I’ve written about a few chilli chocolates on this blog, and I tend to make one of two statements at the close of such reviews. I either say that I think the chilli is mild enough to be enjoyed by those who profess sensitivity to heat, or I posit that the chilli level might be better suited to those who truly enjoy a spicy kick in the mouth. (A metaphorical kick in the mouth, that is. I’ve just finished watching a rather gruesome episode of True Blood*, which has proved to be more than enough violence for me.)
However, after making my way through the following sweet creation, I have a new closing statement about/category for chilli chocolate.
It goes something like this:
Oh dear holy pickle on a paddlepop stick, only eat this if you really and truly know that you love the sensation of burning in your throat. BURNING.
(NB: I do.)
Verē Organic Single Origin Dark Chocolate with Cayenne and Cacao Nibs
This vegan chocolate bar is made of naught but four ingredients, which are organic cacao mass, organic raw cane sugar, organic cacao nibs, and organic cayenne. Verē prides itself on using less sugar in its bars than do other chocolate makers, with the aim of creating an overall flavour that is more intense and “dark” than might otherwise be the case for a 75% blend.
I tried quite a few Verē chocolates during my 2007-8 American exchange year, and I feel sad that such tastings were pre-blog. The taste truly is dark and intense, which I love. Verē’s chocolate is earthy, bitter without being acrid, slightly-smoky, and punchy (again with the violence… sorry, folks).
The colour of the bar is a deep brown-black, and the aroma is equally deeply chocolatey. There’s also a hint of fruity cayenne lurking in the background, which somewhat fooled me into thinking the cayenne would be subtle here.
Not quite. What was that I said about a pickle on a paddlepop stick?
Popping a square in my mouth, I started writing “not too sweet, almost bitter, I can taste the fruitiness of cayenne” in my tasting notes before, suddenly, the letters morphed into capitals and this appeared: “HELLO BURNING WOW WOW STRONG HEAT THROAT BURNING HEAT HEAT”. Yep. Keepin’ it real.
Now, I’ve had spicy chocolate before, but this Verē cayenne chocolate was nigh on painful. In fact, I believe this would be unpleasantly burn-y for anyone who isn’t dedicated to spiciness. For my part, I was able to pick out occasional woodsy flavours from the nibs and some molasses notes in the chocolate itself but, in truth, this bar is all about heat.
Which is probably what a lot of ladies would say about Eric Northman, but there’s a time and a place for that kind of talk, and it usually involves more wine than (I assume) any of us has on hand at the moment.
* Anyone else reading the books and watching the HBO show at the same time? I’m endlessly fascinated by where the two meet and where they diverge. Sometimes I think I know what’s about to happen, and then it turns I don’t, but I kind of do. Crazy town.