There was a time, not so very long ago, when the combination of dark chocolate and chilli was relatively new and exciting. Not any more though, and pretty much every company has put their own spin on adding some heat to their chocolate, often with very mixed results. It isn’t quite as simple as just throwing some chilli powder into the mix, and the best ones usually use a more subtle touch to create something tasty.
And that brings me to Sarotti’s No. 1 Mexico Chilli bar. Sarotti are a German company who’ve been around since 1868 although these days they are part of the giant Barry Callebaut group after a couple of takeovers. I’ve experienced a bunch of their more mundane bars because my local shop appears to have a thing for less conventional European chocolate, but this 66% cocoa solids bar caught my eye simply because I haven’t had a straight-forward chilli bar in some time.
And this is as straight-forward as they come – dark chocolate with both finely and roughly ground chilli mixed in, so I was expecting a decent kick from this bar. But it didn’t arrive. The heat builds up relatively slowly and does stick around, but never really gets beyond that back of the throat sensation despite there being some chilli flakes which are large enough to chew on. The real weakness of the bar is that the chocolate is just plain dull – there’s nothing memorable about the flavour and if it wasn’t for the chilli, I’d be hard pressed to find anything to write about.
So while this wasn’t an unpleasant experience, Sarotti’s No. 1 Mexico Chilli gets a great big “meh” from me.