Serious Heat

Andrea Lynn, senior editor of Chile Pepper magazine, shares thoughts and observations from the fiery food world.

Serious Heat: Spicy Chocolate for Halloween

On Wednesdays, Andrea Lynn, senior editor of Chile Pepper magazine, drops by with Serious Heat.

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[Flickr: Fiona Watson]

When others find out your world is spent submerged in hot and spicy food, there are questions galore. One of the most popular revolves around the best thing I've ever tasted.

Of course, the answer constantly changes. But recently I've been craving spicy chocolate. Start with the melt-in-your-mouth goodness of chocolate and add a tinge, or even a flame of heat, and you've got perfection. We searched for the best spicy chocolates, munching through bars that crunched and burned. I personally can't get enough of Chuao Firecracker—a smoky chocolate that pops in your mouth like tiny fireworks. It's a revelation for the senses.

These five chocolates aren't necessarily for the kiddos on Halloween, but who's to say adults can't get their own fix for the holiday?

Lake Champlain Dark Spicy Aztec: We tasted the cinnamon right away, and the crunch from the pepitas was a swift surprise in this organic bar. The heat creeps in and catches up in the throat. Definitely a Mexican-inspired chocolate and one of the spicier ones in the bunch we sampled. lakechamplainchocolates.com

Cowgirl Spicy Dark Huckleberry: The bold taste of sweet huckleberries melds perfectly with the rich, creamy chocolate. As delicious as this was, our mission was to find the best spicy chocolate so we wondered when the heat would hit. Then it came—in lingering, satisfying waves. cowgirlchocolates.com

Astor Belgian Jalapeño and Peanut Milk Chocolate: The peanuts in this chocolate are a cut above the usual, blending marvelously with the creamy milk chocolate and jalapeño. Wait for the subtle sparkle of spice right at the end. astorchocolate.com

Chuao Firecracker: Remember loving popping candy as a child? Chuao reinvented the snack in chocolate form, combining it with smoky chipotle heat and salt to highlight the chocolate's bitterness. "It's like the Fourth of July in my mouth," one taste-tester said. chuaochocolatier.com

Dagoba Xocolatl: A quick sensation is followed by a spicy tingle in this organic bar with a strong medium heat and crunchy cocoa nibs. "Spicy on my tongue from beginning to end," a taste-tester observed. dagobachocolate.com

What are your favorite spicy chocolates?

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