Friday, April 23, 2010

B.T. McElrath Chile Limón Chocolate Bar

3.0oz (85g) bar
Ingredients: Dark chocolate (chocolate liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin), milk chocolate (cane sugar, full cream milk, cocoa butter, cacao beans, soy lecithin, vanilla beans), dried chilies, lime.
14g sugar/43g serving (32.6% by wt.)

I've mostly stopped buying chile-flavored chocolate. The trend was interesting in the Mexican-chocolate vein, but much of what I found was spicy in a way that overshadowed the chocolate and didn't have much flavor of its own, so it just didn't taste good. Thus I was wary when the clerk at a specialty chocolate shop recommended B.T. McElrath's Chile Limón bar. It seemed to be more than the usual over-cayenned bar, though, a combination of lime-flavored dark chocolate and chile-flavored milk chocolate swirled together and molded into a variegated bar. For the chance of something novel, I went ahead and ponied up $2 an ounce.

First off, this bar is actually quite beautiful, as you can see here. The taste is also new to me, in terms of both the citrus and the chile: The first element that hits me is the lime, bright but not dominant, while the subtler chile simmers instead of searing. The dark and milk chocolates form something of a mosaic, so it takes effort to distinguish the two and it's more enjoyable to enjoy them as one. This bar is light and sweet, a fun social gathering of four disparate flavors—tart, spicy, creamy, dark—that don't all know each other well but then surprisingly get along swimmingly, and the party just hums along.

Conclusion: B.T. McElrath Chile Limón bar is a good time.

[Update 7/21/12: Today I noticed that the link to this bar isn't working. When I looked at B.T. McElrath's site, I saw that the Chile Limón bar is no longer listed. I hope they start making it again!]

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