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Home / Doug's Chocolate Republic  /   Review:  Montezuma Chilli & LIme

     
Montezuma Chilli & Lime 
Posted: 22 February 2015    7.0 
Montezuma Chilli & Lime from UK Montezuma's appeared in Britain at the right time, I'll grant them that. Brits wanted higher quality chocolates, and Montezuma was waiting right there with unusual taste combinations.  Their Chilli & Lime chocolate is good, and Montezuma is generous with the cocoa solids in their milk blend. Is it an unusual combination? In Central and South American food, chilli and lime are as common as American movie stars married to models.   
Avg price/gram: USD 0.037   Cocoa %: 37  Size: 100g  British chocolate 
       


I always wondered, in highly competitive markets, how one brand of products winds up on the shelves over another. I have been the purveyor of bargain products, half the price of similar competing products, and no one wanted to go near me because I wasn't a brand name.  I've also sold more expensive products, and no one wanted to go near me because they were expensive.  So how the $)@*$)* did Montezuma do it? 

Husband and wife Simon and Helen Pattinson, both lawyers making easy coin in the City, tossed in their legal briefs in 1999.  They traveled to South America, tasted wonderful chocolates in Argentina, visited cocoa plantations in Venezuela, and launched their UK chocolate operation in 2000.  Sales just seemed to grow magically year after year, and now the two can confidently say that thumbing it to their high paying legal jobs in the City paid miraculous dividends.          

The original idea was to open a chocolate shop and have someone else make the chocolate.  But shortly before they opened, their key supplier went bust and the Pattinsons made the bold move to go into chocolate manufacturing themselves.  Now they own five shops to test their products, sell at the British supermarket chain Waitrose, and do more than half their business online.         

Montezuma's appeared in Britain at the right time, I'll grant them that.  Brits wanted higher quality chocolates, and Montezuma was waiting right there with unusual taste combinations. Some of their bars have a distinctly British accent, sporting British flags on the front label, with names like Treacle Tart, Apple Crumble, and Summer Pudding.  Eight of their chocolates are organic, almost by accident.  The Pattinsons were sourcing cacao they loved from the Domnican Republic which happened to be organic.  They realized they might as well pay the extra for the other ingredients to be organic, too, so that they could call the bar organic.       

My question is how Montezuma got its chocolate bars placed on the shelves of a Bangkok Dean & Deluca,  Dean & Deluca is pricy even in its native US.  In  Bangkok, the prices sting even more.  How was Montezuma able to get its bars placed there over a myriad of amazing American craft chocolate makers?         

Their Chilli & Lime chocolate is good, don't get me wrong, and Montezuma is generous with the cocoa solids in their milk blend.   Simon Pattinson says that, "Having made this a limited edition bar for a famous chilli festival in the beautiful South Downs, we have once again been persuaded by a hard core of loyal customers to make this a permanent resident in the range. Until you taste it words will not do justice to how well this unlikely combination work."  I was surprised to read that.  In Central and South American food, chilli and lime are as common American movie stars married to models.  It's a very typical combination.          

The taste was balanced.  I really could taste the lime and the chili. The chilli wasn't overpowering by any means.  Montezuma's Chilli & Line isn't at the spice levels of a moderate Thai salad.         

Would I buy it again? For the prices Montezuma bars sell for in the UK, yes. At robber baron prices from Dean & Deluca, no. The Queen of England can come to Bangkok and a pay the premium to eat British.           

If you liked reading this, consider savoring these reviews:
 Chocovic Kendari from Spain -- 60% cocoa solids
 Green & Black Maya Gold from UK -- 55% cocoa solids
 The Complete Chocolate Republic Index


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