Last year, after trying a couple of David Briggs’ Xocolatl de David caramel bars, I really wanted to get my hands on his unconventional foie gras bar which had been seen on Bizarre Foods America with Andrew Zimmern. Lucky for me, I was able to find one on a recent trip out of town.
Before you turn up your nose at the idea of combining fatty duck liver with chocolate, hear me out! It’s completely understandable that this bar isn’t for everyone; but if you give it a chance, the taste might very much surprise you (in a good way!)
Removing the bar from the cardboard outer packaging and the thin aluminum foil, I noticed some slight scuffing marring the overall near mirror shine of the bar. I had to handle the bar carefully since it was very easy to leave fingerprints everywhere on the room temperature chocolate.
The aroma of the bar is sweet and fruity, making me think of a dessert wine or even plum sauce. Honestly, I was a little surprised that there was a very dull, soft snap to the bar. The first couple of tasting morsels were fairly salty to me and there was even a slight crunch from the fleur de sel.
Letting a section of chocolate melt on my tongue, the mouthfeel was umami, creamy and velvety despite the slightly grainy look to the pieces.
There is an earthy, mushroom-like flavor to the bar, which I assume comes mostly from the unusual inclusion ingredient; though from my experience, Bolivian chocolate tends to inherently have buttery and earthy notes. When I’ve eaten pan seared foie gras in the past, the taste was bit oily to me, so this was a much more pleasant experience!
Based on the other Xocolatl de David bars that I tasted last year, I was expecting this bar to be filled with their “Foietella” spread rather than having the foie gras infused and tempered into the chocolate itself. Based on other online sources (since neither the packaging nor the company website really describes these products in great detail), the trademarked “Foietella” spread is made with cream, Hudson Valley foie gras, 68% cacao from Bolivia, Valhrona natural cocoa powder, fleur de sel, Sherry wine vinegar and local piment d’Espelette for a little heat. Researching things a little further, I learned that Hudson Valley Foie Gras in Ferndale, New York in the Catskill Mountains is the premier producer of foie gras, Moulard duck and organic chicken in the United States. Their website has several short documentary videos about their production process and how they care for their animals.
On a whim this morning, I added a chunk of chocolate to a piece of freshly toasted Boudin Bakery San Francisco sourdough bread. It melted evenly, but unfortunately the tang of the bread overpowered the chocolate. It was an interesting experiment nonetheless, though I wonder if French bread would have been better.
I’ve also been wanting to try pairing this chocolate with a cheese, so if you have any suggestions, please let me know!
As a side note, I served a piece of this chocolate to my boyfriend without telling him about the unusual ingredient and he only thought this was a salty and nutty chocolate, so hopefully you will be daring enough to give this chocolate a chance for yourself!
To learn more about their other chocolates, confections and more, please visit: http://www.xocolatldedavid.com/#main