Hotel Chocolat – The Purist

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on December 28 2006 | Leave A Comment

Christmas, a time for giving. If you’re reading this, you’d probably agree that it’s a time for giving chocolate, and a great opportunity to splash out a bit.

Well, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Santa knew what I fancied, and he delivered something a little out of the ordinary this year. You’ve probably seen links to Hotel Chocolat at the top of these very pages. Many of you may have even clicked through to see what they were offering. well, folks, this really IS posh chocolate.

As you can see from the first photo, this is a single estate bar. The beans were all grown in Ecuador, on the Hacienda Iara.

A 72% dark chocolate bar, with Pink Peppercorns and Peri Peri Chilli.

Not to everyone’s tastes, I’m sure, and certainly not something you’d wolf down while watching Xmas telly!

urther evidence of poshness came when the bar was unwrapped. It is just that – a bar. No lines, no creases, nothing but a neatly inscribed Hotel Chcoclat logo. A look at the other side was a bit of a surprise – they certainly weren’t joking about the pink peppercorns! The whole back side of the bar is studded with the little fellers.

I bet you’re now wondering what on earth this thing tasted of. Well, I decide that the best approach was to get the chocolate melted and moving around my palate as quick as possible, so a small chunk was placed (choccy side down!) on my tongue and allowed to melt.

The chocolate itself is wonderful stuff. It melts quickly and delivers a rich, bittersweet taste, the way a good chocolate ought to. Then the peppercorns and chilli kick in (especially if you start nibbling the peppercorns) to finish the taste sensation with their heat and bitterness. Lovely stuff!

So what’s the overall verdict? I wouldn’t buy this for just anyone. Whilst the chocolate itself is of the highest quality and absolutely delicious, the chilli and peppercorns put it in the realm of the slightly odd (although as we know, the Aztecs were doing this sort of thing centuries ago). This is a bar for delicate nibbling, not scarfing down in a few mouthfuls. It tastes fantastic – provided you like a little fire in your chocolate!

I daresay the price makes it a special treat as well (I wouldn’t know, it was a present) and as such you’d have to pick your recipient carefully (or gauge your dinner guests’ tastes pretty well). Certainly worth trying, and definitely a classy number. Recommended.

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