September 3rd, 2008 by Rosa
Chocolate and chili is a taste combination familiar to Latin America (think Mexican hot chocolate) that’s beginning to catch on in foodie circles here in the U.S. It’s a flavor combination that I love, and I even submitted it as my Dream Bean to Jelly Belly’s contest. If you live in New Haven, try something at Claire’s Corner Copia with their Mexican chocolate frosting (yes, I know their cream cheese is great, but the Mexican chocolate is much more exciting). Viva Chocolato had a delectably tingly chipotle gelato the first time I went there. I haven’t seen it again in my repeat visits, but they do rotate through their flavors, so you may get lucky.
I discovered Lindt‘s Chili Chocolate bar while in the UK, and when it went on sale in Sainsbury’s (1 pound a bar, or about $2), I stocked up and bought a couple to add to the half already in my stash. Yes, that counts as stocking up for me. When you consider how much candy I keep around, it’s rare that I buy seconds of something, and even more rare that I buy two seconds.
Super hoity toity chocolate connossieurs sometimes look down on Lindt the way that I look down on Hershey’s milk chocolate. I think they find it too mass produced and commercial to be worth eating. While I agree that fine artisinal chocolate can be better tasting and more nuanced, I still find Lindt to be a great fine chocolate at an affordable price.
Lindt’s chili bar (I guess it’s chilli in British English?) is set in their Excellence dark chocolate, which I’m pretty sure is a 70%. The chocolate is lusciously dark and glossy with pretty little etchings for decoration. At first taste, all you get is cocoa. But after a few chews, as the chocolate creamily melts over your tongue, just the slightest hint of chili heat comes through. It starts slowly, then builds to a noticeable but not unpleasant tingle. I love it. A ZOMG! from me, with the caveat that I’m biased by my adoration of chili chocolate.