Sometimes I love this whole reviewing thing more than others. Today is one of those days. Sweet and hot treats have waxed and waned over the years. They were popular back at the 2001 Fiery Foods Show and then they dissipated for a while and now they seem to be popular again. I happen to think this is a good thing. I think products like these, especially ones that are not horrendously hot, appeal to markets that wouldn’t normally try hot and spicy foods. Take for example the film Chocolat (2000) where a chocolatier creates wonderful chocolate truffles with a pinch of chili powder, which I firmly believe was the reason for the craze immediately after that. In the film, these chocolates create feelings in people that make them feel sensual. Generally speaking, and perhaps a bit stereotypically, women are more drawn to chocolate products. Thus, this is the demographic to which spicy chocolate expands. This can expand even further to some men who wouldn’t normally try hot and spicy foods either. That said, appealing to different markets is not everything. We chileheads still want something following our hot and spicy meals that resembles a dessert catered to our liking. Enter in, Jersey Devil Chocolates – Dark chocolate, chili and cranberries.
INGREDIENTS: Dark chocolate (cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, soy lecithin, (emulsifier), vanilla extract), dried cranberries, chipotle powder, natural cranberry extract (cranberry extractives, soy lecithin), natural cranberry flavor (refined coconut oil, ethyl alcohol). May contain milk, wheat, peanuts and tree nuts.
I hate to start a review like this, but I have to say it…I’m a bigger milk chocolate fan than a dark chocolate fan. It’s simply personal preference. But, as dark chocolate has gotten more prevalent over the last few years (antioxidants and all), I have grown to like it more. I tend to like it even more when you start adding things to it, just like this bar of chocolate. You add chili and cranberries and you have something rather tasty.
In order of flavor profile, I get the cranberry fruitiness first, then the chocolate and then the heat. For all of you medium and mild heat lovers out there, you will love this. Chileheads who demand a punch will not find this to be very spicy at all. You get a little bit of chili enough to know it’s there. Going back to the cranberry, though, I really like that element here. It’s different and it’s noticeable. I had to take a closeup picture so you could see that there are actually little pieces of cranberry in this.
Do you see the flecks of pink? They really embolden the flavor of this chocolate bar and adds a bit more sweetness to the dark chocolate making it less bitter (if you’re a person who feels dark is a bit bitter for you). They say it adds tartness and I think it’s more sweet than tart. They also specify that the heat comes from chipotle and I can’t taste a lot of smokiness. Though, I think the big cranberry flavor tames that a bit. I think it’s a good chocolate bar that can appeal to many. If you have a chance to pick some up, I say try it.