For his cheese and chocolate mash-up, Bissinger’s Chief Chocolatier Dave Owens selected blue cheese from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese, a company he was familiar with in as a former Saint Louis area executive chef. For a unique twist, he retreaded Bissinger’s Chocolate-Covered Wine Grapes, Shiraz wine-infused


Muscat grapes — which were a 2011 confection/chocolate SOFI winner — with a layer of Point Reyes Original Blue cheese and then enrobed it with 60% dark chocolate.

“At first bite, you taste the rich chocolate, then the sweet depth of fruit rushes forward, and finally the creamy blue cheese carries it through to the savory side,” Owens explains.

For 2013, Chef Owens forecasts that savory and chocolate combinations as well as salty sweets will continue to be popular flavors. He also believes that umami-driven flavors, such as black garlic, cheese, meat flavors (bacon), extra virgin olive oil and mushrooms, will also emerge into chocolate creations. “People will continue to push the envelope.”

The Chocolate-Covered Point Reyes Original Blue Cheese Wine Grapes retail for $36 a lb.