Last year, I sung the praises of a small chocolatier, Chuao, for its unique and delicious flavor combinations, like strawberry balsamic and spicy Cabernet caramel. I had a chance to try their newest bar, the Firecracker, and it was no exception.The chocolate smelled typical enough — bittersweet and slightly smoky. But once I took a bite, my experience took a turn for the bizarre. First, I tasted creamy dark chocolate then gradually intensifying heat and a tingly, burning sensation in the back of my throat. And all of a sudden, out of nowhere, loud crackling and popping, at which point I realized there was not only an explosion of flavor, but also a physical explosion of some kind. To find out what the cracker of the Firecracker was,
Turns out the appropriately-named chocolate bar is made of dark chocolate, enrobed in chipotle chiles, salt, and popping candy — the kind I loved in the third grade. I can only liken the bizarre, oddly addictive experience to going on a roller coaster for the first time and wanting to go again. For those of you who are game (it is not for the unadventurous eater or faint of heart), I encourage you to go for a ride. Does spicy chocolate with popping candy sound like something you'd want to try?