Valentine’s Day is Sunday and candy aisle shelves are as decimated as the bait shop at a Pro Bass tournament. It’s enough to make the most dedicated shopper panic. In the mayhem, you  may wonder: does a box of chocolate-covered scotch kisses from the mall say love? How about a trout shaped double crisp bar with the words “You’re a Keeper’ emblazoned on the novelty packaging? It all depends on your sweetmeat’s whims. But before you go trolling for truffles, you should know about Christopher Michael Chocolatier.  

The heat is on!

From bacon bars  and chocolate covered corn flakes to genteel tablets infused with lemongrass and lavender, this OC-based small-batch retailer reincarnates single origin Venezuelan fair trade chocolate into many forms. Some like it hot. There are a number of high-end bars combining chocolate and chilies out there. Could there really be that much difference between the products?


 I did a blind side by side taste comparison of Michael’s Aztec Spiced Bar with two other contenders in the Galley Girl test kitchen with little expectation. The results were surprising. Trying to detect chili heat in the other bars was like trying to find a Tag Heuer with a Little Tykes metal detector on CDM State Beach in August.


Wrapped in innocuous brown and robin’s egg blue and cast in a boring tablet format, Michael’s decieving bar had Scoville cred from the first bite. Shimmering with pleasing heat as soon as it began to melt and well after it was gone, the square delivered deep, fully developed cacao flavor and even-tempered velvety mouthfeel with radiant cinnamon and vanilla notes.  I planned on fully stocking my butter compartment with the stuff, but Michael was fresh out and I got the last one at Hi Times yesterday. Luckily, he’ll be making more this afternoon.

2346 Newport Blvd. Suite A 3, Costa Mesa, 92626. 949.566-9810. 


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5 Responses to “HOT CHOCOLATE”

  1. Mr. Bill Says:

    Free range Tabasco chocolate – nothing else like it in town. We, of course, have free range (my teasing name for fair trade) chocolate and coffee at Church of the Foothills but nothing quite like that. Sounds like the perfect candy to complement a cold Stella.

  2. Aunt Julie Says:

    This tops it all! Can’t believe that we’re now into combining wonderful, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate with hot peppers and tabasco! Guess it’s a good thing I don’t live down there………….your writing is terrific, and I love you dearly.

  3. Choco-LATTE Says:

    WOW! your photography makes me want to hop in my gas-guzzling super-sized SUV and zip on over to check out the delish treats. however, i’m just going to oogle at the photos and pray my hubby brings me a little smattering of everything Christopher (or is it Michael) has to offer….YUM! YOU are defintely a keeper, GG!

  4. iRewardChart Says:

    Too bad, I checked this blog during lunchtime… my stomach went on a Feed-me-right-now strike 🙂

    Thanks for the great blog … BTW, just subscribed to your Twitter feed: @thegalleygirl, but doesn’t seem like its active! Hope you mention your Twitter acct on the blog as well.

    • galleygirl Says:

      Thanks, just getting to a blog remodel that will feature every social networking media icon known to man, with live feed! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

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