Friday, February 29, 2008
Mmmm-mmmm! I recently discovered the combination of rich, dark chocolate with peppers. And I can see why the Mayans loved it so much. It leaves an aftertaste that lingers in a very satisfactory way, with the luxurious feeling of the chocolate (so dark that it is only slightly sweet) and the warm tingle that the chilis provide.
The Mayans in Central America farmed the cocoa beans and traveled into Mexico, which is how this was introduced to the Aztecs and in turn, to the Spaniards, who brought it to Europe in the 1500’s. Chocolate grows on trees, appearing in its raw state as melon-like pods on the 40-60 foot tall trees known botanically as "Theobroma cacao," which means "food of the gods." I cribbed this item from a website, http://whatscookingamerica.net/Beverage/HotChocolate.htm - it gives you all kinds of info about this most-delicious of food and drink, probably more than you would ever want to read.
In Target over the weekend (that store could be an addiction of mine, if I had the money and the time), I stumbled across a Lindt chocolate bar that is combined with chili pepper. I have a cookie recipe with this hot + chocolate flavor combo, that I have not yet tried. Since I am the only one in my house who likes the unexpected spiciness that this hints at. Maybe I will try the recipe this Christmas and bring it into work, to share with some who might like this combination as I do. Anyway, returning to this Lindt bar. After I had tried it for the first time, I had to go a-searching for it on the ‘net (addict that I am to Google). The Lindt site describes it this way:
This combination of fine dark chocolate with exquisite chili pepper delivers an absolutely unique taste experience. When savoring this new creation, chocolate connoisseurs will experience how the initially mild, delicate flavor of cocoa gradually gives way to a full-bodied but harmoniously spicy touch. Seductively piquant!
I break this bar into the individual squares (which are 50 calories each, folks!) and turn this into a slowly-consumed treat after my lunch. Only allow myself one square a day. Gotta say, almost as satisfying as really good sex… almost. If I fell into a not-too-hot vat of this stuff, I would just have to turn cat and slowly lick myself clean. It is that good and not to be wasted on an indiscriminate palate. Way too wonderful to waste or to share with small children. Sorry, kids. I would gladly surrender hundreds of those “fun size” candy bars to a child at Halloween, rather than part with one square of my Lindt bar. “Fun size” candy bars - who coins these phrases, anyway?
Now I do like my Dove chocolates (dark only, please) and even the Target brand of chocolate treats, Choxie, which is surprisingly good and fits in my price range. But, OMG, this new favorite of mine runs rings around those. I have found my ultimate food treat and its name is Lindt Excellence Chili. I am so happy that I did not give up chocolate for Lent! Amen.