Monday, January 25, 2010
Redstones's Jalapeño Bar
I was walking through the Continental Terminal E at Houston's George Bush Intercontinental Airport, and tucked in among all the little shops was a candy store called Coco Mako. (Which, it seems, is part of a chain of cafe/chocolate stores.) In any event, they had a pretty darn good assortment of interesting candy, and but for lack of carry-on space (I just didn't plan that one out at all), I could have done some damage.
Amidst all the bars was this one, sold by a local Texas company -- I would like to tell you it was my desire to support small business that inspired me to buy it -- but no, it was really only one word on the wrapper that it did it. And that word was "jalapeño." I didn't even bother to read the rest of the bar's info; the pepper alone did it for me. OK, yeah, it also has peanuts. (I need to start reading. I am one of those weird people who likes both chocolate and peanuts, but not together, other than in peanut butter form)
Without reading, I had been hoping that this bar would actually have bits of jalapeño embedded into the chocolate. When I actually read the ingredients, it turned out that the bar uses jalapeño pepper powder. Now, that could still make it good -- it's just that I'd wanted jalapeño chunks. The bar also has the aforementioned peanuts (salted, by the way), and it's milk chocolate.
The bar is the size and shape of the standard Hershey bar. As you can see from the pictures, my bar had started to bloom -- but I am a trooper, and I took one for the team.
The chocolate bar looks and smells a hell of a lot like the Astor Chocolate bar made for the gift shop in the Empire State Building. I have to wonder if Astor didn't make this bar as well, because damned if the chocolate didn't also taste the same.
The chocolate is a little too sweet. It's smooth enough and there are some nice deep cocoa notes, but the sugar is just too much. Fortunately, the salt from the nuts balances things a bit. The peanuts in the bar are in the form of small but plentiful chips. They are crunchy and salty -- and the salt is the best part of the bar.
As for the jalapeño powder: The bar does have a teeny-tiny bit of heat, but if I'd had to guess what it was without prior knowledge that it was jalapeño, I wouldn't have thought of it.
This bar had a lot of potential, and while it's not horrid, it doesn't even make it to the level of "average." I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to get another.
Coco Mako (George Bush Intercontinental Airport: Houston, Texas)
Calories: 220 (serving size considered to be half a bar)