Saturday, August 31, 2013

Chocolate Chip Toothpaste for Kids

About two months back we received a shipment, a very generous shipment from Theodent. They included all three varieties of their toothpastes in full size tubes.  Given the prices on their website this went well above the normal values of the majority of samples we receive except around the Winter Holidays and some of our Halloween Treat Challengers.  These oral hygiene products are made with Renou a chemical we looked at six weeks ago with an interview about the Theodent brand.

The kids' version, Theodent for Kids, is chocolate chip flavored but even though I'm not a kid (except at heart some times) I tried it for six weeks.  I used as directed -- one thin strip of the product per brushing -- but also exactly as I normally brush my teeth -- after every meal and once before going to bed.  Just FYI I have never had a cavity but I did wear braces for a few years as a teenager. My teeth are not perfect, however, they tend to be rather small and they are not even nor do I whiten them because I fear those chemicals stripping off the enamel of my teeth.  Theodent toothpastes are supposed to rebuild enamel so I hoped when I started this project my teeth would stay as healthy as previous.  NOTE: I did not see a dentist before or after I did this. We do not charge for our reviews, articles, or for readers so I frankly don't have the money to do that kind of testing on this particular product.

In terms of the toothpaste itself, the first thing I noted is that the toothpaste is almost white in color but has a very light cocoa scent.  When I used it, on those moments when the toothpaste was on my tongue it did indeed taste like chocolate chips.  It was not gritty and there was no aftertaste and it left my teeth feeling very clean and smooth.

The tube the toothpaste comes in has a pull off cap that is a bit challenging so I do have a concern about children being able to open this easily.  Now perhaps the idea is that parents should be helping them and controlling how much they use but my right arm and hand aren't weak and getting it on and off took more time than a screw top cap does.  The tube itself takes a bit more force to push on making me suspect the plastic is thicker than the average toothpaste.  Just don't push too hard because you need only about 1/2 inch of it on the brush.


Over the course of six weeks of using this Theodent product I didn't notice improvement or deterioration of my teeth or mouth.  I did notice that I wanted to brush longer because of the chocolate chip flavor.  This is something to be aware of with kids who might be tempted to swallow though the company says the product is not dangerous to swallow.  I also had other family members try the product as well and they also really liked it including our one member who has exceedingly sensitive teeth and must all ready use an expensive brand of toothpaste.  Before the Winter Holidays we will turn to the other end of the spectrum of Theodent line up so come back and check out the next feature on them.

Friday, August 30, 2013

September 2013 Fun Chocolate Holidays

September starts a busy season for us in my house with two birthdays and an anniversary to boot.  Plus I generally starting to plan our Annual Halloween Treat Challenge so if you know a candy company that makes spooky treats tell them that they need to enter and have their products viewed in 173 different countries some of which do celebrate the traditions of Halloween or harvest related festivals.


Saturday before Labor Day = International Bacon Day -- is bacon and chocolate still a trend?

September = National Whole Grains Month -- whole grain wheats and products are all I use in my house

September 4 = World Chocolate Day -- try to find something not made in your own country to try today

September 8 = National Muffin Day

September 12 = National Chocolate Milkshake Day

September 13 = International Chocolate Day; oddly this might also be the birthday of Milton Hershey’s yes that Hershey (1857)

September 14, 1964 = Pop-Tarts come on the market from Kellogg’s -- not sure this was a good thing but they have a lot of chocolate varieties

September 18 = National Rice Krispies Treat Day -- yes, I have a recipe but they aren't your traditional rice crispy treats so you'll need to tell me if they count or not, Sisters and Brothers!

September 23 = National White Chocolate Day -- remember we do not discriminate against different types of chocolate here, if it made with any part of the cacao tree's fruit or other parts, we'll consider it and the growing of it important to the world of chocolate

September 27 = National Chocolate Milk Day -- didn't we have one of these back in July?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Introduction to Chocolate Walk 2013

The next Chocolate Walk, the charity we support above all overs here on The Chocolate Cult, is only a few months away, Sisters and Brothers.  Over the next few months I'll talk about this event more but since every single one of these has sold out over the past four years I wanted to make sure you had a chance to get your tickets and make your plans.

The Chocolate Walk this year is on November 9, 2013.

It benefits the Brown County Humane Society and it is through these charity events that they make money and promote their adoptable animals and end up with an out alive rate 99% and more.  They have 30+ stops on the list where you'll get small samples, something moderately sized samples, of chocolates ranging from cake and cookies to ice cream and truffles, handmade to brand name mass produced pieces of candy.

If you buy a ticket before November 1st they are  $20 but the price goes up to $25 after that date. all of that money goes to fund the Human Society in Brown County Indiana.

I'll be going along with at least one of our Acolytes and I hope you'll be attending too.  Go here and check out the event and get your tickets now.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Agostoni Organic Couvertures

Agostoni has been making chocolates since 1946, right after WWII, and is a family owned company in Italy.  Their North American distributor, Global Organics Ltd. sent us eight samples of the couvertures they offer and can make for any candy or chocolate company.  Four of these were made in the conventional manner, meaning the standard way the trees are farmed and the ingredients grown, while four others were certified organic. Your Chocolate Priestess and three volunteers tested all eight samples, pairing up the variety along organic and conventional lines. Today I'll reveal how the organic versions fared in our sampling.

3 Conventional = 1 Organic White Agostoni
Organic White or Monte Bianco had a light scent of vanilla but a strong cocoa butter fragrance.  The discs were huge compared to all of the other samples and had the image of a cocoa pod etched on the top that I couldn't get a good enough photograph of, Sisters and Brothers. As the piece melted in our mouths it released an almost maple-like sweetness with an intense aftertaste of vanilla.  The texture was very creamy.  Over all it was a bit overwhelming in the sweetness and creaminess and we found that as a group we preferred the conventional discs.
4 Agostoni Organic Couvertures

Organic Milk or Finissimo has 32% cocoa mass and 33.5% cocoa butter making this a darker milk chocolate than Americans might be used to but right in line for Italian chocolates. Alone the discs had a light cocoa scent but a strong chocolate flavor and a creamy texture with almost an olive like essence in both taste and feel. It melted quickly in the mouth and had a light sweet flavor at the end.  The changing flavor tones were a feature of every organic couverture from Agostoni that we tried.

Organic San Primo is made of 60% cocoa mass.  It had a strong cocoa scent both in individual disc and in the bag that we settled on as a semi-sweet fragrance.  It was slow melting, has smooth taste until there was a kick of bitterness in the back of the mouth/top of throat.  As we chewed or let it melt further there developed a slight sweetness very similar to fruit two of us believed.

Organics Top Row, Conventional Bottom Row
Organic Tremezzo has 70% cocoa mass which gave it a stronger scent compared to the previous variety of couverture.  This made a sharp snap too when bitten into.  The flavor was less creamy followed by a sudden burst of sweetness turning slightly bitter.  I sensed a floral essence that turned into fruity aftertaste.  The result was a more smooth dark chocolate than we expected and it was very pleasing to everyone.

For creating complex taste experiences for couverture using organic ingredients and maintaining a family business, Agostoni is certainly worthy of Sacrament Status.  While they sell in large qualities and are therefore suited best for businesses or large candy making or baking projects, they are an excellent base couverture and you should check them out, Sisters and Brothers.  Contact Global Organics Ltd if you are interested in learning more and tell them that you found them on The Chocolate Cult.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Justin's Recall Involves Chocolate Products


No other Justin’s products involved

Contact: Consumer:
303-449-9559 ext 10
E-mail: comments@justins.com

Media: Lauren Lortie
303-449-9559
E-mail: lauren@justins.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - August 16, 2013 - Justin’s has initiated a voluntary recall of certain lots of its Maple Almond Butter 16oz jars and its Chocolate Hazelnut Butter 16oz jars due to the presence of foreign metallic fragments in unpackaged nut butter. While no metal has been found in any individual jars, out of an abundance of caution, Justin’s initiated this voluntary recall. There have been no consumer complaints, illnesses or injuries reported to date.

Only the following products are affected:

Maple Almond Butter 16oz Jar (Unit UPC 894455000322, Case UPC 894455002135)
Lot Code 188 (Best By Date 07/07/14)
Lot Code 190 (Best By Date 07/09/14)
Lot Code 191 (Best By Date 07/10/14)

Chocolate Hazelnut Butter 16oz Jar (Unit UPC 894455000490, Case UPC 894455000612)
Lot Code 191 (Best By Date 07/10/14)
Lot Code 192 (Best By Date 07/11/14)

The “Best By” date can be located on the label of the jar between the UPC bar code and the nutrition facts panel. No other Justin’s products are involved in this recall.

The products were distributed nationally to numerous retailers and were available for purchase on the internet from 07/18/13 to 08/14/13.

Justin’s is committed to providing high-quality products, and the safety of our consumers is the company’s utmost priority. Consumers who have purchased the product can return it to its place of purchase for a full refund. For additional questions please contact the company at 303-449-9559 or comments@justins.com, or visit www.justins.com for more information. Phone lines are staffed from 9-5pm MST, Monday through Friday.

About Justin's:

Justin's, a pioneer in the natural food industry, produces organic and all-natural nut butter spreads, peanut butter cups and candy bars. Justin's was founded in 2004 as owner Justin Gold began making homemade nut butters using a food processor in his home kitchen, and selling them at the Boulder Farmers' Market. Justin's Nut Butters are available in 16oz jars, 1.15oz squeeze packs and .5oz squeeze packs in eight delicious flavors: Chocolate Almond, Maple Almond, Honey Almond, Classic Almond, Vanilla Almond, Honey Peanut, Classic Peanut and Chocolate Hazelnut. Justin's Peanut Butter Cups are available 1.4oz, two-cup packs and .5oz single-cup packs in Dark Chocolate and Milk Chocolate. Justin's Candy Bars are available in 2oz bars in three flavors: Milk Chocolate Peanut, Dark Chocolate Peanut and Milk Chocolate Almond. For more information please visit: www.justins.com.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Mini MAGNUM Classic Ice Cream Treats

To finish off the summer of 2013 focus on cool treats from the Unilever family we go back to the same brand we began with: MAGNUM.  This time we look at the mini version of their classic variety: vanilla bean ice cream dipped in Belgian milk chocolate. The benefit of the Minis are that you can eat a smaller amount in terms of calories but hopefully get your sweet tooth satisfied along with a chocolate fix. Let's see how this held up to our testing with myself and two other volunteers.

The first thing that surprises me is that I can smell milk chocolate before I take a bite.  Most of the time chocolate coated ice cream treats have little scent to them but this is definitely chocolate. A cracking sound is made when I take a bite and immediately my mouth is flooded with milk chocolate of a higher cacao content than I am used to; it is wonderful.  The vanilla ice cream has that sharp vanilla edge and if you look closely you can see flecks of vanilla beans.  The ice cream blends well with the chocolate, neither of them drowning out the other just swirling together.  The speed of the melting of the chocolate confirms this is much purer than most chocolate coatings. Eat it quickly though of it will melt down your fingers.


This mini version was a pleasure to eat and the ingredients list was a good example of doing it mostly right.  The short list of ingredients indicates that you can make ice cream treats that are still affordable.  Yes, there are added ingredients and some preservatives but compared to other cool treats we've looked at this summer from the same company, Unilever, we can see that they are making a range of products to fit different needs and pocketbooks.  I personally would spend more to get this better quality product and and I say it is a worthy Sacrament for this type of dessert snack.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Little Cool Fudgesicle

Our cold treat series now turns to a childhood favorite of mine: the Fudgsicle from Popsicle.  The varieties of Fudgsicle are only a few and basically these are variations on the amount of sugar or the shape of the treat.  Unilever sent us a free coupon so this time we bought the No Sugar Added Fudge Pops.  Have any of you, Sisters and Brothers, had these?  Leave us comments to let us know please.

The Fudge Pops come individually wrapped but two pops are connected by the wrappers at each end.  This allows them to be pulled apart very easily though it does add to the waste you have to throw out.  These are 40 calories a piece or 80 calories per serving of two pops.  You control your portions very easily with this cold treat.

I find these a bit too cold to eat straight from the freezer so I recommend letting it sit out unwrapped for a minute or two. That way you won't get brain freeze and the cocoa flavor comes out more strongly.  You don't need to chew these and then melt quickly once in your mouth.  It cools you down very fast as well and the fudge flavor lingers so you feel satisfied with just one really. Of the six testers for this product no one wanted more than one and on other person wasn't a fan of previous Fudge Pops so he didn't try it.

For calories, taste, cooling effect, and portion control these are great treats. Then we look at the ingredients label on the book.  The first ingredient is nonfat milk so this is not a dairy-free product, the fifth ingredient is cocoa (processed with alkali); between these however are chemicals and then more chemicals follow with a mixture of other ingredients like coconut oil, whey, malt powder and salt.  You have to decide what you want to put in your body but unless you have ethical or health reasons I think these are an OK treat every now and then.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Does Breyer's Beat Good Humor with Reese's?

Last Saturday, Sisters and Brothers, your Chocolate Priestess looked at the Reese's bar from Good Humor and found it lacking in terms of chocolate. Today we're going to look at Reese's again but this time as one of the Breyer's Blasts! line of frozen dairy treat -- not ice cream because of the legal definition here in the USA.  Let's see if this has a balance of peanut butter and chocolate that we expect from Reese's.  I shared this product with two others for the testing and below is the over all reflections on the product.

The first thing I notice is that there are ribbons of peanut butter and pieces of chocolate in the chocolate ice cream.  The ribbons have a definite Reese's flavor, slightly roasted but not very salty.  The frozen dairy part has a slight milk chocolate flavor with a hint of peanut butter depending on how close bites were to the ribbons.  The pieces of chocolate are simply milk chocolate pieces and add a burst of chocolate to the mix.  When eating all three parts the balance is slightly toward the milk chocolate side but it isn't as chocolatey as the Reese's cups we've had.

From two Unilever brands Breyer's emerges as as superior in terms of Reese's identity.  The frozen treat is less chocolatey than what we hope a chocolate ice cream would but this might be a result of less milk fat, what would make it ice cream, and that means you'll have to use more cocoa or chocolate to increase that flavor.  Alone the chocolate pieces and peanut butter ribbons were exactly like the candy bar and they alone made this delicious.

We have two more brands to look at for summer 2013's focus on Unilever frozen brands.  I do hope other brands will contact us for next year because I think our readers want more variety.  Do you want more variety, Sisters and Brothers?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

August 2013 Fun Chocolate Holidays

August has some hold over fun food holidays from last month where the focus was ice cream.  Since the weather in the Northern Hemisphere is getting even hotter this time of year I'm glad that ice cream continues to show up here.  Also several birthdays for big names in the modern history of chocolate.


August 2 = National Ice Cream Sandwich Day -- make it with real ice cream, low fat if you like, but real ice cream please and use real chocolate in it and the cookies

August 4 = National Chocolate Chip Day OR National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day -- Another fun food holiday confusion which is not surprising given that most of this are just that, fun, and either promoted by companies or organizations and not official in any way; I was sent cookies to review but we are still focused on frozen treats so they'll be featured later

August 5 = National Waffle Day

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; also the 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

August 12 = John Cadbury Birthday (1801-1889)

August 18 = National Soft Serve Ice Cream Day -- not all soft serve though is really ice cream, check the ingredients before you buy

August 20 = National Chocolate Pecan Pie Day

August 24 = National Waffle Day (anniversary of the first US patent for the waffle iron)

August 25 = National Banana Split Day -- you have to have some hot fudge on this, don't you?

August 27 = National Pots de Crème Day -- I have to figure out how to make these!

August 30 = National Toasted Marshmallow Day -- plain marshmallow is so much better with chocolate!

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