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Lindt Excellence Chilli chocolate
The first time I came across the idea of chili in chocolate was a few years ago in a posh chocolate shop in individual chocolates and I was really taken with the idea so I bought them and we shared the three chocolates between the six of us. The Mexicans have used chilli and chocolate in recipes for years and I also enjoy these which we have tried over the years when experimenting with different countries’ cuisines.
I saw this bar in Tesco and had a read a couple of reviews about this and the other brand sold in Waitrose( Montezuma) and I decided to buy one of each and take them down with me to my sister in Oxford so we share the experience together.
The Lindt company: Lindt is originally a Swiss company but is now a worldwide. The Lindt and Sprungli Group began way back in in 1845 but until recent years I had only ever seen their chocolate products at Airports in France and Amsterdam as I have not been to Swizerland. I cannot remember when they began to appear on the shelves of our supermarkets but I have always thought of them as a posh chocolate brand probably because of the price!
On their website their statement claims;
“Lindt & Sprüngli is committed to a production chain that is ecologically, economically and socially sustainable for everyone involved. The company is a member of several international sustainability initiatives and has launched a programme to ultimately trace every cocoa bean that reaches the chocolate factory back to the farm where it was grown.”
However ethiscore.org rates them at 11, which is only average so maybe they need to do a bit more to improve this score . Maybe this is their excuse as,
The website also states;
“As the existing certified suppliers of fair-trade cocoa beans cannot constantly supply the company with the essential quantity required (only some 0.2% of the world’s cocoa beans are fair-trade certified and traceable), Lindt & Sprüngli has to look for other means of advocating responsible and sustainable trade in cocoa. “
The winner is: I enjoyed both but this is the one that both my sister and I preferred. My niece, however, preferred the Montezuma one. I think it has more to do with the darkness of the chocolate than the chilli and as this is a less dark and intense chocolate than the Montezuma I think that is why I would choose this over the very dark plain chocolate of the other brand. I find that the chilli flavour is fairly mild in both but brands this Lindt one is a little sweeter and I find this complements the chilli flavor and brings it our more,
Is this a posh chocolate? Usually to be a ‘posh’ chocolate the cocoa content need to be quite a high percentage but this has a relatively low cocoa content for a "posh" dark chocolate - only 49%, where other are much nearer the 70% level. The low cocoa content means that this is much creamier and a bit sweeter than darker chocolates.
The packing and cost;
To give the impression of’ poshness’ and to justify the rather high price tag this chocolate Yes, to justify that price tag this chocolate does not just have a flimsy foil wrapper. In order to convince you that you spent your money wisely this chocolate is lovingly held in a smart cardboard outer layer and then inside it has another covering of that heavy duty embossed foil with Lindt printed over it. I am not impressed with fancy packaging especially if it adds to the cost and also is less eco friendly as after all you are buying this for the chocolate not the cardboard wrapper. The front design looks smart and has a large image of a chilli on it, it is quite a classy design but I would gladly put up with a less exciting package if the price was reduced accordingly. The bar itself is only 100g which is half the weight of a Cadbury’s chocolate bar and considerably more expensive so apart from the smart packaging the chocolate must be extra special too. I paid £1.75 for my bar in Tesco but I suspect that the cost may vary depending on the shop you buy yours from.
. Now to the taste; When we first opened the bar we all had a sniff and agreed that it was indeed chocolate but could not detect the chilli by smell but I’m not sure if chilli actually does have an odour or if it is the other spices that often go with it that smell instead. We each took a square and tasted it. The chocolate tasted creamy, chocolaty and quite sweet for a plain chocolate but the chilli doesn’t taste much at all. After a few seconds the chilli does begin to kick in and you get a lovely tingly sensation in your mouth This is no mouth burning chilli kick like a Madras or Vindaloo curry it is really just a gentle mouth tingly warm sensation. The tingling lasts a few minutes only which is fine as it is a chocolate and not a curry!
I am not suggesting that you would share this with children but it certainly isn’t fiery hot. Although I admit I do love spicy food I was a little underwhelmed by the chilli in this. It is nicely tingly on my tongue and lips but certainly is not eye watering. The chocolate is smooth, creamy and quite rich. We found we could only eat a few squares each but it was after a big meal and we did have the Montezuma one too. I do think dark chocolate is much richer than milk chocolate and you need far less in quantity than with milk chocolate as you get the chocolate fix more quickly. This is not a guzzling chocolate so in that it is a ‘posh’ chocolate.
My grandmother always use to have a Rich tea biscuit with her chocolate and I always thought’ what a waste!’Why spoil chocolate? However I’m not sure if it is age creeping upon me or if my taste buds have become more subtle but I have now discovered that something like a dry biscuit does bring out the flavor …… sad I know. I think this would go nicely with a cup of coffee or if you prefer a good liqueur or port and the tingling would be enhanced I think.
The bad news: Nutritionally, it has 504 kcal per 100g, 5.4g protein, 32g fat of which 20g is saturated, 49g carbohydrates, 43mg sodium so a 40g serving contains about 200calories. The ingredients are sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, butterfat, emulsifier, chilli extract and flavouring. Now there are not many people who think that a bar of chocolate is a healthy option but there are a lot of calories per 40g serving. The allergy warning states that it may contain traces of hazelnuts, almonds, milk so those with allergies need to be aware.
Summary: So this is a very tasty chocolate with a bit of a mouth tingly after taste but nothing that lasts too long. It is quite creamy and rich so you can’t eat too much which is a good thing in my view. I am not a fan of dark chocolate usually but this was sweet and creamy enough so that I really quite enjoyed it. It was greatly preferable to the Montezuma brand from Waitrose which was far darker and drier although no hotter chilli wise in my view.
The Scoville scale is that used tom measure hotness in chillies and peppers.
Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name.
I love this chocolate. I have at bar at home waiting to be eaten still! ;-)
Ouroborussian 07.09.2010 16:37
Very helpful - you've copy-pasted something from somewhere else ("tag this chocolate - Yes" appears out of the blue) about halfway through, which confused me. The information was all there, though, and it was very helpful.