I had first made wild garlic flavoured ganache a couple of years ago (I really do try everything!); it was interesting - a sort of Heston Blumenthal snail porridge sort of experience (not that I have tasted that) that gets your brain and taste buds going in a way that familiar food just doesn't do - new connections in your brain need to be created to experience a completely new flavour combination and it is really exciting. Anyway, the testing panel here at cocoaflower HQ were split on the original experiment: the panel of three (J, A and R) had various reactions. J just raised eyebrows and would not commit to any opinion; R loved it and claimed it was the perfect combination of two favourite foods - garlic bread and chocolate, and A thought it tasted like cold pizza, and not very nice cold pizza. So, we sat on the idea, and I used the experiment merely to evidence that I would try anything as a flavour.
However, last week with the first Logierait Country Market of the year coming up and uninspired by the late spring and the need to still use 'store cupboard' favours as I call them - I thought it was time to really test the water with a challenging flavour. I made small cocoa powder covered truffles with the wild garlic flavoured milk chocolate ganache, rather than include the flavour as one of the four in the normal selection box. I was curious to know how people would react - both on being offered the flavour but also if brave enough to eat it what they actually thought of it.
My first customers were a group of Japanese tourists who either spoke no English or were so shocked by what they ate that they were unable to speak English. I think they understood chocolate and so eagerly took samples - but at that point communication broke down as they rushed on to the next stall. Not an auspicious start. However, I persevered and to be honest thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience. Most of the people that I offered the truffle to eagerly tried it - what a wonderfully adventurous crowd. Only one person used the word 'disgusting' and actually most thought it was 'not unpleasant' just 'strange'. We agreed that the challenge would really be when you would want to eat it - this is no cosy end of the evening treat - more a wake up call to the taste sytem - so an unusual aperitif?