I think it’s fair to say that over the past few years the Chocablog team have discovered just how varied chocolate makers’ products are, and between us we’ve sampled some quite unusual tasting chocolate.
Of course, chilli and chocolate is nothing new (indeed, it’s the original recipe) but surprisingly mango and chilli has already been covered by Kath some time ago (okay, so there was a little lime in that one as well. I myself have sampled a grapefruit and chilli bar before now, so when I saw this I thought it worth trying. I’ve tasted Hachez chocolate before (strawberry and green pepper, I recall) and I think it’s safe to say that Hachez come from the classic European school of chocolate making, albeit with a slightly more adventurous recipe range.
This bar doesn’t contain any pieces of dried mango, or pieces of anything for that matter. The flavour is in the chocolate itself, which is a little different to my previous fruit/chilli tasting experiences.
When you open the package asnd have a sniff the fruity aroma is right there with a dark cocoa undertone. Popping a square into my mouth, I immediately noticed the flavour of the fruit, but the instant the chocolate became warm the chilli began to make itself known to my taste buds. It’s a slow, spreading warmth, mingling with the fruit flavour and the dark, bittersweet undercurrents of the Ecuadorean cocoa.
A second square merely amplified the original experience. Fruit bursting up onto the palate, followed by intermingled cocoa and chilli notes , a soft mouthfeel and a long finish with the cocoa managing to hang in with the fruit flavours to the end. The balance of flavours is excellent – you can taste everything you’re supposed to and the chilli never masks the fruit or cocoa flavours. At the finish there’s still a fruity element mingling with the warmth of the chilli as the cocoa flavours die away.
It’s unusual without falling into the ‘wacky chocolate’ category, interesting enough to mean I would probably buy it again if I saw it (although I’m not sure I’d pay UK ‘import’ prices again) and of sufficiently high quality to merit a recommendation. Curious palates would definitely enjoy this.