* Prices may differ from that shown
Now, I know what you're thinking; Chilli and chocolate - absolutely disgusting mixed together, right? Wrong! I raise my hand and admit that I too was someone who wretched at the thought of chilli chocolate and called it's admirers 'mental' for even liking it. It wasn't until my mother persuaded me to try just a little bit a couple of months later, and honestly? I wish I had tried it sooner, it is lush! Chillies are the last thing I thought would compliment chocolate nicely and give it a deliciously sweet but warm sensation and taste, I genuinely believed that it would resemble something like marmite; you either love it or absolutely hate it and that it had a required taste, far from it in fact. It tastes like your average luxurious dark chocolate made by lindt, but then you're left with a gentle and subtle taste after your first bite, that gives a warming sensation and a very soft spicy flavour in the chocolate. Sounds gross right? It really isn't. Granted, you'd probably feel ill after an entire bar as lindt chocolates are so rich; so it's probably nice that you have a square or two every now and then as lindt can also be rather pricey for just a chocolate bar - but you'll definitely appreciate it once you take the plunge in trying it. Like they say; you don't know if you don't try. Lindt chocolate bars are very rich and have intense flavours and are wrapped in a printed lindt foil wrapper which is encased in an elegantly designed card wrapper with gold embossed writing on the logo. You can find them in most leading retail stores such as tesco, asda, co operative and even your local shops if they're feeling generous enough to add this to the shelves. Every now and then lindt chocolate bars can be found on offer for either buy one get one free or two for £3, whereas normally they individually cost between £2-£3 per bar depending on where you purchase it from. A little pricey in comparison to other bars such as galaxy or dairy milk but bare in mind lindt products are much richer in taste and texture and are ideal for a treat for yourself or someone else who loves them. Go on, try the Chilli chocolate - ignore what your head is telling you and let your taste buds do the thinking, you'll love it.
My first experience of Lindt Excellence Chilli Chocolate [dark] came about as a result of an agreeably thoughtful Christmas gift from my [adult] son. He knew that I spent a lot of time making preserves, and, in a rather tongue-in-cheek way, suggested that I might like to branch out into making my own chocolates. My present, therefore, comprised of several moulds, packs of chocolate buttons etc from Lakeland, plus a bar of this chocolate. He knows that I like chillies - I grow them - so he knew he was probably on safe ground. Well, for all that I like chillies, I have to admit that I hadn't tried chocolate like this before. I didn't sample it until well after Christmas, and I have to admit that I haven't finished the bar yet. Whether that's a good or bad thing I'm not sure - good for my figure I guess! So I wasn't really sure what to expect. ***The Packaging *** The chocolate bar is encased in a card sleeve or envelope. The graphics are on a white background with colourings of gold, red and dark brown/black. The Lindt name is at the top, with a logo, in gold, with the word 'Excellence' in upper case letters beneath. There is a rectangular insert with dark colouring, featuring the word 'chilli' in white lettering and a red chilli pepper laid horizontally, with a square of chocolate pictured directly beneath that. Towards the bottom is the word 'dark' with the weight, 100g net, and 'Fine dark chocolate with premium red chilli'. On the reverse of the packaging the logo is 'Lindt & Sprungli'. 'Open here' is indicated. I won't quote the paragraph that is used to describe the product as it is quite long; excerpts include 'exceptional and entirely new taste experience' 'finest aromatic signature dark chocolate' 'enlivens your senses' 'intense melody of flavours to indulge your palate'. The ingredients are listed, and attention drawn to the fact that it may contain traces of hazelnuts, almonds and milk. The cocoa solids are 49% minimum. This is in significantly smaller print than the text quoted above. I couldn't read it without my reading glasses and I think there's a real possibility it could be missed completely. The information is repeated in several other languages. Nutritional information indicates that the calorie count is 848 kj per 100g bar - then I notice this is Australian Nutritional Information. UK information is not there, which puzzles me slightly - but neither is it for any other nationality as far as I can see. Strange! Well I suppose we know that any chocolate product is likely to be high in calorie and fat values. For the record, I found values on a diet website. A serving of 40 g apparently gives 190 kcals of which 117 are from fat. Total fat is 13.0 mg, saturated 7 mg, cholesterol 5 mg, sugars 19 g. Vitamin A 2%,, calcium 2% - see , you knew chocolate was good for you, didn't you! ***Overall Appearance*** When the card envelope is opened, the silver foil wrapper is exposed. It is embossed with the words 'Lindt Maitre Chocolatier' at regular intervals. The foil tears easily, to reveal the bar of chocolate at last. All the packaging is recyclable. The bar itself comprises of 5 x 2 rectangles of dark chocolate, each measuring about 4.5 cm x 3.5 cm. They are quite thin, so the pieces break easily with an audible snap. In colour they are dark, but not as dark as a chocolate with a higher percentage of cocoa solid. *** Taste, Texture and All That*** I prefer to break the pieces into quarters to eat - or rather, to allow to melt in my mouth. I don't think this is a chocolate you would want to chomp through. Initially there's a taste of a mellow, rich chocolate that's dark but not excessively so. Soon after that there's a gentle tingling on the tongue, but it's subtle. It's when you begin to swallow the melted chocolate that you become more aware of the heat from the chilli. It hits at the back of the throat, not in a startling way, though; it's more like the warmth you get after a glass of sloe gin or something similar. It leaves a kind of glowing sensation for a while after the chocolate has gone. To my taste it is very pleasant. The reason I haven't finished it is not that I dislike it, more that I haven't felt that I wanted more than 2 pieces at any time. For me that's a result! I think, for me it would be hard to be greedy with a chocolate like this. The producers might prefer that not to be the case! It should be said that it's not a cheap chocolate, in my opinion. It was a gift, but today in a local Morrison's supermarket I found it for sale at £1.83 per bar of 100g. I did a bit of research on the internet on other producers of this kind of chocolate, and found that the Lindt one compared favourably from that angle - I can't comment on the taste of others as I haven't yet tried them. Hotel Chocolat, for instance, was £5.50 for 110g, and Montezumas £2.39 for a very dark version [73%]. I also visited the Lindt & Sprungli website and found interesting information about their chocolate-making processes. I decided not to include them in this review, however, as I didn't feel they was enough that was specific to this particular chocolate bar. If you are interested you might lie to look at this link: http://www.lindt.com/uk/ Would I buy it for myself? I think I would buy it occasionally. Generally I prefer darker chocolates, like some in the Green and Blacks range; however I don't think they have a chilli option. This is the kind of chocolate I would buy when I felt like trying something different. However, I'd have to say I'm not sure who else I know who would like it; not my daughter, for instance, who loves Cadbury's Dairy Milk & Galaxy. I doubt she would even try it. Because of its lack of universal appeal I'm going to be tough and give it a cautious 3 star rating, although I would encourage people to try it. Thank you for reading my review! It may appear on the Ciao site under my name: Viborg
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 chlli wise in my view. Thanks for reading. This review may be posted on other sites under my same user name, ©Catsholiday
***Lindt Excellence Chilli Dark*** It was once the the case that choosing some chocolate was as simple as reaching for a big fat calorie laden Mars Bar, maybe a four finger Kit Kat (if you were in a sharing mood) or if you really wanted to be adventurous, you might splash out on a bit of Bourneville Dark or Cadbury's Fruit and Nut. As with most things in life, choice and consumerism has not left the world of chocolate untouched. So now when you fancy a bit of something nice for a Friday night, you are faced with a plethora of chocolatey choices that will leave your head spinning. The big explosion on the chocolate scene, has been the whole 'luxury block' type of offering. Forget that recession, for a couple of quid you can leave your worries behind and indulge in someting a bit upmarket... I have indulged in quite a few of the said 'block' chocolate bars, although my choices have always been quite 'safe', well....apart from one little transgression involving raspberries.... However, I had recently watched the film 'Chocolat', which is a chocoholics dream and I thought it was time to sample a bit of something spicy. Well, if it's good enough for Johnny Depp and all that.......So I came home with a bar of Chilli Dark. My eyes had been drawn to this for some time, but I had had visions of needing to drink gallons of water and maybe even spitting it out. This time I was brave.....would Chilli really go well with chocolate? ***Who are Lindt?*** Lindt is originally a Swiss company that is now a global concern. Officially known as the Lindt and Sprungli Group, it has been knocking around since 1845, although I have to say I have only really noticed them taking off in this country in the last decade or so. A quick scan tells me that Roger Federer is their new ambassador. They of course make more than 'blocks' of chocolate, from fondant based balls to cute little (extortionately priced) Easter bunnies. In terms of ethics and sustainability, (without going undercover) I found that ethiscore.org rates them at 11, which is about average so I believe. I think more research in this area would be needed if you are concerned about such issues. ***Let Me Eat It Already!.. Get That Wrapper Off.......*** Yes, to justify that price tag, there is no quick ripping off of a flimsy foil wrapper, no Sirree.....to make you feel like you are eating something special and decadent, your beloved chocolate is encased in a cardboard outer, then inside it has another covering of that nice kind of embossed foil with Lindt splashed all over it. I am not really impressed with fancy packaging, it is more what is inside that counts!! The bars come in a 100g size. I suppose there is a nice picture of a chilli on the front, in case you can't read and pick it up by mistake! I would gladly forgo all the fussy wrapping - but I suppose some people are impressed by all that. ***Is It Hot Stuff? Or Just Lukewarm......*** The aroma of the chocolate to start with is the same as most dark chocolate, so nothing different there. I couldn't detect any hint of chilli at this point. Taste test. Having a glass of water at the ready......I took a bite. The chocolate is smooth and not grainy like some others. (I always find Green and Blacks grainy) It tastes very rich and well, yes...tastes of actual chocolate - not sugar and butter and all that other stuff you find in some chocolate. However, where is the chilli? I have sampled Lindt Orange Intense and there you would get little bits of orange found within. Oh what a disappointment, all that fuss and it just tasted like normal chocolate. Except.....hang on .....wait a minute...........the chilli flavour finally began to come through in a subtle way. It warmed my mouth and my tongue began to tingle.....I had a sip of water and the feeling intensified. It was not in your face hot!, no, it was gentler and nicer than that. This is definitely not the type of chocolate to be eaten in shed loads. No, a couple of squares will suffice thank you. (Although will be nicely accompanied by a glass of red, it has to be said). This is because the chilli aftertaste lingers....yes it lingers for quite a bit actually. In fact one and a half hours later, my tongue is still tingling - now I like things spicy, but I don't want the taste to linger that long, so I am going to knock a star off for that. Also it is very rich and would quickly become sickly if consumed in large quantities. So, only in small doses this one. I suppose it is also quite expensive in terms of chocolate per gram. I checked out the calorie and ingredients etc, as one does and found that a 40g serving contains 849kJ. Oh no, I thought that doesn't sound good. It seems that as it is a Swiss product, information on nutritional advice doesn't follow the same guidelines as I am perhaps used to. I think 849 Kilo Joules is quite a lot of calories though (roughly 200 calories I think). Saturated fat is a massive 20% of the content. Anwway, although some people scoffing chocolate don't actually care about any of that stuff, a few might be interested in this sort of information and I wouldn't say the packaging is that 'user' friendly in terms of it's nutritional advice. One thing I was surprised about, is the cocoa content. These bars usually stand at 70% plus, which I suppose is why I like dark chocolate so much, you know, because it tastes of chocolate. Yet, this bar only contained a miserly 49%cocoa solids. Still, milk chocolate is way, way lower than this. Still, I don't think (as a chocolate connoisseur I must admit I didn't pick that up in my taste test) it made much difference to my overall enjoyment of the bar. This bar of chocolate will set you back anywhere from £1.75 (Tesco) to £2.25 (Selfridges). Lindt have a whole range of flavours to try, but as they are only 'average' in terms of ethics and I like to support small time manufacturers, I am reluctant to get hooked on them. I only picked this up, because there were no other brands on the shelf that had 'Chilli' in them. Other brands worth seeking out would be some Green and Black's products, Divine found in the Co-op I think, Hotel Chocolate and even Tesco have begun to venture into this market with their Finest range. Oh and Seeds of Change' offer some really unusual concoctions, they are ethical, but a little difficult to get hold of. They are my personal favourite for something a bit different. I find often small independent chocolate cafes (whilst expensive) have some unusual offerings too. ***Is It Spicy For Me From Now On???*** I read somewhere that red wine and pure dark chocolate are the new blueberries in terms of heart health; so you can consume this little number guilt free (I tell myself!) It is one I might buy again, but I will be on the look out for other exciting variatons to try....you see, now I have conquered Chilli, there is no stopping me!
***ABOUT LINDT*** Lindt make a wide range of chocolate products and treats. You will probably have seen their adverts on the TV especially around Easter when they advertise their chocolate bunny which comes in a distinctive gold wrapper with a bell round its neck. Lindt make a large range of different chocolate mostly dark chocolate which can range from 50% - 99% cocoa. Their dark chocolate range also comes in flavours such as Ginger, Chilli, Dark Roasted Almond, A Touch of Sea Salt, Mint Intense and Orange Intense. ***EXCELLENCE CHILLI*** This bar is made from their premium, finest dark chocolate and contains a hint of red chilli within the chocolate. The chilli in the chocolate gives it a little kick whilst in your mouth with the smooth, dark chocolate which melts on your tongue. ***NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION*** Each 40g serving contains approx the following: * Protein - 2.2g * Fat Total - 12.8g (Saturated - 8.0g) * Carbohydrate, total - 19.6g (sugars - 18.6g) * Sodium - 17mg ***APPEARANCE/SMELL*** The chocolate comes in the same packaging as all the other Lindt chocolate bars which is a white card outer layer with gold writing on the front and the flavour of the chocolate. On the back of the packet you will find a list of ingredients, nutritional information and information about Lindt as well. When you open the card packaging you will see that the chocolate is then wrapped in silver foil with the words Lindt printed all over it. When you peel back the silver foil it will reveal a lovely bar of dark chocolate. The chocolate look very smooth and it smells very chocolatey. I can smell any hint of chilli in the chocolate. You get 10 squares of chocolate in the bar and each square of chocolate is a nice size, approx 4cm x 4cm. The chocolate is quite thin and on each square Lindt is scribed into the top left hand corner. The chocolate breaks easily as it's quite thin. ***TASTE TEST*** When putting a square of this into my mouth I noticed how smooth the chocolate was against my tongue and how soft it became and it melted nicely. As the chocolate melts it will fill your mouth with a lovely taste of rich, dark chocolate and when the chocolate is fully melted you can taste the slight tang of chilly towards the end on your tongue and at the back of your throat. This was the first time I have tried this flavoured chocolate from Lindt and it was very tasty. The slight hint of chilli gives the chocolate a nice kick towards the end. There isn't too much of an after-taste apart from the dark chocolate and you can still feel the tang slightly from the chilli which isn't unpleasant. ***PRICE/AVALIABILTY*** The Lindt range is available to buy from some local shops and all good supermarkets. Prices can vary as some supermarkets may have this on offer but I paid approx £1.39 for a 100g bar which is the only size the chocolate comes in. ***OVERALL OPINION*** A few years ago they bought out Walkers crisps which were chilli & chocolate flavour which I loved! Since then I have heard how chilli and chocolate is meant to taste lovely together and that I should try it so when I was this in Sainsbury's I thought I'd give it a go. I know they don't taste anything like the crisps but I did like the kick the chilli gave to the chocolate. The chocolate is so smooth and just melts on your tongue leaving a lovely hint of chilli. I would recommend others to try this, especially if you are a dark chocolate fan like me. I would definitely buy this again. (review also on ciao)