Arnold and I are huge Top Chef fans. I used to think I could never, EVER get into a show where I didn't get to eat the food at the end but we love the creativity of the chefs on the show. We've been hooked for a few years now and we have rituals. Not only do we have to watch it together, we also have to eat a good meal immediately preceding the viewing. Nothing is more tortuous than watching Top Chef after a dinner of leftover lentils.
As a weirdo I always like the weird foods on the show, the molecular gastronomy, the bizarre flavor combinations. To be clear I am well aware that just being strange for novelty's sake can often result in flops but when edgy meets delicious it blows your palate.
This is what happened when I ran into Sixth Course chocolates at the SF Chocolate salon. They had rosemary caramels and fennel pollen cream and... a habañero caramel truffle that was a game changer. Executed poorly all of these combos would be a hot mess, but the ladies over at Sixth Course know their stuff. The habañero was just hot enough to be disconcerting, but right at the moment that the spice was becoming alarming the creamy caramel kicked in to smooth the rough edges. They habañero had me hooked but what reeled me in was a truffle called champagne bubbly: a little nugget of joy that was filled with a teeny tiny amount of pop rocks. All together the mixture gave the extremely enjoyable sensation of having a mouthful of creamy, smooth chocolate champagne. It was a game changer.
Being a master of subtly I instantly fangirled out. Before I could stop myself I spit out all sorts of superlatives "Amazing. Top Chef quality. Innovative. I love you. Please give me MORE!"
They were very polite about the whole thing. Manners and master chocolatiers? Go support them here or check out their shop which will be opening in the San Francisco Mission District shortly.