Chocolate agar is an enriched non specific growth medium which is used to grow and isolate pathogenic bacteria. Its also known as chocolate blood agar and is made using blood that has been slowly heated to 80 degrees. So probably not a great choice as a gift!
Chocolate agar is a variant of blood agar that supports the growth of bacteria that require nutrients found within red blood cells, particularly respiratory organisms. Chocolate agar is often used to isolate H. influenzae and Neisseria sp. but is considered non-selective and can support the growth of a wide range of bacteria. Bacitracin, for Haemophilus sp., and a combination of vancomycin/trimethoprim/colistin/nystatin, for Neisseria sp. (particularly gonorrhoeae) can be added to encourage the growth of specific species of bacteria aiding diagnosis.
While it looks amazingly like the real thing chocolate agar is named for the colour and it contains no actual chocolate.
If you’re looking for a treat for the long weekend we suggest these cookies. We are sure they will be much tastier!