24 March, 2012
Things You Could Eat: Beef Jerky Chocolate Bar by Wild Ophelia
It was completely worth $5 to answer the obvious question. What does beef jerky covered in milk chocolate taste like and why would you ever do it? Wild Ophelia, an imprint of Vosges Haut-Chocolat answers the first question but obscures the second in faux-thentic marketing. (Vosges is pretentious on it's best day.) Creating a rural Southern character, giving her a Medusa meets Mucha coif with a name invoking unstable sexual availability fits nicely into modern marketing. (White poverty is super cool when it's set in the past. People are using it for their weddings, their vacations and their family photos. Why not candy?) The design is lovely, bold graphics and striking colors. Ophelia is just like you, she has summer garage sales, relatives that hold her in fear and... wait. She is just like me. On to the eating.
I expected more and less from this bar. Given the company's self promoted stance on elevating American candy I was looking for a fairly superior chocolate. While it's leagues above most candy coatings I'd place it closer to Cadbury than Marcolini on the Meoskop Candy Scale. The texture is familiar. Wild Ophelia has shaved the jerky very thin, it is only a ribbon running through the bar. The result is a familiar chew not unlike the last bits of a Curly-Wurly caramel bar. Like Vosges Mo's Bacon Bar my first thought on this offering is that they skimped on the meat. Eating only one piece at a time you want a bit more chew and a bit less smooth candy. Even to eat the bar in one go I think a smaller size with a better balance would be welcome. Still, the taste is successful. I've had some exotic candy combinations that made me rethink a number of life choices. The Beef Jerky Milk Chocolate Bar does not go on the regret side. Starting smooth and unobjectionable, the flavor increases in smoke and spice as you chew. It's an interesting combination of taste. Perhaps this is the candy equivalent of the potato chip's popular BBQ conceit.
So many pricey candy bars end up thrown away, a bitter half eaten disappointment. Vosges Haut Chocolat has overcome my rejection of the Wild Ophelia marketing to deliver a bar we fought over. While I would not specifically seek it out, members of the household are already scheming for a new delivery. I think you can do equally well for a candy splurge (perhaps even at lower price points) but I don't think you would be wrong to check the Beef Jerky Milk Chocolate Bar out. Pair it with the upcoming book Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. I think she'd probably want it that way.