reishi Mushroom & Walnut bar from Vosges HautChocolat, my heart leaps. It does somersaults when he tells me he had bought it in Singapore, at Meidi-Ya.
For the longest time, I have been a fan of the Chicago brand's bacon chocolate. Pieces of smoky bacon enrobed in dark or milk chocolate. Seriously, what's not to like?
So I fly there and start my search. Don't bother looking for it in the chocolate section. Instead, seek out the display just in front of the glassed-in kitchen, near the fruit section.
Alas, there are many, many flavours on display, but my beloved bacon bars are nowhere to be found. How is this possible?
Did the supermarket not think that bacon chocolate bars would sell? Does Vosges not send its crown jewels abroad? Did savvy shoppers snap every last bacon bar?
Whatever the reason, I am left staring at the display with deep disappointment.
But surely there are other bars worth eating? I decide to find out and gather a bunch to try. Four of them make the cut.
The Sri Lankan Coconut & Curry Bar, with 45 per cent cacao, is a good place to start. It sounds a little horrifying to think of chocolate flavoured with curry powder and coconut, but it works startlingly well.
The sweet vibe of the curry powder makes its presence felt without overwhelming the chocolate, and the crunch from the coconut is a textural delight.
I cannot resist anything with caramel. Smoke & Stout Caramel Bar and Black Salt Caramel Bar, both with 70 per cent cacao, hit all the right spots.
The stout one contains Rogue's Ale Chocolate Stout Beer, alderwood smoked salt and burnt sugar caramel. It has a smoky, slightly bitter taste that counters the caramel perfectly. The flavours are complex and intriguing.
With the Black Salt bar, the play is on sweet and salty. The caramel is a little sweeter and the salt stops it from being cloying. Another good bar.
From Vosges' Super Dark range, I like Matcha Green Tea, with 72 per cent cacao content and flavoured with green tea, spirulina and cocoa nibs.
This is most definitely an adult indulgence, with not much sweetness to get in the way of deep dark chocolate. The matcha is a little elusive but there, right at the end, it comes through.
As good as these bars are, I have one request: Bring in the bacon, please.
Vosges Haut-Chocolat, $12.95 for an 85g bar from Meidi-Ya Supermarket, B1-50 Liang Court, tel: 6339-1111, open: 10am to 10pm daily
This article was first published on April 6, 2015.
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