In general, chocolate is more predictable than life, which makes it so reliably satisfying. However, there are some exceptions. A notable one is when chocolatiers add chili to their wares. Without purchasing the goods there is no way to discern how hot the resulting product will be. It’s not as if they have Scoville units printed on the wrapper. (But, if they did, there is a vast difference between, for example, jalapenos with Scoville units between 2,500-8,000, and cayenne peppers at 30,000-50,000.) Perhaps, they should take a page from a Thai menu and indicate the level of heat with varying numbers of stars. If they did, it would make choosing a bit easier. On the other hand, I might miss the element of surprise.
Lindt’s dark bar with Red Chili delivers a decent level of cacao solids (the number is not on the wrapper, but I would guess it’s about 60%), is full of sugar (19 grams in a 40 gram portion), and quite seductive. My only quibble is their use of Vanillin, rather than the genuine article. Lindt’s chocolate is ultra creamy, giving it a very refined mouth feel. Paired with chili, this incredible silkiness soothes the fire. It definitely has some heat, but not so much that you feel steam coming out of your ears. Like an Escher print, the red chili dances in and out of prominence as the chocolate melts in your mouth. One second you taste the complexity of sweetness and warmth, and the next it recedes. This is quite an accomplishment for such a ubiquitous bar. Subtlety and wildness vie for your attention in every bite. I would have thought that intermittent reinforcement schedule of taste would make it incredibly addictive, but the intensity of the chili left me feeling very satisfied after a square, or two.
Considering the nuances, this is an amazing value. (My local Walgreens has them on sale for $1.50 each at fairly regular intervals.)
If you are iron deficient, each serving has a whopping 18% of your RDA for iron. For those seeking fiber, there are 3 grams in each 40 gram portion.