Chuao Chocolatier was one of my biggest discoveries back when I was beginning to expand my horizons with candy tasting. I first tasted their work at the All Candy Expo in 2007 and was immediately hooked. I believe it was the Spicy Maya ChocoPod that I tried first and had sold me completely. Since then I have eaten my way through all their offerings and was excited to learn of a new chocolate flavor that they cooked up.
The newest member to the Chuao Bar and ChocoPod family is the Firecracker: dark chocolate, chipotle, salt and popping candy. What a fascinating combination! It certainly fits the company motto of “Unusual Unexpected & Delicious”. Another point I’d like to make is that Chuao use the Venezuelan chocolate El Rey for all their confections. This is part of the reason why it stands out to me so much, since I am a big fan of the El Rey couveture.
The bar smells chocolatey and spicy. There’s a heat to the aroma and it’s hard to lay my finger on exactly what it is.
The chocolate is firm and has an excellent snap. Upon the first bite, it’s briefly sweet, then you feel the popping candy start to crackle on your tongue. The tingling sensation from the candy holds your attention until the chipotle kicks in, and I must say, this is the strongest chili presence I’ve had in chocolate to date. It’s a very smooth, smoky and powerful burn that matches the 60% bittersweet chocolate well. It leaves a burn still even once you’ve swallowed, and you can feel the heat all over your mouth and throat. It was never too much spice, but it’s certainly not for the weak and delicate.
This is an excellent example of how chocolate can be a medium of delivering interesting flavors while not directing too much attention to itself, and still be delicious.
Rating: Will Eat Again