Tuesday, November 02, 2004


for the Dagoba Xocolatl chocolate bar.

Ever since I first heard about this particular bar, it has gnawed at my mind. Think of it: a bittersweet chocolate foundation, blended with cocoa nibs, chili peppers, and other exotic flavorings. Gotta be good, right?

You may be thinking: “What up wit’ putting chili peppers in chocolate?”

It’s not such a farfetched idea. The Aztecs used to mix chocolate with chili and other spices hundreds of years ago, and the combination forms the basis of the well-known Mexican mole sauce. Even today, Mexican chocolate is routinely blended with cinnamon – try some Abuelita hot chocolate and you’ll see how good it is. You go, little grandma!

And I have a great recipe for Mexican chocolate cookies that uses Dutch cocoa, cinnamon, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Just enough spice to provide a pleasant burn at the back of the mouth. If enough of y’all ask for the recipe, I’ll blog it…otherwise I’m not running downstairs to get the book (Maida Heatter’s Book of Great Chocolate Desserts, if you must know.)

Back to the Xocolatl bar. I ransacked every store in Atlanta that sells organic and/or exotic chocolate, with no success. Plenty of Dagoba bars, with all kinds of arcane ingredients - but this one would invariably be out of stock. Months went by, and in my desperation I was on the verge of ordering a crate of the stuff off the Internet…a bold step, considering I had never even tasted it.

And finally, last week, there it was, at Harry’s Farmers’ Market.

Now, according to Clay Gordon at chocophile.com,
the Xocolatl bar…is an attempt to find the roots of the flavor of chocolate in the New World of 500 years ago. While the texture is nothing like ancient chocolate, this bar has a pleasant crunch due to added cocoa nibs as well as a pleasant fire from chili peppers. Rounding out the flavors are vanilla and nutmeg, and also included is Peruvian Maca, an herb that is packed full of vitamins, minerals, and mojo to enhance your love life.
Well, I don’t know about the Peruvian Maca (is that some Spanish alternative spelling of mace?), but everything else about this bar kicks ass. It has a serious burn to it, thanks to those chilis. The nibs give it a satisfying texture, something between gritty (in a good way) and crunchy, but they don’t overwhelm.

As for all that other crap, I can’t detect it, but my mojo is definitely working. Which means it’s time to stop this blogging business and chase She Who Must Be Obeyed around the room...

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