Resting in the shadow of salted everything, the chocolate covered potato chip fad seemed to be a popular item on etsy alone. It didn't seem like a terribly marketable concept, either. Large chip companies couldn't manufacture them due to heat issues and ingredient sourcing, and most chocolatiers seemed to find them gauche, their eyes lit by the sophisticated salted caramel or ganache. Luckily, Chuao has picked up the chip and developed their newest bar, an easier to eat, more sophisticated version of the popular snack. As their full-sized bars and pods are, this bar is no exception to their stunningly molded cocoa bean design. It's a visually appealing bar, not to mention that it matched perfectly with my new 70's era rec room color and design scheme- burnt orange and wooden bar nibble bowl for the win. Professional food stylist, I am not.
Using kettle chips for an unctuous crunch and milk chocolate for a mellow sweetness to contrast the saltier elements, the bar is a smashing success. The chips are broken up into small shards, which enable them to be layered within the bar and bring a massive crunch to every bite. We didn't have a single one that wasn't loud and crispy, just like eating regular chips. There was a slight oiliness to the chips that brought out the richness of the bar, and the saltiness was a superb counterpart to the sugars in the chocolate.
As far as saltiness and crunch went, I found this to be more successful than the Panko bar, though equally enjoyable. It's a bold, sassy bar with nothing to hide or disguise, like certain mommy blogs or Michael Jackson. This just packed in more chunks of chip in each bite than the Panko did, for my salt-craving tastebuds, anyhow. Yet it's not too salty so as to detract from the wonderfully milky, sweet 41% milk chocolate that mad scientist/genius chocolatier Michael Antonorsi blends together. It has a firm snap and texture that easily cut into strips without crumbling (not to mention surviving the drive from Washington, DC to Massachusetts in a small bag) and was the perfect pairing for the salty chips, though I would have preferred a deeper, more complex flavor. It's missing some of the more dark, caramelized flavors I'm drawn to. I think milk chocolate was the right choice for this bar. Anything else would have overwhelmed the flavor of the chips.
At $6 a bar, this is a unique yet approachable selection or gift for eaters wishing to make a successful foray into stranger chocolates without splurging on these $19 Neiman-Marcus Pringles knock-offs. It's not the weirdest flavor combination I've ever had, but it carries a nostalgic set of flavors tied to comfort in a contemporary pairing, which makes for an incredibly succulent snack or dessert.
Labels: 9, chips, chocolate, dessert, snack