I haven't always been a big fan of chilli - unlike some of my friends (you know who you are!). I never understood the appeal of burning your mouth so much that you couldn't taste the food. Apart from my relatively traditional (read relatively bland) Cantonese diet upbringing, I had an unfortunate first encounter with chilli that scarred me, if not for life, then for a good long time.
It was a working dinner and I was helping myself to some plain rice, on top of which I thought was a capsicum garnish (it was dark and I admittedly was not the foodie that I was to become). As a consequence I spooned a mouthful of chilli into my hitherto uninitiated palate. Suffice to say, I was unwilling to attempt chilli for a good long time afterwards! (No amount of softdrink or water helped and although I'm sure someone must have known about milk being the antidote, none was offered at the time!)
So although my household boasts no less than two bottles of Tabasco sauce, not once have I ventured to even sniff it for fear it scalds my nostrils! The closest I have come to chilli is the sweet blend which is offered with Vietnamese rice paper rolls and that is more sugar than chilli. And yet, as soon as I saw the label, I just had to have it!
Now depending on your chilli tolerance meter, these will just be a pleasant tingle on your tongue or a surprising burst of heat just when you think they're not so bad at all. Because the heat doesn't hit you right away, it's not dipped in Tabasco sauce, it's blended right through it so it doesn't hit until you start chomping into it. (Does anyone just allow chocolate to melt in their mouths? I'm way too impatient!)
I found these at the check-out counter of my local Thomas Dux grocery store. At $5 for a good quality dark chocolate with a chilli kick, I'm happy. If I keep developing my palate with these, I might even give the real thing a go soon... ; )