Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Laughing Moon Chocolates: Chipotle & Cinnamon


I am always excited to try chocolate made by small companies in the Northeast, but since I moved out of New England I don't often see these types of bars in stores. Luckily, I have friends who like to drive unspeakably long distances, stay with strangers on farms, and bring back chocolatey relics. This bar, given to me by Dan, is made by the Laughing Moon Chocolates company based in Stowe, Vermont. The company makes all sorts of chocolates, ranging from handmade truffles to chocolate-covered cookies. This bar is part of their Signature line.

Laughing Moon Chocolates: Chipotle & Cinnamon
Cocoa content: Unlisted (my guess is 60%)
Notable ingredients: cinnamon; dried chipotle pepper
Origin: n/a

Chipotle doesn't mean much to me beyond delicious Mexican fast food, but I understand that it's also the name of a pepper. Chipotle peppers look like wrinkly, dried out brown pods, and they smell smokey like Lapsang Souchong tea. Or like bacon. What I didn't know previously is that chipotle peppers are actually just smoke-dried jalapenos -- they retain little of the heat of jalapenos in the smoking process, I guess.

But anyway, this information is irrelevant, because I didn't taste a hint of chipotle in the chocolate bar. Was I not tasting closely enough? Cinnamon, the other notable ingredient in this bar, was certainly present and dominant in every bite. While I've found some flavors -- like chili and salt -- to be overwhelming in unsubtle doses, there was something kind of nice about the heavy load of cinnamon here. It tasted really homemade -- like the hardened product of a vat of chocolate into which a bunch of cinnamon was poured. Though it may indeed have overpowered the chipotle, cinnamon is a ritzy treasure, and I appreciated that it came out to play.

The wrapper promises that "you won't find chocolate like this anywhere else," and as far as I know, they're right. Ubiquitous as cinnamon appears to be in pastry, it is not often paired with chocolate -- and chipotle is of course an even rarer accompaniment. This bar's rating can be attributed to its originality as well as its taste: B+.


6 comments:

  1. Can I just say that in a lot of good quality mexican food I've had in L.A. they make a mole sauce that made from pairing chipotle and chocolate. It makes for a very delicious and very decadent sauce but if the cooks do it right, it's to die for. This bar sounds amazing!

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  2. I am so thankful that you saved me a piece of this chocolate... although upon first bite I got a chunk of chipotle caught in my throat that led to some coughing. My next bite was chipotle-free so perhaps all the pepper intended for the bar was condensed into that one nugget?

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