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'Hunger Games'-inspired chocolates aim to catch fire with fans

Nov. 19, 2013 at 12:33 PM ET

Vosges line of Hunger Games inspired chocolates
Lionsgate, Vosges

Vosges—the Chicago-based chocolatier known for ingraining combos like bacon and smoked salt into our chocolate diet—is back at it again, this time with a line of truffles and candy bars inspired by “The Hunger Games.”

Sci-fi and high-end chocolate seems like an odd pairing, but Vosges founder Katrina Markoff says the company behind the films approached her to come up with sweets that would give fans something experiential in time for the release of the sequel, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” out in theaters Friday, Nov. 22.

“They asked me to do this because they wanted something crafted and artisanal, with a deeper translation,” Markoff told TODAY.com. “They didn’t want to grab any chocolate and throw the move logo on it.”

So Markoff set to work, translating the dark story through chocolate. For the uninitiated, “The Hunger Games” is about a post-apocalyptic country, Panem, where a boy and girl, chosen by lottery from each of 12 districts, fight to the death in “games” that pay tribute to the powerful Capitol region—easy to relate to dessert, right?

First off, Markoff dreamed up a chocolate bar to represent each of Panem’s 12 districts, known in the story for their distinct industries.

For mining District 12 for example, there’s a dark chocolate bar with mined sea salt, while for livestock District 10, there’s a milk chocolate bar with—our favorite—beef jerky and smoked mesquite.

In keeping with the spirit of the books, the District bars are part of Markoff’s more mass Wild Ophelia line and available for $4.99 at Walgreens, Safeway and Kroger stores.

Hunger Games truffle chocolates from Vosges
Vosges
"The Hunger Games"-inspired truffle chocolates from Vosges is a 16-piece set for $45.

Vosges—the Chicago-based chocolatier known for ingraining combos like bacon and smoked salt into our chocolate diet—is back at it again, this time with a line of truffles and candy bars inspired by “The Hunger Games.”For more hard-core fans, there’s also The Hunger Games Truffle Collection from Markoff’s more luxe Vosges Haut-Chocolat line, available in a 16-piece box set for $45—or a 36-piece Capitol version for $225. The latter is an 18-course tasting for two and includes a whole slew of multi-sensory ingredients and props—like vials of crushed violet petals, pearl dust and gold leaf—and tasting directions that mimic The Capitol’s strict social rules. Course No. 1: a rosemary, pink peppercorn and white chocolate truffle that’s meant to be eaten after burning a dried sage stick and swirling the smoke around with a feather (both included).

“I tried to put all that—the social handbook—into the ritual of chocolate tasting,” Markoff said. “This is my interpretation of how someone would throw a party and serve chocolate in The Capitol.”

The Vosges line also includes three character-based bars, which sell for $7.50 a pop, including one inspired by, of course, Katniss, available in Vosges stores and online. Markoff honored the tale’s heroine with a milk chocolate bar containing pieces of apple and bacon, a nod to the scene in the first film where Katniss pierces an arrow through the apple in the mouth of a roasted pig.

“I love the fearless female and the strength of Katniss, she’s an amazing archer, but has this feminine side to her and a big heart,” Markoff said. “That’s why I did this—I like the stories, they’re dark of course, but they’re about strength of the individual overcoming the system.”

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