Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Review - Chuao Spicy Maya Hot Chocolate

After trying out that recipe for ancient xocolatl, I thought I'd review one that showed just how far spicy hot chocolates have come in over two thousand years.

The Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego is where I found this one. Chuao's Spicy Maya hot chocolate. While there on a weekend getaway, my girlfriend and I found a great chocolate shop on the bottom floor of the hotel, and this tin was just sitting there innocently. I purchased way more than I should have at that store, and I just couldn't leave this there without trying it. Peppers in hot chocolate was new to me at the time.

Wow! This stuff is just amazing! Hot chocolate with some kick! This is what a sweet, rich, spicy hot chocolate should taste like!

I would later learn that Chuao Chocolatier (pronounced chew-WOW) is right there in San Diego, founded by two brothers from Venezuela, Master Chef Michael Antonorsi and Richard Antonorsi. In 2011, Chuao won the sofi Awards Gold Award for Outstanding Hot Beverage with this firey chocolate drink.

There's a couple peppers in this, pasilla chile and cayenne, but what gives this hot chocolate its kick is the cayenne. The xocolatl recipe I made previously used a green chile, which didn't have quite the heat that the cayenne pepper brings to this party. There's a very distinct difference!

It's definitely got some heat, and you're going to feel it. If you're not a fan of spicy things, this may not be for you. I love spicy stuff, and this hot chocolate is just right. Not a relaxing cup of chocolate, this one's going to wake you up!

I only made the recommended serving, a 1/2 cup, and my throat was definitely burning a little bit after finishing it. In a good way, of course! It's rich and chocolaty (they use a blend of Venezuelan chocolates), and while the peppers give it some bite, the flavor of the peppers do not overpower the chocolate. I added in the last of my homemade marshmallows. (I'll post the recipe soon, since I have to make some more.)

Chuao has some chocolate cafes around San Diego county, so if you're down in that area, check them out. Around Los Angeles, I've spotted this hot chocolate in some Whole Foods stores, so keep your eyes open and check that cocoa section! Chuao's chocolate bars are pretty insane, as well. They have a potato chip bar, a honeycomb bar, maple bacon, and even a bar with pop rocks in it!

There's a bunch more spicy hot chocolates out there I'm going to review in the future. If you like this one, stay tuned. There's a wide variety!

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