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World's Strangest Desserts

world's strangest desserts: Alinea dark chocolate

Christian Seel

Dark Chocolate: Chicago

Don’t be fooled by its modest name—ordering this dessert at the restaurant Alinea treats you to a full-on performance. A server swirls spoonfuls of red lingonberry syrup and yellow butternut directly on the tabletop followed by drops of sweet stout reduction and ultimately smashes bowling-size chocolate balls like piñatas (captured in this Alinea video clip). “Chef de Cuisine Matt Chasseur came up with the concept to involve the element of surprise and sound with the ball breaking on the table,” says chef and owner Grant Achatz. The restaurant is famous for such one-of-a-kind dishes, including the Winter Scene dessert that, according to Achatz, “uses birch bark and Douglas fir as a serving piece and replicates the aesthetics of a snowy winter in New Hampshire.” It contains peppermint snow, compressed persimmon, honey gelée, cranberry pudding, and anise hyssop.

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