Maybe it was the understated crimson wrapper. Maybe it was the elegant matte finish. Maybe it was the prospect of chocnoir.jpgdark chocolate inflected with something dramatically different. Whatever it was about that bar of Café-Tasse artisenal chocolate I saw at Shoppers, I went for it.

Belgian chocolate noir – and here’s the intriguing bit – laced with Szechuan peppercorn. My my.

This was truly something wonderful – a loveletter to my mouth. The effect went like this. Creamy with a pepper crunch, the sensation was distinctly basso profundo, haunted with the descriptively elusive edge of exotic peppercorns. An improbable sequence of experiences – texturally and flavorwise – unfolding with a delightful persistence of synergy. Like a hot dream that continues long after you’re awake.

Sophisticated chocolate – $3.99 for 3 ounces — and something to remember on Valentine’s Day.