Mole! Spicy chocolate featured at annual chile pepper festival

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Holy mole!

Fire up your tastebuds, because this Saturday’s Chile Pepper Fiesta at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden is hotter — and sweeter — than ever.

The annual celebration of all things spicy will feature a record number of chocolate makers slinging fiery treats at the “Chile-Chocolate Wonderland” at the Osborne Garden, where the best of the best will showcase delectibly dangerous confections that marry the sweetness of chocolate and the heat of the chile pepper.

“The combination of chiles and chocolate mixes a richness of flavor with an almost devilish sense of the unexpected,” said Anita Jacobs, the festival’s director.

Local chefs will face off in a chile-chocolate “Takedown” for bragging rights over the best spicy chocolate combos, and attendees will have a chance to make their own spicy hot chocolate at a demonstration booth nearby.

Jacobs fell in love with the explosive flavor combo after a visit to Mexico, where she first tried a chocolate mole sauce. But back in Brooklyn, when she decided to feature chile-chocolate at the festival in 2009, the trend hadn’t yet caught on.

“Originally, we had to go to a number of companies and say ‘Hey, would you consider making a spicy chocolate?’ ” said Jacobs. “In the last few years, I started to see that a number of local bakeries were featuring phenomenal spicy brownies and it seemed like a fun idea to bring a sweet side to the Fiesta.”

Jean-Francois Bonnet, owner of Tumbador Chocolate in Sunset Park, will be selling hot chocolate blended with Mexican and French peppers, cream, milk, cinnamon and ginger.

“It’s one of the oldest food combinations. The Myans and Aztecs were the first ones to do it,” said Bonnet. “In modern times, it has become more and more [popular] since it’s now easier to get all the peppers and chiles.”

But don’t worry: if you’re not inclined to eat dessert first, the 19-year-old festival boasts a wide array of chile-related activities — including live bands and a mariachi parade — and plenty of local vendors selling spicy savory dishes like Korean kimchee, fresh salsas, hot mustard, spicy Indonesian nuts, Jamaican jerk spicy rub and a melange of hot sauces.

The Chile Pepper Fiesta at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden [900 Washington Ave. between Empire Boulevard and Eastern Parkway, (718) 623-7200] Oct. 1 from 11 am to 6 pm. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors, students and kids. Garden members and kids under 12 get in free. For info visit

Updated 5:26 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

louis bonnet says:
ou as tu encore foutu tes doigts?
Sept. 26, 2011, 1:56 pm
John from Williamsburg says:
Yeah, Louis, that guy definitely needs some Immodium AD.
Sept. 27, 2011, 8:28 am

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: