Product Type: Lindt Chocolate Chocolate
Newest Review: ... deliciously sweet but warm sensation and taste, I genuinely believed that it would resemble something like marmite; you either love it or ... more
Warm, but not so dark
Lindt Excellence Chilli Dark
Member Name: Verbena
Lindt Excellence Chilli Dark
Advantages: Pleasant tasting chocolate and the heat is subtle, not overpowering.
Disadvantages: It won't appeal to everyone - for some too dark, for some too sweet and for others too pricey.
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!
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
Summary: A sophisticated, mellow chocolate with an after kick of warmth that lingers
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