I tried some of the chile pepper chocolates from Central Market yesterday. The Spicy Maya bar is made by Chuao Chocolatier in San Diego. The label said it was infused with pasilla, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. It was the hottest of the chile pepper chocolates I tried, but a lot of the heat resembled the flavor of "red hot" candies. I think I like the chile and chocolate combination better without the cinnamon.
I really liked the dark chocolate with espelette peppers from Bovetti. It's easy to tell that this company is truly French -- its website is beautiful, but none of the buttons work. It looks like the concept for their packaging was borrowed from Richard Kaplan's Brown Paper Chocolates.
I tried to find Kaplan's Houston-made chocolates at Whole Foods, one of the retailers listed on his website, but the manager said the store didn't carry it anymore. Anyone know what Kaplan is up to these days?
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I also sampled some of John Kelly's Truffle Fudge Bites in the Dark Chocolate with French Grey Sea Salt flavor. They tasted like caramel truffles with a little dusting of salt. Okay, but nothing special. I was tempted to dip each bite in a pile of sea salt to see what the combination really tasted like, but that would be cheating, right?