My friend Robert bought this bar for me -- somewhere in Newton, MA, I believe. It is part of Lindt's Excellence collection, which does some origin bars and other fruity things. More on that later. Here are the statistics:
Cocoa content: This is another bar that doesn't list cocoa content. I will say more about this. Suffice it to say (actually don't, because I'm going to say more,) that I am irked.
Notable ingredients: chili extract (premium red)
Origin: blend, made in Switzerland
I've had a bunch of chili bars before (among them: Dagoba's Xocolotl, Christopher Elbow's no. 2, Dolfin's Dark Pink Peppercorns, Organic Meltdown's Cinnamon & Chili) and I've always felt like the spice was too strong, or that it wasn't balanced out by enough sweetness. I recently really enjoyed the Dolfin peppercorn bar because that was 59% cocoa, and was thus sweet enough to cut the sharpness of the chili. I wasn't sure how to approach this bar though because Lindt doesn't tell you the cocoa content. I've encountered this problem with Flyer Chocolates (just a few weeks ago) and it's really irksome. I think what's going on here is that it's not actually DARK chocolate as advertised. I think I wrote here that I would classify all cocoa contents above 60% as some sort of dark. This Lindt bar literally tastes like creamy, milk chocolate. I would probably put it at about 50%. It's frustrating that I can't confirm that anywhere, even on their website.
Of course, there's nothing wrong with milk chocolate. Lindt has always done milk better than dark. And to this bar's credit, I have never seen chili used this well. The melt here takes precedence over the edge of the chili, so you only encounter the spice's bite after the piece has melted in your mouth. It's subtle, basically, which reminds me of the Taza Mexican chocolate that I used to buy at the Farmers' Market in Lexington, MA. No appeal to chocolate extremists, but entirely delicious.
I said before that I wouldn't take points away for misleading packaging, because the main objective here is to know chocolates -- and to remember them fondly. I'll remember that this bar was a tasty treat, courtesy of a good pal. B+.
The last thing on the agenda: I want to address the issue of Origins. Obviously I have not eaten much origin chocolate (beans harvested from a single source) recently. I am not so interested in origins right now purely because there are so many whacky mix-ins out there -- how can I pass them up? The next two entries will be silly, but I'm going to try to keep my eye out for some interesting origins in the next few weeks.