Saturday, March 30, 2013

Chocolove Chilies & Cherries in Dark Chocolate

3.2oz (90g) bar
Ingredients: Cocoa liquor, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, vanilla, dried cherries, ancho chilies, chipotle chilies
14g sugar/30g serving (46.7% by wt.)

Corporate Info: (Copied from 3/16/13) I have a soft spot for Chocolove, having lived in near its hometown of Boulder, Colorado and enjoyed the company's samples in my local Whole Foods. It's a relatively young company (Wikipedia says 1996; Chocolove's website indicates similar), hasn't yet been bought by a giant conglomerate, and claims it has taken or is taking several steps toward "sustainability & social responsiblity." On the other hand, Chocolove produces only three organic, fair trade bars and is rated a C by the Better World folks (same as Hershey's, much better than Nestle), so I don't want to give them my unconditional Choco-love (ha ha, I crack me up). But it's cheaper than most premium chocolate—$2-2.50 a bar—and reliably tasty.

Note: Chocolove's flavored dark bars are in 55% cacao, which I know I'll find too sweet, but I can't help but be enticed by all the flavor options.

Today's Bar: Dried cherries with two types of chiles, mild ancho and smoky chipotle, in 55% cacao.

Appearance: Another purple-grey brown, in Chocolove's quilted mold, with a somewhat bumpy back.

Smell: Sweet and rich, with the nose-filling scent that is clearly the chile, though it doesn't strike me as distinctively chile-ish.

Taste: Sweet and thick, then the chew of the dried cherries, then their sweet and sour flavor, then a slow build and finally throat-prickling chile. The spice isn't at all overwhelming--either heat or smoke--more of a rounded addition that adds to the overall flavor and experience, complementing the sweet-tart cherries and mouth-coating chocolate. Really an excellent combination.

Conclusion: Chocolove Chilies & Cherries in Dark Chocolate combines thick, sweet dark chocolate and chewy, sweet-tart cherries, with the mouth-filling support of prickly, not overly hot or smoky chile.  

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