Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Chocolate and Chili

I've been working on a project with some of the ladies in the other group blog I belong to, Texies. We're making a "sliced quilt," in which we've divided a painting into equal parts and we're each interpreting our part in fabric. Since I'm the coordinator, I've been getting a few little goodies along with the finished pieces. Today's mail brought chocolate! Look how nicely it coordinates with our project (in the background):

I know we've been sort of poo-pooing crazy flavor combos with chocolate, but since these arrived on my doorstep, I had to try them -- you know, for the good of the group. I gotta say, it's not so bad. Actually, if you think about it, it's not such a big stretch: most of us like chocolate covered strawberries, or fruit dipped in a chocolate fondue, right? So, fruit and chocolate together isn't so far-fetched; especially since the cacao bean is tropical and so are mango and papaya. Speaking of the cacao bean, we all now know that the Mayans, Toltecs, and Aztecs mixed their cocoa with spicy, not sweet, ingredients. And, how about molé? That's got the chocolate and chili mix. So really, these flavors are a nod towards chocolate's origins.

This particular chocolate was nice and dark. I love dark chocolate. When you bite into the bar, you get a juicy burst of papaya goo in the center. The contrast between the smooth chocolate and the tangy fruit was pretty good. Then you realize that there's a bit of heat behind everything. It's not a make-you-sweat kind of spicy, just another layer to the flavor. Though not bad, the dark/tangy/heat thing may be a bit too much though. Any two would be fine, but three things going on in my mouth at once was kind of overwhelming. I don't think this would ever be a staple chocolate in my house, but I didn't dislike it either. I'll definitely enjoy these two bars, even if it's a bit complex for my beer-budget mouth.


Terry said...

These look really good! Yes, the fruit and chocolate combo is well established. My two favorite treats as a child were orange sticks--those orange flavored jelly candies covered with dark chocolate--and chocolate cherries. I still love the orange sticks and the ones from Trader Joes are delish and inexpensive. The Chocolate cherries are a bit much--way too sweet and sugary, but I eat one now and then just for old times sake!
Oh, I am just remembering those wonderful dried apricots half-dipped in dark chocolate. Fruity, chocolatey goodness.

Helen Conway said...

Oooh I'd go the papaya one! I am into Chilli hot chocolate at the moment - the first cup I thought was disgusting - second and I loved it!