Every now and again the universe conspires to create a combination so epic, it defies the laws of physics and creates a black hole of pure awesome. Peanut butter and jelly, centaurs, K Fed and Brittney…the world is full of these wonderous amalgamations. So it came to pass last week during a humble pizza and wine pairing class that just such an earth-shattering masterpiece was created…the bacon and chocolate pizza.
Our class was held at the Cookbook Company here in town and was a joint venture between my colleague Al Drinkle and I (representing Metrovino wines) and the good people at Una Pizza and Wine, one of Calgary’s most popular dining destinations. Bern was our capable chef for the evening and we started to throw around some ideas around for a “secret” pizza we could use for our grand finale. I, having a ravenous sweet tooth, put forward the notion of a chocolate dessert pizza. But which chocolate would make the best topping? Dark? Milk? White? As I pondered these options it hit me like a bolt of lightning hurled by Zeus himself…Mo’s Bacon Bar.
Mo’s Bacon Bar is a creation of the good people at Vosges Chocolate and is essentially a milk chocolate bar with apple smoked bacon bits. This sweet and savoury delight is pure genius and I had a notion it might make for one perfectly outrageous pizza topping. Our chef loved the idea and we set about making a test pizza. The result…delicious! There was however one problem…it needed more bacon! Bern being the crafty and resourceful gentleman that he is managed to find some bacon in the Cookbook’s fridge and he quickly got to work dicing these glorious morsels of porky goodness.
The final combination was a layer of finely chopped, melted Mo’s Milk Chocolate Bacon Bar, diced bacon and a drizzle of acacia honey to seal the deal. The verdict? Unbelievable. The combination of creamy, melted milk chocolate and smoky bacon caused multiple, simultaneous palate orgasms. The drizzle of honey and Una’s perfectly plump crust sealed the deal, making this the single greatest culinary creation of all time. Eat your heart out Gordan Ramsay.
Given the magnitude of this pizza, Al and I knew we had to use every ounce of our evil wine genius to find a wine pairing. After much deliberation we settled on Pierre Gaillard Banyuls, a fortified wine (made in the same way as port) produced from Grenache grapes grown on rocky slopes in the French region of Roussillon right on the French/Spanish border. The wine’s sweetness and body allowed it to stand up to the rich, mouth coating chocolate, while the distinct smoky/spicy Grenache character was the perfect partner to the savoury bacon. An unbelievable pairing if I do say so myself.
So the next time you’ve got a craving for a little sweet and salty, put down the snickers and pick up the bacon…you’ll be glad you did.