"Have you had the bacon chocolate bar?" she whispered. We were strangers in the cafeteria line but we'd bonded over the crispy breakfast food. That's how I found out about Biagio Fine Chocolate in Washington, D.C.'s Dupont Circle/Adams Morgan neighborhood. The next week I trudged there to buy Mo's Bacon Bar ($7) by Chicago-based Vosges Haut Chocolat.
"Four out of five doctors recommend it," said William Knight, one of the owners of the shop after he handed me the bar. He also warned me that some people hate it. Back at the office, some looked in horror at the creamy milk chocolate (41 percent cacao) with crunchy bits of applewood smoked bacon. I just thought it tasted really salty.
"It could use more bacon," said Sean McMahon of the Center for Sustainable Destinations.
"Who would have thunk it," said Traveler Senior Editor Scott Stuckey.
"It's like three different sensations in my mouth," said chief researcher Marilyn Terrell.
Open since 2006, Biago offers an "extensive collection of fine chocolate from around the world." That means chocolate from Utah (Amano), Sao Tome (Claudio Corallo), Spain (Blanxart), France (Mademoiselle de Margaux), Italy (Amedei). We could go on and on. Chocolate with chili peppers, curry powder, sea salt, you name it. And local chocolate, too.
Arlington, Virginia-based Artisan Confections' offers works of art such as salted butter caramels and chocolates flavored with 18-year-old bourbon and decorated in leopard print.
If you're looking for a sweet, exotic holiday gift, Biagio has it covered. And biting into their chocolate can be a bit like taking a trip around the world.
Photo: Katie Knorovsky