Dark chocolate used to be a very acquired taste on American shores. The only dark stuff widely available on commercial shelves were the bite-size bars in bags of Hershey's Minatures--and those were usually the last eaten out of Grandma's candy dish. Now, however, dark chocolate is hot--you see it covering old-favorite candy varieties (including Snickers Dark and Milky Way Midnight), and everyone from boutique chocolatiers and giant candy companies is offering bars with high cocoa content. Milk chocolate in the U.S. typically contains 35% to 50% or so cocoa solids, so they're sweeter and creamier. The extra-dark Lindt bar we tested contains 85% cocoa, so the experience of eating it is not too far from munching on nibs right from the cocoa bean--rich and earthy, with just a hint of sweetness.
We expected the chocolate to simply melt and fill the bacon with a gooey sweet core. Instead, it fluffed up considerably and took on a somewhat pastelike consistency with a flavor that more closely resembled espresso beans than chocolate. The combo worked, and we would definitely try it again--although before we do that, we might simply melt some of the Lindt extra-dark we have left over and drizzle it on a strip of cooked bacon.
The conclusion: Bacon + extra-dark chocolate = rich and awesome
Next up: Bacon + Lemonhead