A pinch of salt and a pound of chocolate

September 9th, 2009 by Felicity Hughes

ChipChopCruising the shelves of our local conbini (convenience store) this week, we struck gold by purchasing a box of Meiji’s new “Chip! Chop.” Described on the box as being “chocolate and delicious salt, totally addictive chips,” we completely dug the unusual salt and choco combination. A thin filling of chocolate is sandwiched by two slender slices of salty chocolate biscuit. These were so moreish we finished the entire, rather large bag, in under 10 minutes and were left panting for more salted chocolate goodness and curious about where the concept for this divinely unhealthy snack came from.

It seems that the idea of combining salt and chocolate originated in Germany in the 1500s when the salty pretzel was first covered in chocolate. Chocolate pretzels have long been popular in the States with similar products appearing in Japan in recent years. Salted chocolate bars have also proved popular in Japan and seem to have been inspired by European bars such as Lindt’s “A Touch of Sea Salt.” Meiji brought out the “Salty Praline” bar last summer and chocolatier Ek Chuah sell a rather more up market version simply named “Salt Chocolate.”

“Chip Chop” is the first brand we’ve seen that combine salt with chocolate in its biscuit form but another strange “chip” combination caught our attention. Royce’ Fromage Blanc Potato Chip Chocolate is really testing the barriers of unusual taste combinations as well as the rules of punctuation. Sadly we aren’t really prepared to risk our digestions by sampling these oddities. The curious can read this account by a brave taste-tester at 3 Yen News.

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