Under normal circumstances, desserts are hailed as delicious sweet gifts from God above. However, in this Jordanian chef's case, a fusion of sweet and savory has made way for the exotic creation of Jameed chocolate.
Jordanian chef Omar Sartawi came up with the perfect recipe to make an unusual sweet dish... for a good cause.
What led to this unorthodox recipe is the popular lamb-based dish Mansaf, usually accompanied by Jameed - salty dried yogurt made from goat milk.
After three months of experimenting, Sartawi was finally able to give the combined ingredients a new twist.
With the Jordanian identity it carries and the hope of spreading the popularity of the dish to foreign tongues, Sartawi invented the infused Jameed chocolate to "make Jameed exotic for a Jordanian and familiar for a French or Belgian person".
In an interview with The Jordan Times, the creative chef explained how he intended to "reconcile two parallel universes: the sourness of jameed, and the sweetness of chocolate".
Fully aware of the mixed reactions his product will provoke, Sartawi emphasized his realization by saying "I don’t like apologetic outcomes in cooking. A cuisine has a spirit and any food has an impact on you. It will either offend your taste buds or make you love it".
The white Jameed chocolate truffles have stirred mixed reaction since its launch back in December, managing to capture the attention of local and global foodies.
Reactions were divided, but mostly tipped towards the positive
"An absolutely distinctive combination"
"The taste is very weird and exotic which makes your brain so confused analyzing the taste"
Some people loved it while others didn't...
"If only you saw what they've done with Jameed, Grandpa!"
"It came down to this... what's next?"
Despite the many reactions, Jameed chocolate is on its way to international chocolatiers
Part of Sartawi’s new brand named "Alchemy" quickly found acceptance and success in local and foreign markets. The demand for his chocolate has even reached the Swiss chocolate pioneers.
"They might be the best chocolatiers on the planet.... But we got the most exotic ingredient on the plant", he wrote in a post on his Facebook.
"People from around the world are asking me to ship some boxes for them. But, because they are all individually handmade, it is a huge amount of work," he told The Jordan Times.
The proceeds of his creation are entirely donated to the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, in memory of Sartawi’s aunt who last her battle with cancer.
"My aunt, whom I was very close to, died of cancer two weeks ago, and I wanted to make this brand of chocolate in celebration of her memory, especially for the Christmas season," he explained.