Melted Chocolate and Umami Paste Make a Weird Combo, But it Works

Scardello's Decadent Chèvre sandwich with melted chocolate and umami paste. It comes with a salad of greens. (photo by Carol Shih)

Cheese and chocolate make my world go ’round, but the combination of cheese, chocolate, and Taste No. 5’s umami paste (a blend of tomato, garlic, anchovy paste, balsamic vinegar, etc.) inside a toasty little sandwich made my head spin yesterday. For lunch, the Web team ventured to Scardello’s for cheesy sandwiches. This Decadent Chèvre sandwich jumped out at me. I wanted to try it, but I didn’t want to risk my $10 on a dud of a sandwich. One of Scardello’s guys told me that he’d pay for my lunch if I didn’t like it, and whenever someone makes me an offer that I can’t refuse, I’m completely sold. It’s game over. Decadant Chevre sandwich, here I come.

Scardello’s just installed a new air conditioning unit, so it wasn’t sweltering for once. The temperature was nice and cold as I bit into a crunchy, toasty bread that held all three elements together compactly. It was sweet and salty at the same time, with just the right hint of bitterness from the umami paste. Melted (but not gooey) chocolate acted as a subtle bridge between the soft cheese and reddish-brown paste. I can’t imagine everyone loving this combo, but it’s a good lunchtime adventure if you’re tired of those boring ham and cheese sandwiches you bring to work every day.