I guess that it had to be the case that out of the second two Wild Ophelia bars I chose, at least one would be a little odd. But chocolate with Smokehouse BBQ Potato Chips?
I wasn’t expecting this to be a normal chocolate bar, or even necessarily anything more than a one-time novelty. And, for better or worse, it isn’t either.
While I’m more likely to eat tortilla chips than any other kind, I do like such flavored nonsense as BBQ chips. Like the bananas in the last bar, the chips receive their own description on the card box. They are made by the St.Louis-based Billy Goat Chip Company, who use no added preservatives, MSG, or gluten in their chips. I’ve had milk chocolate covered potato chips before, but BBQ seasonings and 70% dark chocolate both make the experience different.
Knowing the potential for a peculiar tasting experience, I had the first piece casually while (I thought) I was distracted by other things. So much for trying to ease into the flavor: it was disgusting, too sweet a dark chocolate for the flavors of onion, garlic, and paprika.
But I’ve tried to give the bar another chance.
I find that I receive the chocolate much better in tiny nibbles, and I mean tiny. It packs a flavor punch as strong as anything, so moderation is what enables edibility. Somehow I’m now enjoying it, in a weird, divided sort of way. Set into the semisweet dark chocolate, chip pieces give off their light and airy crunch and salty and spiced flavors. The spices are obviously not artificial–which at first only makes them taste more bizarre sitting in chocolate. But this does help make the experience unique. It’s something like willingly eating salsa that is just a little too hot for your taste buds. Not that this is a spicy bar: it has a gentle warmth, but I think few people would find it spicy.
Many people, I expect, will have my initial negative reaction, and some will move on to find it a fun novelty chocolate (wouldn’t it be perfect to spring it on people at a barbeque or potluck?). But if there is anybody who truly enjoys this chocolate just because, please leave a comment–I would be intrigued to hear your thoughts.
As for myself, I have since picked up another Wild Ophelia bar, also chosen for its strangeness. I’m now a bit more cautious to approach it.