What would y’all think if I started a FOODIE series on DARK CHOCOLATE?
One happy foodie.
Going Dark | Red Fire
According to Katrina, of Haut-Chocolat, the following steps describe “How to Enjoy an Exotic Candy Bar”:
- Engage your senses.
- Take three deep ujjayi breaths, quiet the chattering mind and be in the present moment.
- Notice the color of the chocolate.
- There should be a dark glossy shine to the bar, indicating a good temper.
- Do you see red flecks of chili embedded in the chocolate?
- Rub your thumb on the bar to help warm the chocolate and release the aromas.
- Inhale earthy and spicy notes rising from the bar’s surface.
- Break the bar into two pieces.
- Take a bite.
- Break the chocolate into small pieces that spread across your tongue, pause.
- Press the chocolate to the roof of your mouth and let it begin to melt.
- It is through the nose that you begin to detect the subtle flavors.
- Based on your sensory history, you may experience nuances of…leather, dairy, vegetables, flowers, fruit, roasted tobacco, coffee, caramel, nuttiness, spiciness or…?
- The texture of the chocolate on your palate.
- In what order do the flavors reveal themselves to you?
- There is sweet cacao, fruity and acidic, with warm cinnamon rounding out the finish.
- Notice how the chili warms and the chocolate cools after you have swallowed.
My Notes | Red Fire Bar
- Hot & Spicy (pepper aftertaste)
DISCLAIMER: I didn’t follow the steps above perfectly. It took a lot of self-control to just get the bar home without ripping open the package and getting the quick fix I so desperately needed. Also, I don’t want to come across as a skeptic. I’m just publishing my honest opinion to enlighten (and/or entertain) my fellow foodies.
I skipped the ujjayi and went straight to step 2 – “SEE“. I’m sure deep breathing is great for health purposes but, as I said above…QUICK fix! Also, (try to hear me say this in something other than a skeptic tone), I’m pretty sure one can enjoy chocolate without feeling like said person is going to a Lamaze class. I’m not quite sure this qualifies as a “religious experience”. (Phrase cred: my good friend, David.)
The chocolate was well within the expiration date and definitely showed dark color & shiny gloss. The red flecks of chili certainly don’t pop out, but they make an appearance after a closer inspection. As far as “SMELL” went, rubbing my thumb on the bar didn’t seem to produce any more of an aroma than just straight up sniffing the bar. How close do you get to the line of having the bar melt onto your skin? Hmm….
Oh “SNAP“! I broke off two squares to enjoy in this sitting, not half of the bar. The serving size is 4 squares, or half a bar. I’m pretty sure I want to keep this dessert/snack closer to 100 calories and not 230. (Don’t hate. I make up for it in my Caramel Macchiato. Just ask Carrie! ;))
“TASTE” & “TEXTURE” – I definitely detected the nuttiness. (Movie?) I also found hints of dairy, fruit, roasted tobacco, and coffee. I was surprised that the cinnamon didn’t emerge as the leader in taste. Don’t take that as complaining though. I like cinnamon, but definitely not in large quantities. The texture was consistent and relatively smooth. After letting the pieces melt in my mouth, I noticed a small grainy texture, due to the chili flakes. I also noticed the cooling effect of the chocolate upon swallowing.
In summary, I enjoyed the Mexican-inspired dark chocolate. I really would have liked the BAM! factor. The Hot & Spicy was just not there. With a name like “Red Fire”, I was expecting a burning mouth. I do think the combination of chillies, cinnamon, and dark chocolate was a win, however. I’m also grateful for the proper proportion of cinnamon to the rest of the ingredients.
My Rating | 80%
Store: Central Market.
Retail price: $6.99
Serving Size | 4 squares (43g)
Servings per Container | 2
Calories per Serving | 230
Calories from Fat | 130
Total Fat | 15g (23% DV)
Saturated Fat | 9g (45% DV)