If the way to someone’s proverbial heart is through the stomach, an even faster route is with chocolate. As a spouse, partner, or parent, you probably know this already. If not, learn it fast.
When I was growing up, chocolate was, well chocolate. Today, you have to choose between dark chocolate and milk, bar chocolate and cocoa, single estate chocolate and 90 percent. And what the heck are cocoa nibs?
All chocolate derives from the seedpod of a tropical fruit appropriately named Theobroma cacao (Greek for “food of the gods”). Depending on where the cocoa is grown and how it’s processed, you can pay anywhere from $1.50 to $25 for a six-ounce bar.
So what does any of this have to do with barbecue? After all, for most Americans, chocolate still takes the form of candy or a dessert. The fact is, more and more grill masters are harnessing chocolate’s unique flavor profile (sweet, bitter, earthy, aromatic) and cooking properties to enhance rubs, marinades, sauces, and even grilled desserts.
Valentine’s Day is coming fast. Here’s how to capture the romantic powers of chocolate at your grill.
Call me a hopeless romantic. To paraphrase Shakespeare: “If chocolate be the food of love, grill on!”
Do you have a favorite use for chocolate in barbecue? Share your recipes, photos, and details on the Barbecue Board. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!