Cafe Society

Candy Girls: Chocolate-covered bacon

There's little left that hasn't been baconed.  Mints, vodka, lip gloss, gum, ice cream: all products upon which the salty meat flavor has been imparted.  Adding chocolate to the mix seems, for some, an inspiration from the heavens, while for others the mere thought of bacon playing in chocolate triggers a gag reflex.

Chicago-based chocolate company Vosges Haut-Chocolate is perhaps the most famous for the sweet-and-salty pairing with its Mo's Bacon Bar, featuring bacon, smoked salt and milk chocolate. The bar is pricey at over $7.00, but if you're craving a sweet bacony fix, Lewis Sweet Shop in Empire will set you up with a fresh slice of chocolate-dipped bacon for about $1.27.

Peggy Hubner, who owns the candy store along with her husband, Bernie, sells over 200 slices of the good stuff a day.  "We call it our protein bar," she said, laughing. The inspiration came from her son Jeff, who, after witnessing the popularity of Mo's bar, told her they should get in the chocolate-bacon game tout de suite. Customers like to pair the bacon with the store's candy deviled eggs for a breakfast-inspired sugar rush.

The process for making the treat is pretty straightforward.  After deep-frying applewood-smoked bacon until the fat has disappeared (think about that for a while), the bacon is left to cool before it's dipped in either a milk or dark chocolate.  Because of the perishibility of the meat, it's kept in a refrigerated case, and Hubner cautioned that it shouldn't stay out for longer than four hours, though "it never lasts that long!"

We took our milk chocolate-covered piece and recruited two bacon fans, Jane Le and the long-suffering Jonathan Shikes, to give us their honest opinion on the odd treat. Neither were sold on the concept from the beginning, but both were willing to give it a shot.  Apprehension melted away after the first tentative bite. Though Jane would have preferred the chocolate coating to be less thick so the bacon flavor would be at the forefront, both thought the mingling of sweet with smokey salt was a combination that worked well. And they agreed that the texture of the bacon, uniformly crispy, was excellent.  Jonathan's eyes widened as he took his third bite, "I could get into this."

Would we finish it?
  Consider it gone.

Would we buy again?
  Yes, and it would make a fun gift, too.

Rating: 4 out of 5