Monday, July 31, 2017

August is More than S'mores for Chocolate Fun

While National S'more Day has gotten a lot of attention here on The Chocolate Cult in the past, there are a lot of fun and serious holidays you could celebrate this month with a bit of chocolate. What will you be celebrating and how? Leave a comment and let us know.

August = National Romance Awareness Month
     Check out previous romance related posts we've published.

August 1 = Swiss National Day -- this one is pushing it but you do know that Swiss Chocolate has a powerful reputation.

August 2 = National Ice Cream Sandwich Day
      2010 Post
     Blue Bunny Options

August 4 = National Chocolate Chip Day -- new recipe on this blog for August 5th so make sure you check back

August 4 = National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day -- Convenient how these two holidays work together, huh?

August 5 = National Waffle Day

Image of Fry, which one?
August 6, 1826 = Birthday of Joseph Storrs Fry II who took over his grandfather’s thriving chocolate business in England. (mostly because I couldn’t find an accurate birthday for the chocolate genius that was Joseph Storrs Fry)

August 10 = National S’mores Day -- Do you only use milk chocolate or do you mix it up like we do in my house?

Henri Nestlé
August 10, 1814 = Birthday of Henri Nestlé, German Confection and founder of the Nestlé corporation along with Daniel Peter who created the Milk Chocolate bar using Nestlé expertise with condensed milk

John Cadbury
August 12, 1801 = Birthday of John Cadbury, Founder of Cadbury, a huge chocolate company still very popular in the UK year round and in the USA at Easter time.

August 18 = National Soft Serve Ice Cream Day

August 20 = National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day

August 24 = National Waffle Day (anniversary of the first US patent for the waffle iron) by shouldn't it be coupled with the National Waffle Day on August 5th?

August 25 = National Banana Split Day

August 27 = National Pots de Crème Day; National Banana Lovers Day

August 30 = National Toasted Marshmallow Day

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Bhu Foods Recall about Listeria Involves some Chocolate Varieties

Bhu Foods Protein Bar Recalls

Hudson Valley Foods, Inc. of Highland, NY has advised Bhu Foods of San Diego, CA that organic sunflower seeds sold to the company have been recalled.

As a result of a recall of sunflower seeds from Hudson Valley Foods, Inc., Bhu Foods’ supplier of organic sunflower seeds, advised Bhu Foods that ingredients sold to the company have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.

The organic sunflower seeds from Hudson Valley Foods, Inc have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes. No confirmed illnesses have been reported to public health authorities to date.

Even though there was only a possibility of contamination from the organic sunflower seeds for Listeria, Bhu Foods is recalling these item out of an abundance of caution.

All affected distributors and retail website customers have been notified and the affected products have been removed from store shelves and inventories. The product was available nationwide in retail stores as well as by mail order/direct delivery.

This announcement applies only to the following list of Bhu Foods Protein bars produced from May 9, 2017 – June 9, 2017, outlined below and does not include any other items or the same item outside of the following lot codes (The lot code is printed on each individual bar wrapper next to the expiration date):

Organic Vegan Protein – Chocolate + Tart Cherry + Pistachio
Lot Code: 13717

Organic Vegan Protein – Apple Chunk + Cinnamon + Nutmeg
Lot Code: 13717

Organic Vegan Protein – Peanut Butter + Chocolate Chip
Lot Code: 13917

Organic Vegan Protein – Superfood Chocolate Chip + Fudge Brownie Batter Lot Code: 13817 and 15417

Organic Vegan Protein – Peanut Butter + White Chocolate
Lot Code: 15317 and 15417

Grass Fed Whey Protein – Dark Chocolate + Coconut + Almond (Made with Organic Ingredients)
Lot Code: 13917

Grass Fed Whey Protein – Salted Caramel + Pecan (Made with Organic Ingredients)
Lot Code: 13017 and 13817

Grass Fed Whey Protein – Vanilla + Almond + Cashew (Made with Organic Ingredients)
Lot Code: 13017 and 13817

Paleo Protein – Double Dark Chocolate Chip (Made with Organic Ingredients)
Lot Code: 13117, 14017, and 14317

No other Bhu Food’s branded products or any other products produced by Bhu Foods are included within this recall. This recall is being undertaken with the knowledge of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There has been no reported illness to date from this recall.

The potential for contamination was noted after routine testing by Hudson Valley Farms. Bhu Foods was notified directly by Hudson Valley Farms and the FDA of the potential contamination and risk for illness from this product. Bhu Foods immediately ceased production and distribution upon receiving this news for the consideration of our consumers.

“We sincerely apologize for this situation that occurred with one of our ingredient suppliers. As soon as our team was notified, we immediately set our recall plan into action to ensure the safety and health of our customers. Bhu Foods will continue to operate with the highest standard of excellence providing customers with exemplary, wholesome organic products.” said Laura Katleman, President of Bhu Foods.

Consumers should not consume these products. Affected product may be returned to the place of purchase for an exchange. Consumers with questions may contact Bhu Foods Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm (PST) at 619-855-3992.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

How did You Celebrate National Chocolate Milk Day?

Horizon Lowfat Chocolate Milk DHA Omega
Yesterday, July 28th, was National Chocolate Milk Day. 7 years back in 2010, we looked at the individual boxes of chocolate milk from Horizon. This year, as part of the #MyMagazineSharing program through Kroger, I was able to get a half gallon of Horizon's Organic Lowfat Chocolate Milk with DHA Omega-3 for free with one of the coupons MyMagazine sent me for their #OrganicsEveryday campaign in exchange for testing out 7 different products including two that have chocolate in them. Today we're going to look at one of these two chocolatey treats, the milk, and then next week we'll look at some chocolate peanut butter powder in a recipe I'm going to test out. But for now, sit back and pour yourself a glass of chocolate milk in memory of yesterday's fun food holiday and to celebrate life in general.

The first thing I noticed when I poured the glasses was the very light color of the milk. I understand wanting to be lower fat but I've seen skim milk that was darker in color than this one and I didn't note any artificial colors in those brands. You could also cut calories but not adding sugar. Milk has sugars so just add cocoa powder or chocolate mass/liquor and make your chocolate milk. There is no chocolate fragrance from the milk but it does have a very odd sweet scent. The flavor is much like the fragrance -- very little chocolate, creamy, and a weird hard to describe sweet tang that reminded me of slightly burnt caramel. I fear this milk may sit in my refrigerator for a long time before someone in my family drinks more of it. Thank goodness I used the freebie coupon and not merely one of the $1 off coupons to buy this variety.

If this milk sounds yummy to you, you can buy the individual box version from Amazon of you can find the half gallon in Kroger, Target, and many organic grocery stores. For me, I'll stick with the non-added DHA Omega style of Horizon chocolate milk that I've had and loved in the past.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Celebrate National Cheesecake Day Tomorrow

August 30th will be National Cheesecake Day so in honor of that and to give you time to check out this product we were sent, we are looking at a cheesecake dessert early. We don't create a lot of videos on The Chocolate Cult, in fact if you check our fee schedule, it is the most expensive service we offer. But when we do we post it on our founder's YouTube and here as well. In case you haven't seen the video yet, check it out here. We were sent this box of Bouchard Chocolate's Cheesecake Bites through the Tomoson program along with a minor charge in exchange for this video on YouTube, a couple of mentions on Facebook, and on Instagram. This blog post is a complete freebie to them. No other form of compensation was received in exchange for sharing my experience with the product.

If you like what you see, you can order it a few ways.


Or through Amazon where you'll also be giving back to The Chocolate Cult when you use that link.

Friday, July 21, 2017

National Junk Food Day 2017

Today is a Fun Food Holiday.

National Junk Food Day!

My favorite are Reese's Mini Cups.

What are your chocolatey junk food favorites? 
Leave a comment and let us know.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Chocolate Related Recalls July 16th 2017

A couple of recalls to share with you today. Please click on their links to get full information.

---------- Recalls Involving Chocolate ----------

Recall of Incorrectly Labeled Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Bars

This one is a bit complicated, so please read carefully.

Coborn's, Inc. of St. Cloud, Minn. is recalling packages of its Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Bars, some of which were incorrectly labeled as Gluten Free Fudge Brownies. The Gluten Free Fudge Brownie label does not indicate the product contains milk, however the Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Bars that are incorrectly labeled as Gluten Free Fudge Brownies do contain milk. People who have allergies to milk run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

The recalled products were distributed and sold at Coborn's and Cash Wise stores in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, as well as Marketplace Foods stores in Wisconsin, and Coborn's Delivers in the Twin Cities Metro area. An internal review found a limited number of packages were sold. These products were sold between July 4, 2017 and July 6, 2017 and list an expiration date of July 10, 2017. Products with an expiration date of July 10, 2017 are the only products affected. The UPC is 7-33147-20522-8. Guests who are allergic to milk should destroy this product or return it to the store where it was purchased for a full refund.

No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

The recall was initiated July 6 after it was discovered the Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Brownies were incorrectly labeled with a Gluten Free Brownie label. The problem has since been corrected and all packages going forward will contain the correct label.

Consumers with questions may contain the MORE Rewards Helpline at 1-844-700-MORE (6673).

Recall of Precision Blend Cookies and Cream

Biohealth Nutrition of San Dimas, CA is recalling Precision Blend Cookies & Cream because product labels failed to declare the food allergen, wheat.

People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to wheat run the risk of a life threatening allergic reaction, anaphylaxis, that requires immediate medical attention should they consume products containing allergens.

Precision Blend Cookies & Cream comes in 2 Lb. and 4 Lb. white plastic canisters with blue lettering and an image of two dark cookies filled with cream in the bottom front panel.

Biohealth Nutrition immediately segregated its entire inventory of Precision Blend Cookies & Cream product and is notifying consumers and customers not to consume them. Biohealth Nutrition wants to ensure its products are safe. Consequently, in addition to its ongoing cooperation with the California Department of Public Health, Biohealth nutrition is voluntarily recalling all Precision Blend Cookies & Cream products from its customers. Consumers in possession of these products should not eat them, rather product should be returned to the place of purchase.

Biohealth Nutrition will be sending recall notices to all of its direct customers. Please contact your sales account representative at (866) 960-8789 or by email at for further information.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Happy National Gelato Day 2017!

In July we like to look at frozen treats but when companies and brands aren't interested we just keep bringing you other products. While today is National Gelato Day, I'm bringing you that tasty treat in a more solid form with two flavors from TCHO, a brand we've been honored to test and write several times over the years. The two flavors are Mint Chip Gelato and Toffee + Sea Salt. These are flavors we have not looked at before on this blog, I double checked before getting them. I got these flavors at my local Super Target using two Free coupons I was sent from TCHO just because as part of a promotion; this feature article will be a surprise to them. Obviously since this article is a surprise to the brand, no other form of compensation was received.

Since it is National Gelato Day we'll look at the Mint Chip Gelato Bar first. This is a 64% cacao bar that weighs 2.5 oz or 70 grams. It clocks in at 420 calories. Even though it is dark chocolate there is milk and cream from the "freeze dried gelato" in it. It also has organic dark chocolate made of cacao beans and cocoa butter -- the "beans" ingredient is odd, usually I see chocolate liquor or chocolate mass isted. When I unwrapped it there was a gold foil inside wrapper as well under the green paper. The bar as you can see has visible white pieces which must be the gelato itself. As with all of the TCHO bars of this size, the brand logo takes up two squares in what would otherwise be a nine square bar. The only fragrance was the darker chocolate however. The bar made no sound with a bite but there was a soft crunch with each chew. The first and dominant flavor is the dark chocolate, very smooth, then a slightly creamy and mint flavor. The mint flavor and cooling sensation built up with each chew but never overpowered the chocolate. I really liked it and my co-tester liked it a lot as well.

The Toffee + Sea Salt Bar is a milk chocolate bar because it has whole milk powder and non-fat milk powder but don't let that fool you because the label also says 53% cacao. This contains cacao beans and cocoa butter. This also has soy, rice syrup, and coconut oil in case you have allergies to any of those ingredients. As you can see in the photo, compared to the previous bar in this feature the toffee pieces are very small and sparse. The paper wrapper has a very good look to it with the brown nicely showing off mounts of toffee and a little chocolate but let's see if the toffee is the dominant flavor. The fragrance is very light chocolate with a hint of something but it isn't definitively buttery or salty or sweet. The pieces of the bar break apart with a soft snap. There are more pieces of toffee than the cross sections show because every bite is crunchy. The initial flavor is a smooth slightly creamy chocolate followed by a little butter and an increasing amount of saltiness before a buttery tang becomes the final flavor. This is good but I was expecting less salt and more chocolate even though the photo clearly showed me to expect what I got.

So tell me, what new flavors of TCHO have you tried recently? Have you had these two flavors?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

CLIF Bars Recalls

Just one brand's recall to share today but it is a product available around the USA and one many of you may be familiar with. Please check it out and protect yourself.

---------- Recalls ----------

CLIF Bars Recall

Clif Bar & Company is initiating a voluntary recall of CLIF® BUILDER'S® Bar Chocolate Mint flavor, and CLIF Kid Zbar® Protein Chocolate Mint and CLIF Kid Zbar® Protein Chocolate Chip flavors due to possible presence of undeclared peanuts and some tree nuts, including almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, walnuts and coconuts. Clif Bar & Company is taking this precautionary safety step for people who are allergic to peanuts and these listed tree nuts. People with an allergy to peanuts and these specific tree nuts run the risk of a serious or life-threatening allergic reaction. The company is strongly advising consumers who have peanut and these specific tree nut allergies not to consume these bars.

Individuals who are not allergic to peanuts or these specific tree nuts may safely consume the products.

The affected products are sold in retail stores and online throughout the U.S.

Clif Bar discovered this issue when it received a small number of consumer complaints alleging peanut or tree nut allergic reactions. There are no confirmed illnesses associated with this recall.

The voluntary recall applies to products in all pack sizes and individual bars meeting the criteria found in the attached table. The affected “Best By” dates can be found on the back of individual packaging or caddies.

No other Clif Bar & Company products, pack sizes, flavors or ‘Best By’ date codes are affected.

The company is asking consumers to return product to the store where purchased to request an exchange or full refund if there is an allergy concern. Affected product should then be discarded in a secure place and not consumed.

For more information please visit here or contact 866-526-1970.

Clif Bar & Company cares deeply about the health and safety of consumers. We apologize for this inconvenience.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Celebrate National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day

I grew up with Hershey products. I remember one illness I had as a child where I couldn't keep any food down for a week and my father brought a six pack of Hershey's Milk Chocolate bars and I was able to keep half of one down, then a full one, then all of them over the course of 24 hours. That might have been coincidence, the illness might have been over by then, but that experience imprinted on my mind. As I've worked with The Chocolate Cult I've grown to appreciate a much wider range of chocolate products but I'd be lying if I said I still didn't have a soft spot for Hershey's. So today in honor of the fun food holiday, National Milk Chocolate with Almonds Day, I'm looking at Hershey's Milk Chocolate with Almonds bar. I got this bar free with my Kroger loyalty card; no other form of compensation was received for this post.

The Milk Chocolate with Almonds bar has been around for over a century. It was first introduced around 1908 but my sources varied in this regard. The success of this milk chocolate bar with added almonds was followed over a decade later by candy bars with other fillings in the Hershey family.

Today the bars come in at 1.45 ounces or 41 grams with 210 calories. The size of the bar and the prices have changed over the years. This says "Hershey's" on the top and has visible almond pieces on the bottom. These are not tiny pieces but also not full nuts. The scent is basically what I expect from Hershey's milk chocolate -- sweet edge, touch of creaminess, and a strong cocoa scent; not almond scent until I break the bar open. The almonds have a roasted fragrance and a taste, no salt flavor at all. The chocolate is as it smelled, creamy, sweet, and chocolatey. The nuts take the longest to chew so they end up as the initial and the final flavor, outlasting the milk chocolate itself. From memory I think I've liked the dark chocolate better because there the dark chocolate competes more strongly for dominance.

For all of the crap chocolate connaisseurs give big name candy companies like Hershey's this bar is basically chocolate with almonds and sunflower oil... the last is the big problem for me because unless it is cocoa butter and fat in dairy, I really don't think it needed to be added to any type of chocolate. There are many ways you could celebrate today such as making your own milk chocolate with almonds treats, candies, and chocolate, but Hershey's is still an option.

Tell me, readers, when was the last time you had a Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar with Almonds?

Three websites were consulted for the historical information about this bar:

Old Time Candy

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Past Patriot Chocolates

If you are American, and the majority of our readers are, then today may hold a special place in your heart: The Fourth of July! To celebrate we're going to look back and some "patriot" chocolate we've covered these past 9 years.

Uncle Sam's Chocolate Factory is the big patriot chocolate we've covered.

Special Dark Chocolate Bar

Uncle Sam's Almond Butter Crunch

Uncle Sam's Truffles

We've also looked at Walnettos.

But isn't much patriot chocolate for all of big claims about patriotism in the USA. Come on, brands, companies, and chocolate makers! Send us your creations to share with the world.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

PROBAR® Chocolate Nut Butter Blends

PROBAR Organic Nut Butter Blends
Next Saturday we'll celebrate a Fun Food Holiday (Milk Chocolate with Almonds) but we had a related product from PROBAR® to reveal to you so I thought we'd look at a line of nut butters, including an almond nut butter, over the pre-Fourth of July weekend. PROBAR® promotes their Nut Butter as "The Spreadable Bar" and " Simply Real®" on their website so ingredients will be of interest today and highlighted in our reviews as well how we spread on various foods to test it out. One of the two varieties were were sent used coffee so I had help with today's article from our Mocha Acolyte, Elizabeth. We were sent free samples of two PROBAR Nut Butters in exchange for an object and honest article; no other form of compensation was received.

PROBAR Koka Moka
The Koka Moka with Caffeine is one of four nut butters with Yerba Mate Caffeine; all of these are almond butters, too. This made me curious about whether or not Elizabeth would get a buzz from the spread, too. Let's read what she experienced. The package says knead and squeeze prior to opening - they mean it!! I didn't do it enough, so it came out oily and I had to mix it with the knife to get everything mixed nicely. Smelled more like almonds than chocolate or coffee. It has a gritty texture to it when you first try it. It tasted like other almond butters I have had, with hints of chocolate and coffee. Stronger chocolate than coffee. It is nice on it's own, but I like apples and peanut butter. So, I tried it that way also. It was really good. Seems like this was a winner for Elizabeth but no caffeine buzz reported. In terms of ingredients, it is made with  12 ingredients in total, all of them recognizational food and flavors, and labeled Organic.

PROBAR Chocolate Peanut Butter
I have the Chocolate Peanut Butter and it has 8 ingredients on the label, again all recognizational food and flavors, and labeled Organic, Gluten-Free, and Non-GMO. Following Elizabeth's advice, I knead this really well, working the stiffest section into the rest before opening it. I could still a bit of the graininess. By itself, this is very sweet, shockingly sweet in fact. I can taste peanut butter and chocolate but this is more sweet than I expect for 4 grams of sugars in one pouch. I go back to the pouch and see why this is so sweet -- dates! I thought about trying this on apples but given the sweetness that will just be too much for me so I turn to "English Muffins" which are an American product that will be weird to our readers in the UK. It spreads well over two halves of the bread. Oddly I'm not getting much of a scent from this butter blend but the taste is powerful. On the bread the peanut and chocolate come out more strongly but it is still super sweet. I wouldn't recommend putting the entire pouch of blend on just one other food item unless you really like sweet things. Me? Remember that in general the darker the chocolate the better I'll like it. I can burn out on sweet.

Nutritionally these are on par with traditional peanut butter and depending on the brand you get it may be better. Nutritionally this is better than most of the chocolate and nut butter blends I've tried in the past but these are just so darned sweet! When I poked around the PROBAR® website I discovered there are 10 varieties of Nut Butters and they are sold in packs of 10! You might recall that the other products we've looked at from PROBAR® are sold in 12 packages. I've seen other brands sell similar products in individual serving sizes like these as singles or packs so if you've found that to be the case in the wide selection of brick and mortar stores where you can find PROBAR products, please leave a comment and let us know where and what varieties. Remember we are always interested in your experiences of the products we're talking about and we love your comments so please leave some.

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