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Bacon and gold flakes? It’s custom food gone wild!

While it might be common to hear an order for “Venti nonfat low-foam two-pump mocha latte” in line at Starbucks, or “pine nuts, ricotta, prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and extra-virgin olive oil” at a gourmet pizza joint, it’s hard to find customization outside of coffee shops and restaurants. But what about other foods? You can’t get exactly what you want at your corner grocery.

Enter SlantShack and Chocomize.

These companies, both started by Columbia University grads, are revolutionizing the customization of food online. And they’re doing it in unlikely categories – beef jerky and chocolate.

Chocomize started in November 2009 and SlantShack Jerky followed in July 2010. With twelve college degrees combined across both founding teams, these savvy young businesspeople are clearly onto something: they launched during a recession and are thriving today.

I recently talked to David Koretz at SlantShack and Fabian Kaempfer at Chocomize, and I couldn’t help but share some of the craziest combinations they’ve come across.

1.Movie snacks or pizza spices? Or both? Dark chocolate with Junior Mints, peanuts, beef jerky, and oregano.

2.Sugar and spice, and everything nice? Beef jerky with brown sugar and Smoky Sanche’s Dusty Trail Rub.

3.Indian food in a chocolate bar, with a sour twist? Milk chocolate with mini chipotles, curry powder, sea salt…and sour patch kids.

4.Chocolate to celebrate when Frances Moore Lappé turns 60? White chocolate with oregano, cardamom, vegetarian bacon, black peppercorns, and a “happy birthday” plaque.

5.Mouth-burning, tongue-scorching, sweat-inducing? Beef jerky with hot & spicy glaze AND RedRub AND spicy pepper.

6.Friday night, Freshman year?  White chocolate with bacon, beef jerky, pop rocks, and peanut butter drops.

And the ultimate daring combination:

Milk chocolate bar with macadamia nuts, papaya dices, cayenne pepper, beef jerky, and, a plaque: “will you marry me?”

Among these meat treats and sweet eats, there may just be some genius in getting exactly what you want.

If you’d like to taste the gourmet potential of their kitchens, I’ve put together customized SlantShack Jerky and two Chocomize Chocolate concoctions just for our members.

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