BBQ Mini-Series: Xocolat Spice Fusions by Coeur de Xocolat
So, it’s officially the British summer and it’s that time when we fellas refuse to wear sun cream, go an offensive shade of puce and revert back to our Neanderthal instincts by making a fire to burn meat on.
I love BBQ season but living in the UK makes it tough to predict and event more difficult for retailers, producers and eateries to plan for. However each year the offering keeps on getting better and better and the categories that the BBQ occasion spans is ever increasing. We would now happily shop the meat aisles, bakery, salad section, spices, oils, condiments and, of course, the booze aisle. BBQ is much more than a category in retail; it’s an occasion, a mood, an ambience and something that the whole nation, nay the world, goes crazy for.
BBQ has increased in popularity over the last few years with the explosion of street food trucks and festivals that have shown the common household cook what is possible with a fire, a hotplate and a bit of food soul. If we get invited round to a friends for a Saturday afternoon Barbie it’s no longer acceptable to serve salmonella sausages or botulism burgers. Now we expect brioche buns, sliders, low and slow briskets, sliders, kofte, shawarmas and a fabulous infusion of world flavours and tastes all on an undersized paper plate.
Now, I’m good with a pair of tongs and a hotplate but I don’t profess to being an expert by any stretch so I’d recommend you check out the BBQ Geeks for some absolutely top tips and the perfect BBQ.
This mini-series explores some of the new and great products and recipes that I’ve foraged and found this year to make Britain’s BBQ season great. So, even if we need to turn to supplements rather than the sun for our vitamin D, we can always enjoy well-cooked, well-seasoned and well-complimented meat.
Appeals to: a true Food Adventurer and someone that demands more from their BBQ. If you love meat, BBQs and chocolate you’re in for a right treat!
This product is hot off the press and was only just made available a couple of weeks ago. The packaging is simple but on trend with the chalk and chalkboard effect. My only criticism of the packaging is that there is a lot of text on the back and it’s quite small but other than that I’m a fan. I especially like the personal touch from David (@dghchocolatier) who is the creator of the range.
£4.00 – for the category and size of the jar it’s absolutely spot on. You get a lot out of the jars which range from 70g-90g so £4 for a few meals is quite good.
Chocolate as part of a savoury dish is something that is still quite alien to a Western palate but it’s slowly creeping into common usage with dark chocolate in a chilli con carne or a Mole sauce being widely accepted. However chocolate was a savoury ingredient for 3000 years before it became a sweet treat so it actually works really well. The chocolate in all of the flavours isn’t too prominent, instead it works with the ingredients of the rub to enhance and change the overall delivery slightly as opposed to usurp any of the other elements.
Ras-el-Hanout with Chocolate
I actually used this jar as a spice to flavour rice and it worked brilliantly. The familiar aromatic notes of the ras-el-hanout was met by a rich dark chocolate that brought out fruity tones and a lingering sweetness that played softly with my brown rice.
Jerk with Chocolate
This concept works brilliantly. Jerk is a fantastic spicy and smoky flavour on its own but when the cocoa is introduced it takes it a whole new level. Love it! I went simple with this one and marinated some chicken with some olive oil and then straight into a hot pan.
Smoky Paprika with Chocolate
This Spice Fusion is similar to the jerk but much sweeter with the chocolate reacting with the sweet peppers. I opted to use this jar as a dry crumb baked atop a beautiful Scottish salmon,
Steak Seasoning with Chocolate
This jar has to be used with red meat and left to marinade overnight. The chocolate adds a real depth and texture to the seasoning and really cuts through a good cut of meat. Perfect!
Verdict – in a word, sweet-fusion! I know that this concept is something that doesn’t necessarily sit right with all of us but believe me when I say you need to try this before you pass judgement. Chocolate and meat is a brilliant combination for any Food Adventurer to seek out.
Details: www.coeurdexocolat.co.uk or www.xocolatshop.com
So all that leaves me is to ask: what’s your favourite BBQ recipe, tip or trick? Come on folks, leave me a comment below because sharing is caring.
Also, before you go take a look at my blog on a fantastic condiment I reviewed earlier in the year; it’s the perfect accompaniment to any pork dish.