Hi everyone! I hope your weekend was filled with all sorts of fun. I took a trip to Whole Foods on Sunday and discovered that, suddenly, all things sweet have become savory. I’m no stranger to exotic flavored chocolates or unlikely flavor combinations but the savory tsunami seems to have flooded every corner of the supermarket. Vosges chocolates has long been known for typical and not so typical pairings. I’ve tried most of the flavors more than once (Naga Bar I'm looking at you) and was beginning to think Katrina Markoff had run out of ideas. And then I saw the new Super Dark line. Markoff has done it again with combinations that excite and intrigue the tastebuds. The coconut ash and banana flavor was bound to be a winning combination but the dark horse was the Parmesan peppercorn bar. Pepper actually comes from a fruit and has long been paired with chocolate in many cultures for centuries so that was nothing new. The wild card for me was the Parmesan. Parmesan is known for its umami elements, which bring depth to just about anything, but I had my reservations about chocolate. I was pleasantly surprised by the added complexity and complementary flavors resulting in yet another win for Vosges.
What I was most excited about was the savory yogurt by Blue Hill. Savory yogurt has been creeping its way into dishes since Americans learned to correctly pronounce tzatziki. Yogurt giant Chobani even opened a store in SoHo with a variety of savory mixes, so it was really just a matter of time before it ended up on our supermarket shelves. The attractive container with the iconic cow caught my eye but the reputation of Blue Hill sold me. Blue Hill has two restaurants, one in NYC and the other in Pocantico Hills, NY. If you take a look at their menus you'll see that fresh, avant garde cuisine is part of everyday life.
I was faced with more flavors than I expected. I imagined each of them being good but I’ve never cared for beets (gasp!) and unless the month ends in ‘r’ I generally don’t eat butternut squash but I do plan on trying it. Sweet potato seemed like a safe bet and carrot didn’t particularly excite me. I surprised myself and went with tomato. Those that know me understand that I am finicky when it comes to tomatoes, especially when they’re raw. Upon telling my parents of this new find they both remarked, "You ate tomato?" See what I mean? I was praying this was not a “fruit on the bottom” style yogurt or one that had clumps of produce throughout. When I opened it I took a cautious stir to check for said clumps or other hidden surprises. When deemed safe, I took a spoonful and promptly uttered, “Damn.”
Blue Hill absolutely nailed this. Not only was the texture close to perfect but with additional ingredients like red onion, honey, maple syrup sea salt, ginger puree, lemongrass and white pepper I couldn’t believe I was still eating yogurt. It was a dish in and of itself. As I scooped away I recalled Willy Wonka and his multicourse candy that ultimately led to Violet Beauregard’s demise; if Wonka made yogurt, it would taste like this. Go do yourself a favor and get some of this before I get back to Whole Foods today, I can't promise there will be any left. Until the next dish, ciao!