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#10 Chocolate Trend for 2012: Chocolate Pairings

Seeking Partners for Chocolate

This is one of The Food Channel's Top 10 Chocolate Trends for 2012, based on research conducted in conjunction with CultureWaves® and the International Food Futurists®. For the full list, click here.

Chocolate Pairings. Chocolate and roses, yes. Chocolate and cheese. Chocolate and wine. It’s not new to put chocolate with something else that complements it, but we’re seeing a lot more of it. The French Pastry School of Kennedy-King College in Chicago hosted its annual For the Love of Chocolate event and the exhibits were liberally laced with samples of alcohol-tinged brownies and candy oozing with hints of brandy and rum. We’re finding chocolate bread pudding with brandy sauce, and classic after dinner drinks like the Brandy Alexander paired with chocolate ice cream. Cookies & Corks has put a twist on wine paring by creating all-natural cookie recipes designed to pair with wines (and coming complete with a wine pairing chart in every box).

While we expect the alcohol and chocolate category to grow, we aren’t seeing a slow down in chocolate paired with salt, either. It’s still winning awards at the food shows, and we’re seeing it on more and more menus. Even the everyday bistros are showing off their trends by dipping house made potato chips in chocolate for an after-dinner treat.

For more evidence, see:

Salty/Sweet Is Tops in Japan with Soy Sauce KitKat

Students Recreate Chicago's "Bean" with Jelly Belly Jelly Beans

Wooing with Wine and Chocolate a Smart Idea

Treat Your Valentine to Chocolate-Dipped Wine

It's a Chip, It's a Pretzel, It's a Supertaster!

Recipe evidence:

Mocha Java Shortbread

Molten Spiced Chocolate Cabernet Cakes