February 01, 2012
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Dagoba Xocolatl Drinking Chocolate
Dagoba Xocolatl Drinking Chocolate
Cocanú Picasso Cocanú
Cocanú Picasso Cocanú
Xocolatl de David Piment d’Espelette
Xocolatl de David Piment d’Espelette
Lillie Belle Farms Red Velvet Almonds
Lillie Belle Farms Red Velvet Almonds
Sahagún Palomitapapá Bark
Sahagún Palomitapapá Bark
Theo Ghost Chile Salted Caramels
Theo Ghost Chile Salted Caramels

Chiles and Chocolate

Dagoba Xocolatl Drinking Chocolate
Mayan tradition held that a bride and groom should sip cacao from a golden goblet to secure their vows. To celebrate these ancient practices, Ashland-based Dagoba created Xocolatl Drinking Chocolate (pronounced sho-koh-lah-tuhl). Made from cacao powder, bits of pure, dark chocolate and a hint of ground chili and cinnamon. USDA Organic and certified Fair Trade. $11.95 (12-ounce canister); www.dagobachocolate.com

Cocanú Picasso
Cocanú founder/owner Sebastián Cisneros blends couvertures from top producers to create imaginative chocolates. The Portland chocolatier makes a masterpiece with Picasso, a spicy dark chocolate bar made with Ecuadorian Nacional cacao (72 percent) blended with cayenne, pimentón, ginger and coconut. The bar celebrates a special recipe made by Cacao, Cisneros’ other place of work. $5 (0.8-ounce square bar); www.coca.nu

Xocolatl de David Piment d’Espelette
Celebrated Portland chocolatier David Briggs crafts his Xocolatl de David Piment d’Espelette bar in the tradition of chocolate makers from the French Basque region. Luckily for David, he doesn’t have to import the chili peppers; he sources local Piment d’Espelette from Viridian Farms in Dayton. Touched with fleur de sel to enhance the overall flavor, the bar is made with 74-percent organic chocolate from the Dominican Republic. $9 (2.2-ounce bar); www.xocolatldedavid.com

 Lillie Belle Farms Red Velvet Almonds
Based in Central Point, Lillie Belle Farms’ founder Jeff Shepherd knows how to turn up the heat in Southern Oregon. These spicy, chocolate-covered, caramelized almonds are addictive. The deep Ancho chili aroma and dark organic chocolate makes these a sweet heat treat you won’t soon forget. $11 (6-ounce box); www.lilliebellefarms.com

Sahagún Palomitapapá Bark
Don’t let the simple, black-and-white packaging fool you; Sahagún Handmade Chocolates in Portland is anything but ordinary. The unusual and enticing Palomitapapá Bark is made of only four ingredients: Ecuadorian dark chocolate (72 percent cacao), exploded corn, chile and salt. Founder Elizabeth Montes says she strives to “focus on the delicious, the unique, the new.” Mission accomplished. $3.95 (0.9-ounce square bar); www.sahagunchocolates.com

Theo Ghost Chile Salted Caramels
Seattle chocolate-maker Theo has raised the bar — and the heat — on gourmet organic confections. Founder Joseph Whinney will win your heart with his Ghost Chile Salted Caramels. Buttery caramel is infused with the heat of ghost chile peppers, enrobed in dark chocolate and sprinkled with Hawaiian red sea salt and dried chiles. $8.80 (four-piece box); www.theochocolate.com