The Chocolate & Coffee Show is on this weekend. Ahead of the event, we enlisted our Trial and Error panel to test some of the more unusual chocolate offerings artisans will be showcasing at the event.
What's the first thing you think of when you hear the word chocolate?
Cake? Ice cream? Curry ...? If that last one doesn't strike a chord with you, you're not alone.
This week our Trial and Error taste testers Gracie Taylor and Cam Mansell took on a blind taste test challenge, sampling some of the most unique chocolate blends being showcased at this year's Chocolate & Coffee Show.
Having no idea what flavour they were trying, our duo had to eat the entire confection before each bizarre flavour was revealed.
Were they put off chocolate for life or introduced to some unusual but delicious new flavour combinations?
THE TASTE TEST
Mango Cardamom - Schoc chocolates
Gracie described this as a "warm mouthy spice" with a cream egg filling.
She guessed this one was ginger marmalade with a cream cheese filling - and she wasn't too far off.
Raspberry and Pink Peppercorn Caramel - Honest Chocolat
Gracie and Cam found themselves "salivating" as soon as this delicious morsel touched their lips. With Gracie describing the sensation as "a lot of mouth feel".
Cam pretty much nailed it with his guess of "raspberry toffee stick with.... pepper!"
Carrot and Coriander - Schoc Chocolates
Gracie immediately got a strong "curry flavour" from this herbaceous number.
Cam, however, wasn't so sure. Instead he decided the taste was a little, well ... soapy.
Cam and Gracie were shocked to find out this little number contained carrot, though the coriander taste came through strongly in the end.
Tequila Lime and Salt - Schoc Chocolates
Gracie was digging the heart shape and "Rasta" colours on these cute chocolates. But both panellists couldn't quite pick what the thick and creamy filling was.
Cam said the intensity of the white chocolate made it hard to distinguish what exactly was inside. His guess: maybe pâté?
Tequila "experts" Gracie and Cam were shocked to learn their Saturday night shot of choice was in fact hidden inside this cute love heart choccie.
Fennel Seed Chocolate Bon Bon - Honest Chocolat
Cam was a fan of the look of this "big blue marble" chocolate and guessed it might be filled with chocolate mousse.
Our taste testers found the dark chocolate very rich and dense. They wondered if the flavour might be coffee.
Cam was a fan regardless, declaring "blue balls for the win".
Curry and Poppadom - Schoc Chocolates
Having already sensed a curry note, you would think Gracie might have had this one in the bag.
However, the pair declared with great confidence it was, in fact, rosemary.
It was not.
While going in blind left the pair with pretty confused palates, once they were told what was in the chocolates, the flavour combinations all made a lot more sense.
Of the unique offerings, Gracie decided the Tequila Lime and Salt chocolate was the most delectable, while Cam's mouth was still watering over the Raspberry Pink Peppercorn Caramel stick.
Try them for yourself
If you want to try these and more unique flavours for yourself, check out The Chocolate & Coffee Show this Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7 at The Cloud.
Over 80 of New Zealand's most innovative food businesses, artisan chocolate producers, coffee roasters and much more will be on display.
Get your tickets here.