Info Details
Country Belize   
Type Flavored   (Chili Pepper; Vanilla; Semi-Dark 75%)
Strain Criollo   (partially)
Source Belize   (Toledo District; San Felipe Village)
Flavor Spices & Herbs   
Style Old School      
Vanilla, Chili 'n Cacáo: 3 specialties from the New World introduced to the rest of the globe & reunited here by the very people who were likely responsible for putting them together in the first place: the Maya of Mesoamerica.

Though a little hotter than 'gringo-safe' fare at tourist resorts (this would make them tear up a bit) as well as products for export (which FairTrade minders mandate to "tone it down"). Yet another demo that Cyrila's can do no wrong... even as it acts in doing a little harm.

For heat-seekers crying out for the real deal on, this, the autumnal equinox who, along with fellow sky-watchers on the serpent steps of those Mayan alarm-clock pyramids, look to extend summer by just a few more degrees before the rift between light & shadow / fire & ice tilts in favor of wintery darkness.
Appearance   2.4 / 5
Color: rusted brown
Surface: sanded
Temper: cellophane wrapper transfer
Snap: low pitch
Aroma   8.3 / 10
one more of Cyrila's desiccants but warmer: in order of predominance... banana, paprika, smoked chili & cocoa powder -> flash diesel at the rim
Mouthfeel   11.1 / 15
Texture: crumble
Melt: dissolves more than melts; rounds nicely
Flavor   45.2 / 50
brown sugar swings out first -> fruits fly & catch slow rays of the chili pepper -> builds to a 'no-apologies' lash as pepper descends on the nerve-endings -> thin yeneri-tree bark with a burnt antique finish of supple chocolate -> banana flambé the aft-shaft
Quality   16 / 20
Sweet heat, literally & figuratively. Fruit 'n pepper balmed & calmed in cocoa butter, the much-needed difference between soothing the burn & conflagrating in it.

A fiery chocolate nonetheless, yet one that resists the urge to swallow for fear that the experience will end. No worries, the thermo-taste lasts well beyond its ingestion.

Chili works magic especially on the Aroma &, oddly, contributes to delivering the highest CQ (or Chocolate Quotient for baseline cocoa flavor) in Cyrila's portfolio.

In the main, however, pepper forms a blister above the fruits, the twain hardly mixing except in that flambé after-glow. A setting sun, so to speak, to this Fall classic.

ING: cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla, chili

Reviewed September 21, 2011


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