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Valentine’s Day Food: Cocoa Dusting Taste Test

February 11, 2012


I’ve noticed that chocolate dipped items have been taking a backseat to “cocoa dusted” treats for the past few years. This is alarming. We’ve been dipping things in chocolate for centuries- strawberries, bananas, pretzels, cookies, bacon. These things are good all year round, but they get the undeniably delicious spotlight on Valentine’s Day. But… cocoa dusted scallops? Google it – there are tons of recipes for this. Why?

In the spirit of making the most out of Valentine’s Day, I decided to keep an open mind and do a taste test. I chose 3 items that I’ve seen increasingly powdered – Scallops, Steak, and Goat Cheese, and then picked three more that I was curious about – Potato, Pork, and Mushrooms. I rolled everything lightly in high quality, dutch processed cocoa powdered and cooked the ingredients in a small skillet with butter (except for the goat cheese, which I did not cook). Here are the results:

Scallops: Nope, I hate this. The cocoa powder was too much, and really took away from the flavor. In fact, I thought it made the scallops taste fishy. If I was to try this again I’d mix the cocoa with panko breadcrumbs.

Potato (Yukon Gold, thinly sliced): This was surprisingly tasty. The cocoa complements but doesn’t overwhelm the musky flavor of the potatoes.

Steak: The cocoa blends so well with the steak flavor that you don’t really taste it. Although, this makes sense- same idea as the popular Steak Mole.

Mushroom: Like the potato, the cocoa blended well with the earthy taste of the mushroom. I liked it.

Pork: Bad. Just bad. Don’t.

Goat cheese (rolled not cooked): My favorite! The tang of the goat cheese and the bitterness of the cocoa are actually great together, a really surprising fit.

All in all, I’d rather have some chocolate dipped bacon, but a cocoa dusting taste test is a cool activity to do with your Valentine. Voila.


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