I love chocolate, but I’m very particular about my chocolate. I hate white chocolate, and I don’t like milk chocolate. I love dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa). I was recently given a chocolate bar as a gift. The label read World Market’s Dark Chocolate Ginger Wasabi with Mediterranean Sea Salt. That is possibly the longest title ever for a chocolate bar, but I love dark chocolate and World Market, so I was excited to try it.
The chocolate on my tongue was dark without being bitter. Just as the chocolate started to melt, it hit me with a punch of wasabi. Wasabi is commonly used in Japanese cuisine, and has a very strong flavor, often described as hot. You never eat pure wasabi; small amounts of it are mixed into sauces or dishes. This was the first time that I had ever seen a chocolate bar with Wasabi in it. The effect actually wasn’t unpleasant; the sweet spicy, mellow and hot interplay worked for me.
After that initial punch of the wasabi, though, the flavor just kept coming. The ginger became really noticeable next. I really like ginger, especially dark chocolate covered ginger, so this was a familiar flavor for me. Ginger is another strong flavor though, and too much of it is also hard to eat. Layered on top of the wasabi, the flavors seemed to be competing with each other for attention rather than complimenting each other.
Finally, when the chocolate was mostly gone, the Mediterranean sea salt took the foreground. Sea Salt can definitely work in deserts, but, in this case, it just left a salty aftertaste to the chocolate. Rather than tempering sweetness, it was added to a chocolate bar that was already very dark and had two strong, savory flavors. The sea salt just made it salty.
Overall, this was probably the most intensely flavored thing that I had ever eaten, but that’s not necessarily a compliment. I ate a few bites, but didn’t want any more than that. It was just too much. Any of the flavors on their own would have been delicious. If it was just dark chocolate wasabi, or just dark chocolate ginger, or just dark chocolate with Mediterranean sea salt, I would have eaten the entire bar. Adding all three to one dark chocolate bar was just overkill.
Unsure what I should do with the rest of the chocolate bar, and not wanting to waste it, I let my husband make it when he was making desserts. He melted the bar down and beat it into a chocolate mousse, which he then served in bite-size chocolate cups. It was still intense then, but it was mellowed out by the other ingredients, all of which had softer flavors. The result was still unusual, but much more appetizing.