Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Old Bay Chocolates at Sweet Cascades

They're not joking around. The chocolate crabs at Sweet Cascades in Ellicott City really taste like Old Bay seasoning.

Imagine the sweet and savory sensation of chocolate-covered pretzels. Then the sharper pinch of pepper and paprika that you know well from a table of hard-shelled crabs.

Mrs. HowChow here. Actually, the chocolate crabs are not as good as Mr. HowChow is describing. Does anyone else think "chocolate crabs" just sounds disturbing in and of itself??

When I read about these on Tales of Two Cities, I assumed that the "Old Bay chocolate" was a gimmick -- that the Old Bay would either be barely noticeable or overpowering. But this was an inspired pairing done by someone with a talented hand. The first flavor was chocolate. Really smooth chocolate even in the dark chocolate crabs. Then, the Old Bay kicks in and builds while the chocolates melts on your tongue. Mrs. HowChow again. These remind me of Baltimore french fries. I couldn't finish one. He's from Northern Virginia. All I could think was fries with Old Bay. That's not a dessert in my book. We saved a little Three Philosophers beer to drink with our dessert, and the "crabs and beer" flavor really worked.

Along with the crabs, we bought some dark chocolate truffles and a piece of chocolate with bacon, which was also a novelty that turned out delicious enough to buy again. Loved the bacon. Weird, but strangely good. Loved the truffle. Gotta run....he's coming back! Sweet Cascades makes all its chocolates in the Main Street store, and they're the best that I have had recently. (And I say that after tasting several other chocolates and choosing not to blog about them.)

Consider a cooking workshop at Sweet Cascades. They'll schedule with you for groups from four to 12. You pay $25 per person, and Sweet Cascades teaches you to make chocolates and serves up chocolate to drink and eat. You can even bring your own wine.

If you want more looney ideas for Old Bay, check out the The Ice Dreamery blog's recipe for Old Bay ice cream. They make "ice cream sandwiches" with crab cakes. That's a step too far for me, but I might try to convince Mrs. HowChow to make Old Bay ice cream.

Sweet Cascades
8167 Main Street
Ellicott City, MD 21043
(410) 750-8422

NEAR: This is on Main Street in Ellicott City. It's in the lower section between the river and the light at Old Columbia Pike.

Sweet Cascades on Urbanspoon


Ken Oh said...

I left a nastier, PG13 version of this comment on the Tale of Two Cities blog when Wordbones posted about Sweet Cascades.

I will never go into Sweet Cascades again, despite having such unique chocolate and despite the fact that I live across the street from it, and I try to discourage anyone I come in contact with from patronizing it.

The woman who seems to be in charge there was really nasty to my girlfriend's cousin, who was enchanted with the Main Street and with the idea of a chocolate shop on it and wanted to capture it in a picture. What was she worried about, free publicity? I can't think of when I've been more embarrassed during my adult life.

Again, I discourage anyone from going there, but if you must, then realize the ownership doesn't know how to treat tourists or customers in general.

Nakiya @ Taste of Baltimore said...

I think I am with Mrs HowChow on this one - I simply cannot imagine this tastes yummy! Thanks for reviewing it though :)

Mrs. HowChow said...

In response to Nakiya, I just want to add that I thought the truffles were delicious and amazingly, the bacon chocolate was kind of interesting.

Just an Old Bay fan who doesn't want it in my chocolate...


Unknown said...

My friends and I did the chocolate workshop and it was wonderful. We learned all about chocolate and took home a ton of homemade truffles. The owner also let us try pretty much anything that we wanted in the store.

I've been in there a couple of times and the owner has always been very nice and respectful. She could have been having a bad day when Dick stopped by. I definitely encourage everybody to stop in and try some of the wonderful goodies -- you won't be disappointed.

Nakiya @ Taste of Baltimore said...

Mrs HowChow- thanks for the clarification! Yes, I meant that the Old Bay chocolate couldn't possibly be yummy (in my eyes), but dark chocolate truffles? Sign me up!!

And the bacon + chocolate thing seems to be all the rage right now, I still haven't brought myself to try it yet!

Anonymous said...

I visited Sweet Cascades based on the mention on this blog. A visiting family member wanted to take something uniquely Maryland back home with her as a gift. The Old Bay crabs fit the bill perfectly. They were a hit! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I agree that the Old Bay Chocolate was indeed amazing. I didn't believe my friend when she said I should stock up, but I went ahead and bought one. Luckily, she was kind enough to let me have several of her own once I realize how extremely delicious they truly were.

I came across this post looking for a recipe.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip - the dark chocolate Old Bay crabs were really good although I was not a fan of the milk chocolate variety. Its kind of a kicked-up version of dark chocolate with sea salt, two thumbs up!