The latest "weird flavor we added to dark chocolate" is chili oil, which gives the dark chocolate a little bit of a burn. Only a very little bit, despite my initial fears. The chocolate taste still dominates, and is definitely the first thing you taste. The faint chili burn seems to be released by the heat of your mouth as you nibble, which makes sense. Chili is an oil, and as we all know, it's heat that really gets oil flavors and scents going.
The chili taste of one square is enough to be distinctive, and to leave a slight aftertaste around the lips and tip of the tongue. But it was not enough to clear my sinuses or make my eyes water, and I am a hopeless wimp when it comes to spicy food. To put it into perspectives, I can't handle Hot Tamale candies.
After I ate three squares in a row (strictly in the name of experimentation, you understand) the chili effect did start to build. Maybe this will work as an effective dietary restriction, or a way to keep the kids out of your stash. I don't think I could eat as many as four without starting to suffer.
I appreciate wanting to mix things up, add a little flava, and so forth. But it seems to me that the American public wants dark chocolate (for the antioxidants, I swear!) but wants it to taste anything like dark chocolate. All these flavored versions of dark chocolate are starting to strike me as being the chocolate equivalent of a "half caff vanilla two-pump mocha breve with whipped cream." Like, do you even want coffee at all? Because that is not coffee.
Of course, chocolate and chili are two flavors that have a historical pairing. The Aztecs used to serve cups of hot chocolate mixed with chili. And Mole' sauce also blends chocolate with a chili spice.
Lindt at least has a light touch with the flavors. I have tried their lemon dark chocolate and their pepper dark chocolate, and I liked each well enough. This bar goes on the same list, "I liked it well enough."
As for the chocolate side, Lindt as usual does a bang-up job for a chocolate that you can buy at the grocery store. This is a 47% dark chocolate, which is dark enough to be distinctive, but still light enough to have a creamy texture.
I believe this is actually the lightest dark chocolate Lindt sells - the straight up dark chocolate Lindt bars I see for sale here are either 70%, 85%, or 90% cocoa. I suspect the darker, harder chocolates wouldn't work with the chili flavor, since they don't really melt in the mouth.
Creative Commons-licensed image courtesy of Flickr user Live*Laugh*Love