Can We Interest You in Some Chocolate Caviar? (No, Really!)

Chocolate. Caviar. Gourmands the world over will tell you they're two of the finest foods in the world

Chocolate caviar is one of those things that most people never really think about. After all, how could such a thing exist? But hey, if people can put together chocolate and sauerkraut to make a cake, a combination of fish eggs and cocoa shouldn't be too far-fetched. Don't you think?

Needless to say, it does exist, and in several different forms. One form uses fish eggs for real; the other just pretends. We'll talk about both at length in this week's exciting episode of Extreme Chocolate.

Let's be honest here...

We need to get something straight right away. Your humble writer has never eaten chocolate caviar. Having had both chocolate and caviar, however, he does have a good idea of what the combination would taste like.

The real deal

It remains uncertain what caviar treats made with milk or dark chocolate are like, because no one will publicly admit to having experimented with the two flavors. But! There are lots of recipes that include disks of fine white chocolate in place of the cracker or toast point you'd normally use to eat your fish eggs off of.

Whether you think white chocolate is really chocolate or not, it's true enough that it's made from the cocoa butter squeezed from cocoa beans, so just work with us here, okay. It's close enough to real chocolate to count. White chocolate caviar treats are fine in our book, and nitpickers be darned!

Apparently, it's delicious. The chemistries of the two delicacies interact in such a way as to provide a piquant, salty-sweet flavor that habitu├ęs are said to die for. Some taste testers compare it to a really good cookie.

The so-called caviar

There's another kind of chocolate caviar that isn't caviar at all -- it's a tasty collection of expensive dark chocolate nibs dusted with cocoa and packaged in a caviar tin. That may sound odd, but surely it's no odder than chocolate blended with edible gold, and people eat that. Here's a particularly popular brand.

http://www.chocolate.com/products/venchi-chocolate-caviar/

How you want to eat it is up to you. You can dip the nips out of the package with crackers and pretend they're real caviar while sipping a glass of champagne; or you can use 'em for cooking. They're said to make an excellent replacement for chocolate chips in cookies and other baked goods.

Needless to say, even this faux caviar doesn't come cheap. A standard one-ounce tin will run you about $13 (plus shipping and handling), which isn't much cheaper than mid-grade fish eggs -- chocolate caviar or not.

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