Wednesday, May 21, 2008

hot chili chocolate!

It's no secret that I love chocolate. Correction - I love GOOD chocolate. And my husband does too. From time to time he brings home outrageously priced chocolate bars as special treats. On these days, we wait until we get the kids to bed (so we don't have to share), and then we rendezvous downstairs in the kitchen or living room. We open the package and each start with one square. If it's a new bar, we try and savour it for a while. Most times the bar will last a couple of days at least, sometimes longer.

A few weeks ago he brought home a Dolfin bar - dark chocolate with pink peppercorns. That same week I came across another new chili spice flavoured chocolate bar from Cocoa Camino.

Inspired by other foodie blogs, I decided that a third bar was required to conduct a proper taste test. I went out to find the Lindt Creation Cherry Chili that we had eaten before.

Here's the results of the taste test:

First up was the Dolfin Pink Peppercorn. I fell in love immediately with the pretty pink wrapper, which was actually more of a pouch for the chocolate bar inside. Inside the pouch, the wrapper itself was imprinted in multicolours over and over with the Dolfin brand name. Based on the packaging I was expecting something wonderful - perhaps a chocolate bar with crushed whole pink peppercorns scattered throughout. What I got was a very genteel tasting smooth chocolate, with the very tiniest hint of pepper heat. No crunch whatsoever. My husband initially seemed to like this one more than I did.

Next up was the Cocoa Camino Chili & Spice Bar. At $2.49 per bar, I'm assuming it was the least expensive of the bunch. Cocoa Camino is the chocolate brand from the La Siembra cooperative. They produce Fair Trade Certified and certified organic chocolate products.

I can't say enough about how popular Cocoa Camino chocolate bars and Cocoa Camino hot chocolate are among our household and extended family. At Christmas last year, there were no less than 12 bars (at $4.99/100g bar) exchanged among five adults for stocking stuffers. My personal favourite was the espresso chocolate bar, but that's for another post.

However, I think I have a new favourite now. The Chili & Spice bar, part of their Los Intensivos series. I took one small bite. At first, any hint of chili barely registered. But as the chocolate melted in my mouth, I felt the exquisite warmth of chili expand and radiate throughout. Pure. organic. chocolate. heaven.

After that experience, I had to wait a while before I (re)tested the Lindt Creation Cherry Chili. This one is a cherry-coloured/chili spiced liquid center surrounded by a 75% cocoa chocolate shell. It costs between $5.99 and $6.99 depending on where you buy it.

I always thought it was spicy as well, but it pales in comparison to the Chili & Spice bar. You need a pretty good mouthful (at least a square) to even come close to the same chili chocolate experience.

I had to go back and forth between the Lindt and Cocoa Camino a few times to really make my final decision, but in the end there was really no contest.

When I buy a chili chocolate bar, I want the spicy taste of chili, otherwise it's just chocolate. So, my choice is Cocoa Camino Chili & Spice. And even though initially my husband liked the Dolfin bar, in the end he told me he preferred the Chili & Spice bar as well.


laura004 said...

OK- I've found a new love!

I discovered the Cocao Camino chili and spice bar and I love it. I also enjoy the Lindt bar but find the cherry a bit too sweet.

I've always had a fondness for the ginger and chocolate combination but haven't really found a good bar to purchase regularly (except for the little individual pieces at specialty shops).

I was so delighted to taste the combination of chili, ginger and cinamon in the cocoa camino bar.

You are right about the warmth; it is a bit delayed but it is a wonderful taste.

Coupled with the right red wine, this should get me through the cold months ahead.

Thanks for the recommendation.

avra(Ivegotfoodonmybrain) said...

These bars make great stocking stuffers at Christmas!

Indonesia-Eats said...

I fall in love with Cocoa Camino Chili and Spice Hot Chocolate...

Anonymous said...

I would love to try Cocao Camino chili and spice bar but where can I buy it in NJ?