Saturday, November 9, 2013

Honor Veterans with Chocolate

This summer we were sent samples from Walnettos, a company that has created candy since 1919, almost a hundred years.  One of their products is the Choclettos, a chocolate toffee candy. Choclettos were part of the approved menu for MRE (Meals, Ready to Eat) for the US military in 2008.(1)  My contact in the company says that Choclettos will continue to be in MREs through 2018.  Opinions about Choclettos vary widely online I discovered by at least one site focused on MREs called them "delicious" while another touted the calcium and iron content but wasn't thrilled with them (3).  These are designed to not melt in high temperatures thus they make a good addition to the MRE for that very reason but let's check out Choclettos and discover what they are like with all of our senses.  Hopefully some veterans who have had these will leave their opinions in our comments below.

The first thing to note is that choclettos are made with chocolate and cocoa powder both so these do indeed qualify as chocolate.  About 3.5 of them are a serving according to my kitchen scale.  They are wrapped in a wax paper with purple lettering on it.  Mine was sent in a bag but you can also get them in with labels about ingredients and nutritional values. I shared these with a group of five others so these are our collective thoughts about these treats.  First there was a strong cocoa scent with an interesting syrupy fragrance.  Contrary to how firm the individual pieces seemed these were very soft and easy to chew and when we did so the group divided immediately.  Folks who hate Tootsie Rolls really disliked these but those of us who think that the other brand candy is OK also found a more molasses like flavor but the cocoa flavor is the one that lingered.

I had so many of the Choclettos that I decided to try and make something with them so I had to think... what could I do with them?  With they melt?  I wanted to know so I put just a few in a microwavable bowl and tried it out.  They bubbled up and did melt but as soon as the heat was removed they started to firm up again.  I think the cocoa flavor is much stronger once warm by the way.

Next I used some more of the Choclettos to make cookies.  The brand website has recipes for the Walnettos but not these so I went super simple. I bought two ready to make tubes of peanut butter cookie dough and unwrapped 32 Choclettos to go with them.  I followed the directions on the tubes except instead of pushing them down with a fork I pushed on candy onto each top and they turned out as you see in the photo to the left.  The Choclettos didn't melts as they had in the microwave only get a bit soft and moved around a bit. Make sure you let the cookie cool on the cookie sheet for at least a full minute -- some of the centered melted through the rack because they were too hot.  The down side in all of this is if you ate it while it was warm it was easy to eat but once the centers reset they were hard so you really had to work on them or let them melt in your mouth for a while.

Final conclusion: this are best eaten straight out of the wrapper or warmed up in small quantities and eaten quickly.  This may explain why there are no recipes for the Choclettos on the company's website.

Choclettos are not the best chocolate candy we've tried here on The Chocolate Cult but they are not the worst by a long shot.  These are middle quality in regards to flavor (unless you hate Tootsie) in terms of mass produced chocolate treats but they do have real chocolate not just cocoa powder as many more highly visible products like this do.  Not Sacrament worthy but something I think you should try at least once.  If you remember Choclettos from your days in any branch of the military or know someone who has eaten these and told you about them, please leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought/think of these candies.  Are these treats you'd be honored to get as a gift?  If the answer is yes, the Walnettos website has links to where  you can find their products today.


(1) Information found at About.com
(2) Deul Review
(3) Menu 22


8 comments:

Benjamin Lee said...

Thank you for an interesting article!

TammyJo Eckhart said...

Thank you so much, Benjamin, for reading and leaving a comment. Have you ever had Walnettos?

Big Tone said...

I work for the Military and a solider friend gave me some MRE's cause i was interested in trying them out. One of them had Chocolettos in them, since i never heard of them before i googled it and came across your article. Id just like to say that they are pretty good but definitely not for everyone, like a tootsie roll with toffee flavor that's not overly sweet. Ill be honest at first i thought it was regular chocolate that had been compromised in the packaging that just went rancid. Then i took a bite and realized it was just like a hard tootsie roll lol

Anthony

TammyJo Eckhart said...

Sounds like your experiences matched several of our testers in the comparisons. Thank you very much, Anthony, for commenting and letting us know that they are indeed in MRE's like we read.

Qualified Rep said...

Been out in the field for last 8 hours and just ate the whole pouch in my meal. I have had them once before but they are so different and interesting you can't just get away eating one!

TammyJo Eckhart said...

Thanks for your comment. I think Chocolettos are one of those candies where opinions run a gambit from hate to love. Glad to know that you really enjoy them, Qualified Rep.

Unknown said...

just had some choclettos in Wornick MRE menu 21(tuna). I thought they were great!(but I also like and eat MRE's on a regular basis) these do remind me of a more gritty tootsie roll, but they are much better than some things they have put in in the past.
today's MRE's are much better than 25 years ago, and choclettos are a welcome treat.

TammyJo Eckhart said...

I'm so happy to hear from another veteran who has tried these candies. I hope you let us know about your opinions about other products we've looked at.