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Q: What are some good pairings for dark chocolate?

Posted February 26, 2014 in Advice Column, Pleasant Hill

A: Try some of these perfect dark-chocolate-with-food-and-drink pairings; we believe you’ll be pleasantly surprised by some of these combinations:

• Fruit. Known for its bitter bite, dark chocolate helps neutralize very sweet fruits such as strawberries, bananas and dried apricots. However, its properties also create a combo with citrus fruits that pack an edgy punch for true chocolate connoisseurs.

• Nuts. Nuts in chocolate desserts make an interesting addition from both taste and texture points of view. Add roasted hazelnuts, almonds and/or walnuts to a chocolate bark recipe for added crunch and a delicious nutty bite.

• Cheese. The sweetness of chocolate can sometimes overwhelm the palate, which is why aged cheddars, Gouda, Havarti and Parmigiano-Reggiano have a strong enough flavor to balance perfectly. Spread toasted baguette slices with melted chocolate and sprinkle with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

• Coffee. Dark chocolate goes well with a bold coffee, such as Italian roast. Serve small chunks of dark chocolate with freshly-brewed coffee for a sweet and ultimately satisfying end to a meal.

• Wine. Pair chocolate and wine according to the darkness of the chocolate. Like food, follow the general rule of wine pairings: the darker the chocolate, the darker the wine. Red wines (like Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon or Zinfandel) are ideal for dark chocolate.

Information provided by Molly Muchow, Hy-Vee Dietician, 4815 Maple Drive, Pleasant Hill,  515-262-7944.





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