Chocolate-flavored finds, from tequila to toothpaste

Chocolate-flavored finds, from tequila
to toothpaste
by Marla Cimini, Special for USA TODAY | Published on December 4, 2014
In a universe where (just about) everyone adores chocolate, it's no surprise that
cocoa plays a starring role in so many foods and beverages. Delicious as well as
ubiquitous, it even shows up frequently in the most unexpected places.
These are just some of the numerous cocoa-infused delights that feature the
creamy, rich and decadent flavor of chocolate:
Chocolate balsamic vinegar
This premium, tangy vinegar can become addictive! Its distinctive, zesty flavor is
ideal for enhancing the sweetness of fruit (especially berries) and desserts. Available
at The Olive Tap in Charlotte, N.C., as well as in the company's 11 stores throughout
the USA. A selection of other creative and tasty vinegar flavors are also featured in
each shop.
Chocolate beer
The Rogue Distillery and Public House in Portland, Ore. always brews up some
mouthwatering beer, and their chocolate stout is a frothy indulgence. In addition to
this dessert in a pint glass, the brewery also offers a plethora of award-winning
beers on tap – in an array of styles and flavors. Cheers!
Chocolate chili peppers
Ready to spice things up? Kakawa Chocolate House offers whole roasted New
Mexican Arbol Chilis dipped in homemade agave caramel and house blended dark
chocolate. Located in Santa Fe, N.M., this shop also features a variety of hot
chocolate elixirs.
Chocolate coffee beans
For a java jolt, a stop at the Amana general store in Amana, Iowa is a delightful treat
for chocolate and coffee lovers. With a history dating back to the 1850s, one of the
best sellers is the German chocolate-flavored coffee beans. Amana also offers other
decadent brews, including snowflake sundae coffee, hazelnut crème coffee and
chocolate raspberry creme coffee.
Chocolate olive oil
The smooth, piquant dark chocolate intermingles nicely with extra virgin olive oil,
and all customers are treated to luscious samples at Lucero's tasting room in Napa,
Calif. The company also offers a selection of olives, vinegars and mustards, as well
as a "sundae gift set" with six bottles of oils and vinegars -- perfect for topping off
ice cream.
Chocolate pasta (and pesto)
Hotel Choocolat's "cocoa cuisine" offers homemade unsweetened chocolate wheat
pasta, which can be made into a sweet or savory dish. Also, this chocolatier has an
accompanying (and equally tasty) rich and chunky chocolate pesto featuring
chopped basil, pine nuts, cheese and nutty roasted cocoa nibs. Available at Hotel
Chocolat's store in London's Covent Garden and other locations.
Chocolate pudding fruit
Yes, chocolate sometimes grows on trees! Officially known as the black sapote, fans
of this fruit simply refer to it as "chocolate pudding fruit." Grown in mild climates
(primarily in Mexico and Central America), the creamy fruit offers notes of coffee
and cocoa, and can be sliced open and eaten with a spoon when ripened. Similar to
a persimmon, the sapote is low in fat, and bursting with vitamins, including C and
calcium. Available in season at specialty food stores.
Chocolate salt
Chef Wolfgang von Wieser's chocolate salt is made from Turks and Caicos seawater
and blended with cocoa beans and powder, palm sugar, cloves, and cinnamon.
Wieser recommends sprinkling his chocolate salt on cakes, pineapple, shaved
banana and mascarpone ice cream. Available at the Grace Bay Club in Turks and
Caicos.
Chocolate soda
For the authentic taste of chocolate soda from days gone by, enthusiasts head to
Margie's Candies in Chicago, a landmark since 1921. Known as one of the few places
in the country that serves this elusive beverage, they whip up homemade chocolate
soda to order and offer house made candy and ice cream, too.
Chocolate tea
Sipping a steaming cup of Good Earth's Cocoa Tango tea will likely help stave off the
winter chill. This herbal and black tea blends together chocolate and rose petals -with just a hint of chili peppers and refreshing peppermint. Available in grocery
stores nationwide.
Chocolate tequila
A chocolate-infused tequila, Patron XO Café dark cocoa liquor combines the essence
of roasted coffee with rich chocolate and light tequila – a delectable combination.
For added heat, Patron XO Café dark cocoa liquor "Incendio" blends chile pepper to
create a deliciously smooth beverage. Ideal for after-dinner drinks, these tequilas
complement an array of desserts, such as ice cream. Available in liquor stores across
the USA.
Chocolate toffee bacon bites
Created by executive pastry chef Charles Froke at the Four Seasons Hotel,
Washington D.C., chocolate toffee bacon bites offer a sweet and savory fusion. The
treat is made from house cured and smoked bacon caramel combined with
bittersweet chocolate, and topped with toasted almonds and pecans. The gourmet
toffee is featured in snacks, guest amenities and served at the hotel's on-site
restaurant, Bourbon Steak.
Chocolate wine
Sipping wine is even sweeter when it's chocolate dessert wine from Thorton Winery
in Temecula, Calif. The "Kiss of Chocolate" vintage features notes of succulent black
cherry, while the "Milk Chocolate Kiss" is a unique wine blended with cream.
Frozen chocolate wine
Chillax! Frosae frozen chocolate merlot wine is a unique twist on a refreshing
dessert. Based in Suffolk County, N.Y., this company uses local Long Island wines to
create a texture similar to that of sorbet. Attracting attention among wine lovers,
the sorbet is available in other flavors as well. Currently, this wine can be purchased
on Long Island at multiple King Kullen food store locations.
Cocoa bean body scrub
Hands down, the spa at the Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Penn. is a chocolate lover's
dream destination. Their cocoa bean scrub is a fan favorite, offering gentle skin
exfoliation with a heavenly scent. The spa also offers plenty of innovative services
and sells accompanying cocoa-infused products, such as chocolate sugar scrub and
whipped cocoa bath gel among others.
Chocolate facial mask
Although this treat is not for eating, Farmhouse Fresh's Sundae Best chocolate
softening facial mask is just like a dessert – for your skin. This rich indulgence is a
creamy kaolin-clay mask, which pulls impurities from pores and infuses the skin with
natural anti-aging extracts, adding nutrients and moisture. Available at Saks Fifth
Avenue in New York.
Minty cocoa lip gloss
Leaving lips with a shimmery chocolate scent, Bath and Body Works' lip gloss in
minty cocoa softens and shines for a pleasing pucker. This brand also offers an
assortment of other chocolaty-mint scented products, such as the festive holiday
candle that infuses the aroma of cocoa throughout your entire home. Available at
all Bath and Body Works stores across the USA.
Cocoa powder eye shadow
Too Faced cosmetics has created a generously-sized, calorie-free "chocolate bar" -an eye shadow collection created with 100% natural cocoa powder. The glamorous
set features 16 antioxidant-rich matte and shimmery shades, with names like
candied violet and triple fudge -- inspired by their best-selling Chocolate Soleil
bronzer. Available at Sephora and other retail shops nationwide.
Chocolate nail designs
Keep the scent of cocoa always at your fingertips with cool scratch and sniff stickers
from "Nail Art." With 44 colorful images, the stickers feature cute cupcakes, ice
cream and chocolate drops. Available at Urban Outfitters retail stores.
Chocolate toothpaste
After eating all that chocolate, now it's time to brush your teeth with it! Introduced
in early 2014, Crest's new mint chocolate trek "Be Adventurous" toothpaste tube is
part of a new stable of flavors, including lime spearmint zest and vanilla mint spark.
Available at CVS, Walmart and drugstores everywhere.
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