Chocolate Candy Reviews: Feed Your Obsession

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Chocolate Chili Bar Taste Off

Chocolate Chili Bar Taste-off

Ever tried a chocolate chili bar? Or a chili chocolate bar? How about 12? Yeah 12. Cocoazilla gathered up 6 people (and herself) and made them all sample 12 different kinds of chocolate chili bars. It’s pretty epic. There are even graphs. So which chocolate chili bar should you just go out and buy rather than subject yourself to the chocolate chili tummy ache the team endured afterwards? Read on my chocoholic friend…

The Players
The 12 varieties of chocolate chili bars came from 11 different chocolate candy companies from all over:

  • Lindt Excellence Dark Chili
  • World Market Chipotle Chili
  • Dagoba Xoxolatl
  • il Cioccolato di Bruco
  • Lindt Creation Cherry & Chili
  • B. T. McElrath Chile Limon
  • Vosges Red Fire Bar
  • Moonstruck Chile Variado
  • Theo Spicy Chili
  • Lake Champlain Dark Spicy Aztec
  • New Tree Piment
  • Teuscher

It’s not scientific research if there aren’t any graphs! Respondents were asked to rate each of the samples (blind taste test- no labels!) on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being low and 5 being high) on the following factors: Bitterness, Smoothness, Spiciness, Saltiness and Overall Quality. Below are the averages for each sample across the 7 respondents.

Chocolate Chili Graph: Click to Enlarge

Lindt Excellence Dark Chili

?% Cacao $3.50 for 3.5oz.

Lindt Excellence Dark Chili

A rather mid-spicy to low spice entry and an OK overall dark chocolate quality. Respondents found this entry to be mid-range and forgettable. Buy it at Target for less if you’re just starting out in this world of chili flavored chocolate.

World Market Chipotle Chili

64% Cacao $1.99 for 3oz.

World Market Chipotle Chili

An in store only purchase and surprisingly the most spicy. Unfortunately, the spicy level is high- not in a good way like an Atomic Fireball with sweetness and smoothness, but a painful-no-more kind of way. The spicy made it difficult to enjoy the dark chocolate which was pretty standard in the bitterness and smoothness departments.

Dagoba Xoxolatl

74% Cacao $3.00 for 2oz

Another disappointing entry, the dark chocolate was dry, not dark chocolate bitter good and the spicy was almost non-existent. To be fair the wrapper does say 74% which is a nice high cacao level but overall as a chocolate bar, it’s not so great in cost vs. quality. Other Dagoba taste tests have unfortunately proven along the same lines. Beautiful photography on the site though.

il Cioccolato di Bruco

68% Cacao $4.00 for 1.25oz

il Cioccolato di Bruco

Picked up at a specialty grocery store with a box almost all in Italian, it’s hard to tell what the goal was with this chocolate candy. If it was tasting good, tasting like chocolate, tasting like chili or being edible, it failed. This was by far, hands down the worst sample of the 12. Avoid at all costs. The site is all in Italian and with the help of Google translate, found that they refer to the chocolate as the “chocolate caterpillar.” Perhaps more than one thing was left behind in translation.

Lindt Creation Cherry & Chili

67% Cacao $3.50 for 5.3oz

Lindt Creation Cherry & Chili

A second Lindt entry, mostly because of the uniqueness of the flavor. The dark chocolate is pretty standard in the bitterness and smoothness and the soft cake like bottom makes it moist and tasty. The cherry filling adds a nice tang of sweetness, but as for the chili flavor, it’s nowhere to be found just like on their website. The sweet jelly flavor made the team forget about the awfulness of the previous entry.

B. T. McElrath Chile Limon

?%Cacao $4.95 for 3oz

B. T. McElrath Chile Limon

A Minnesota husband and wife team operation started in 1996, this particular bar is a blend of milk and dark chocolate in addition to the chili and lime flavors, our only example including milk chocolate and was one of the grittiest. But at the same time, the team overwhelmingly agreed it was one of the sweetest. Overall though, the quality of this bar was judged to be higher than most with a good spicy tang that doesn’t hurt.

Vosges Red Fire Bar

55% Cacao $4.00 for .50 oz

Vosges Red Fire Bar

The most expensive per ounce of the entries, it was also voted one of the best- as it better had be for “haut chocolate!” It also had one of the lowest cacao percentages, was smooth, spicy and had hints of cinnamon. If you spring for the full size bar though, be prepared to shell out at least $7. Best bet- go for one of the mix and match mini packs at $12.50 for 6.

Moonstruck Dark Chocolate Chile Variado

68% Cacao $3.50 for 2oz

Moonstruck Dark Chocolate Chile Variado

Hands down, a gorgeous, easy to navigate site that is tempting me to try more. This chili chocolate bar was certainly one the prettiest entries, nice clean, crisp triangles, imprinted with moon slivers, wrapped in delicate gold paper like origami. The chocolate scored high in bitterness, smoothness and spicy overall and scored well with Cocoazilla personally.

Theo Spicy Chili Dark Chocolate

70% Cacao $4.00 for 3oz

Theo Spicy Chili Dark Chocolate

A local fair trade favorite that’s catching on fast, Theo Chocolates comes in with mid-high scores across the board, making it one of the most approachable chocolate chili bar entries. If you’re going to step into the world of Theo or chili and chocolate, this is a quality way to start or add a bit of spice to a fancy party tray without making you guests cry in chili pain.

Lake Champlain Dark Spicy Aztec

55% Cacao $4.00 for 1.25oz

Lake Champlain Dark Spicy Aztec

A 26 year old Vermont company that started out with just truffles, this bar included pumpkin seeds in with the chili spice, which had a low tone in the overall chocolate bar. Good bitterness, smoothness and overall quality. The pumpkin seeds felt a little out of place, but a welcome unique addition. A bit pricey but this bar was Cocoazilla’s top pick.

New Tree Piment Chili Pepper

65% Cacao $7.00 for 3oz

New Tree Piment Chili Pepper

A company that prides itself on organic and whole bean chocolate, this was by far the weirdest entry as it was packed with flax seeds. (Great crunch though!) Not something you usually find in a chocolate bar, let alone a chili chocolate bar. It was also one of the most expensive- not worth $7, but I would pay $5. The spicy notes were low and the bitterness seemed low for a 65% cacao bar but the overall chocolate quality was good. I would have added a link to the product, but I’m still waiting for the flash on their site to load.


50% $3.00 for 9oz

Teuscher Chili

A little bar out of Switzerland, Teuscher, a 70 year old chocolate making company has a line of odd little flavors- including a pink peppercorn chocolate that will be reviewed later. The spicy chili flavor was pretty non-existent and at 50% cacao, low bitterness with a high smoothness which lead the team to determine a higher overall quality of chocolate but nothing really remarkable.

End result? The il Cioccolato di Bruco was overwhelmingly the bottom choice, the Theo bar won the hearts of the group, Cocoazilla liked it, but preferred the Lake Champlain version best.

15 thoughts on “Chocolate Chili Bar Taste Off

  • Vegan Chocoholic

    I haven’t been known to enjoy the spicy/chocolate combo, but I will definitely have to try a couple of these. As if those elements weren’t enough- some added flax and pumpkin seeds? Crazy! Didn’t see that one coming. :)

  • Nadia

    Love this post. Chili and chocolate are an odd pair, but after reading this, I’ll know just which bar is the best and be able to navigate the uncertain waters of chocolate chili. Thanks for saving me from a chocolate-fire-ball catastrophe!

  • Mike

    I’ve tried a few of these and in all cases I must say I’d much rather have a nice milk-chocolate or peanut-butter chocolate bar. Sorry fine candy companies, chili and chocolate is just not a very good combination.

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  • Meghan Fitzpatrick

    Thanks for such a great posting- we’re especially thrilled to hear that our Spicy Aztec was one of the top picks! I did want to clarify that the suggested retail price of the bar is $2.70, not sure where it was sold for $4.00!? If anyone is interested, here is the link for the bar online…

    Thanks again for such a nice, thorough review of all the bars.

    Lake Champlain Chocolates

  • CocoaZilla Post author

    I was also surprised at the price but I confirmed it just a couple of weeks ago. I bought the Spicy Aztec bar at Tacoma Boys in Tacoma, WA for over $4 and the Milk Chocolate with Sea Salt and Almonds for $4.40 in Yakima, WA at the Piety Flats Winery. Sounds like online is the way to go!

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  • Sabor!

    Try Chuao Spicy Maya & Firecracker bars. Also check Vosges Oaxaca bar (more cacao than the Fire Bar). I loooove chocolate chili bars & it really is not an unusual combination when you consider some Mexican foods include unsweetened chocolate in their sauces (mole). I am anxiously awaiting my Chuao bon bons with dark chocolate, chipotle and macadamia nuts.

  • Deb

    WORLD MARKET CHIPOTLE CHILI DARK CHOCOLATE is my all-time favorite chili chocolate… it’s FANTASTIC and you can totally taste the chocolate – yum!!

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