Montezuma's started in 2000 when the co-founders, Helen and Simon Pattinson, opened a small chocolate shop in Brighton on England's south coast. I rather love that the husband and wife team were lawyers before they became chocolate makers, and that they started their small business with inspiration from their recent South American travels. They say that their goal was to make British chocolate more exciting and innovative, which is a goal I heartily support (and would encourage Australian chocolate-makers to adopt too!). Their range and distribution has grown hugely since 2000 and the Montezuma's brand can now be found in shops and supermarkets around the country.
The Lordy Lord dark chocolate with cocoa nibs jumped off the shelf into my shopping basket. It is a 71% cocoa block, made up of "dark chocolate (cocoa solids, sugar & vanilla) (92%) and cocoa nibs (8%)". I found it mellow, warm and quite sweet for a dark chocolate, but sweet in a very pleasing way. The vanilla came through beautifully and the cocoa nibs provided satisfying texture contrast, being worked through the chocolate rather than sprinkled on top.
|I am also very enamoured with the Montezuma star|
I would definitely eat this chocolate again.
The chilli block was quite different, but still enjoyable. Despite having only slightly more cocoa (73%), it tasted much darker than the cocoa nib block and almost bitter-sweet.
Initially the flavours were all chocolate, but then the chilli came through with a satisfying zing! to tickle the back of my throat. The warm spices lingered, quite delightfully, after each piece.
I thought the balance of chilli to chocolate was just right, although if you have a piece of this with a hot drink, the chilli will ramp up to be rather stronger. I always seem to forget this when eating chilli chocolate, which means I am prone to turning my eating experience from zing! to burning! more often than I would like. Note: apply caution to chilli chocolate and hot drinks.
In all, I very much enjoyed these blocks and would be keen to try other Montezuma's flavours in the future. Given that the company ships to mainland Europe, I hold the hope that the bars may one day work their way down to Australia too.
Have you seen or tried the Montezuma's brand? What are your thoughts on cocoa nib and chilli chocolate?