Daily Chocolate Fix x 2

The Good Stuff

Reviews of Three Brands of Cocoa Powder

There are days which call for an extra does of food of the gods–theobromine. One reason I needed a double dose of cocoa today is because I was in need of its natural anti-depressant substances. Science has yet definitely proved that chocolate is acts as an anti-depressant. Articles on such effects use the word “may.” For me it’t proof enough that before my second mug of cocoa I didn’t feel like doing much of anything, including writing this blog. Mug two– voilà, here we are.

The second reason I needed a double dose is because the first one was inadequate. A couple of weeks ago fate took me to a grocery store where the only option for “natural” unsweetened cocoa powder was a brand called, Chef’s Select. I don’t know what chef would select it. If I had a choice, I would not have selected it then and certainly won’t again. On site says, “all cocoa powders can vary in color from a light reddish brown to a rich dark brown.” This stuff was grayish brown. It tasted like chalk. I don’t know what they did to it to get it to look and taste they way it did. The label says it’s 100% pure. If you look at the ingredients list it says “cocoa powder, but that it may contain: tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, soy, and eggs. “May” in this case, I strongly suspect is a weasel word to cover the manufacturer’s a**. I suspect this stuff contains a considerable amount of wheat. Of maybe it’s just old cocoa that was scraped from the bottom of the bin, which other companies refused to buy. Adding vanilla to the chocolate drink didn’t improve the flavor. Stirring it into coffee to make mocha only spoiled the coffee’s flavor.

Good old reliable Hershey’s. Printed boldly on the front it says, 100% cacao. It used to be my cocoa of choice, before I discovered Dutched cocoa. It makes good hot chocolate, brownies, and other yummies. On the carton it says it contains no artificial flavors or colors or preservatives. It’s gluten free–so, no wheat. The only ingredient listed it cocoa.

My favorite cocoa powder comes from Saco Pantry. I first bought it because it costs less than Hershey’s and gives you ten, instead of eight ounces. Its label says it has no GMOs and is free of nuts, tree nuts, eggs, wheat or gluten. The winning combination for me is that it’s a blend of natural and Dutch cocoa. Natural cocoa is acidic and can taste harsh. Dutched cocoa is treated with alkali, which moderates the acidity. It also gives the cocoa a rich, dark color–like my mug–and gives it a richer flavor.

After drinking my second dose of cocoa, made with Saco Pantry, I went, “Oh, YEAH! Oh, WOW! This is chocolate.” Compared to the chalky stuff, this drink was almost syrupy. Of course, part of the reason for that is the way I mix it. A food magazine’s website suggests using unsweetened cocoa, rather than sweetened cocoa or a cocoa mix because you can control the amount of sugar. I use it because I can control the amount of cocoa. I like my chocolate rich and strong. I use heaps and heaps of cocoa powder. No marshmallows–they take up too much room and are sweeter than I like.

My only advice–when you buy cocoa powder (or anything else) is: read the label. It pays. The label may not spell out exactly what’s in the proudct but it can give you hints, such as “may contain…” If it says that, buyer beware.

4 thoughts on “Daily Chocolate Fix x 2”

  1. I could eat milk chocolate, but I don’t like it at all. Loved it as a kid, find it cloying now. But I can stretch a little bit of 70 or 72% quality chocolate out over enough time that it doesn’t act like caffeine on me. Gives me an opportunity to savor instead of inhale (:


    1. Same here, Judy. But milk chocolate is better than no chocolate. I can definitely recommend Ghirardelli’s 60% chips. Lots of flavor. Guittard has dark chocolate chips, don’t remember the percentage, or if they even listed it. They’re a little bitter for me.


  2. I have a friend who eats 88% chocolate to counter his depression. I need to be wary of too much–its effect on the heart–but I love it! Good post!


    1. Thanks, Judy. That’s a high percentage of cacao. Most chocolate isn’t that high. Ghirardelli has chips that are 60%. I’ll bet Hershey’s doesn’t even reach that. You might be able to safely eat milk chocolate. I love it, too, as you can tell. I eat Ghirardelli’s chips out of hand. Good chocolate flavor without eating too much.


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