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Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Subtle Spice and Smooth Chocolate; Raaka's Chile Bar is Just Right
I have been waiting to taste Raaka's 70% Chile chocolate bar for quite some time. I ordered and received a shipment from Raaka in December, but had too many chocolate bars to taste at the time to open the Chile bar. Then came January, a month devoted to going "dark and bitter", and so I had to wait yet another month to try Raaka's Chile bar. And since I had thought that their Dominican Republic 87% chocolate bar was so good, and their Bourbon Cask-Aged chocolate bar was so interesting, I was excited to try yet another of Raaka's creations. So I was happy when I woke up this morning because I knew it was finally the day to try it!
In tasting it, I'd have to say that the spice is mild. I like that you can taste the chocolate first, then the chile spice. The heat just sort of creeps in after the chocolate has melted away. The peppers creating the heat, as stated on Raaka's chocolate bar wrapper, are guajillo chile and aji amarillo chile. According to Wikipedia, a guajillo chili is "mild in flavor, with only a small amount of heat." Interestingly, Wikipedia also says it has "a green tea flavor with berry overtones". I do not taste green tea, but I agree that it has a mild heat. The aji amarillo chili is a South American hot yellow chili pepper and, according to About.com on South American Food, is the most important ingredient in Peruvian cooking. These peppers are called "yellow", but actually turn orange when they mature. So together, there is a bit of Mexican and a bit of Peruvian heat in Raaka's chocolate bar.
The spice is definitely mild, so the two peppers work well together to create a spiced chocolate that lets the cocoa flavours come first. Some chili chocolate bars are so spicy and bitter that they become an appetizer, not a dessert. However, Raaka's bar has just the right amount of mild heat and sweetness for it to still be a dessert. Overall, I love it.
This chocolate bar is smoother than I remember Raaka's other chocolate bars to be. I enjoyed it so much that I ate the whole thing in one sitting. Of course, it is only 1.25 oz so it is a great portion-controlled size for chocolate tasting!
Below are the package details from Raaka Virgin Chocolate's 70% Chile bar. It cost me $5 (US) plus shipping because I ordered online.
Raaka virgin chocolate Chile, 70%, 1.25 oz
Raaka Chocolate (made in Brooklyn, NY, USA)
Ingredients: Organic cacao beans, organic turbinado sugar, organic cacao butter, guajillo chile, aji amarillo chile, cinnamon, black pepper.