I am a sucker for spicy food, but I usually don't like it in my candy. It's not that I think sugar and spice don't go well together, it's just that when I want candy, I want chocolate, or caramel or something covered in marshmallows and peanut butter and rolled in cookie crumbs. There should be no room left for spice. But for some reason, any candy with chili peppers or some sort of weird spice always catches my attention, even if I have no intention of using it to satisfy a sweet tooth. If nothing else, it will satisfy my curiosity.
Last week when I visited the Cost Plus down by Pike Place Market, two things caught my eye: Chili licorice herring and Tabasco chocolate. Sounds delicious, right? One of them actual was. Can you guess which one?It was the Tabasco chocolate ($3.99). It's a good quality dark chocolate, first of all. Second, you really don't feel the heat until after you chew and swallow. It's not a big kick, but you definitely feel it. Basically, it's a really nice chocolate with some heat going down, not like this thing which will set your mouth on fire immediately. Lastly, it comes in a really cool carrying case with eight little triangles of chocolate for easy sharing, because everyone will want to know what it tastes like.
I actually didn't mind the chili licorice ($2.49), I just don't think black licorice and chili go very well together. The chili-extract does give the licorice a nice burn, but a negligible one. If you don't like black licorice, don't even bother with this stuff. It may be a novelty, but you'll hate it. I adore black licorice, but you will never catch me buying this chili herring nonsense again.
Something's fishy with this candy
I shared some of the licorice with Mike Seely (who spit it out immediately) and The Surly Gourmand (who exclaimed that this sort of candy is why Dutch people die). The candy does have a very nice black licorice flavor, and it's chewy, but I prefer black licorice of the non-spicy, non-herring, non-death variety.