Just like seasoning food brings out its best qualities, adding spices to chocolate elevates the tasting experience. While many spices pair well with chocolate, Lindt Maître Chocolatier Thomas Schnetzler shares why these three—pink peppercorn, chili and fleur de sel—are so popular.
Despite its name, Pink peppercorn isn’t a pepper at all. It’s actually a rosy-hued dried berry that earned its name for its peppery taste. Used in the culinary world to add a subtle heat and colour to savoury dishes, and to balance sweetness in desserts, pink peppercorns are an excellent match for chocolate because they don’t taste overly peppery, and their mild spiciness complements the richness and complexity of the cocoa.
Chili and chocolate have a long history together: both originated in Central America, and the Mayans mixed the two together creating an unsweetened drink called xocolatl which helped to give chocolate its name. The two remain a power couple, because chili’s heat harmonizes exceptionally well with the slight bitterness of chocolate. After savouring the cocoa aroma of the chocolate, the gentle heat from the chili on the back of the palate is a true delight.
Try: Excellence Chili
Fleur de Sel
The caviar of salt, fleur de sel (flower of the sea) is the layer of crystals that form atop seawater on the coast of France. Unlike table salt and other sea salts, fleur de sel crystals are incredibly delicate, and must be harvested by hand. Fleur de sel is the perfect finishing salt to complement dark chocolate (one of the reasons these chocolate chip cookies are so delicious), as the fine, mineral-rich crystals burst on the palate when the chocolate melts on the tongue creating an amazing harmony of flavours.