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Brand Cravings Products Science Sweets Technology

Kiva Confections Introduces Cannabis-Infused Hot Chocolate

Continuing their spirited foray into holiday inspired cannabis treats, Kiva Confections is now offering limited edition Hot Chocolate. Their latest invention uses the same fast-acting technology as the previously released Turkey Gravy which took Thanksgiving dinners to new heights. 

If you’re unfamiliar with Kiva’s fast-acting technology, it utilizes individually encapsulated molecules that allow for faster THC absorption than your typical edible. These molecules are isolated and small enough to be absorbed by our body’s endocannabinoid receptors. What this means in layman’s terms is that you can feel the effects of Kiva’s Hot Chocolate within a record 15 minutes. That’s almost 15-30 minutes faster than most edibles and allows for a more predictable cannabis experience. 

Kiva’s premium edibles are created with the goal of removing the unpredictable effects that usually accompany your typical garden variety edible. By focusing the window to 15 minutes, it offers first time users, or infrequent ones, to have more assurance in their experience. Kiva’s thoughtfulness combined with unique ideas like their new limited edition Hot Chocolate will undoubtedly add joy to your holiday high. Each pouch is infused with 5mg of THC and like traditional hot chocolate, comes in powdered form. You can find Kiva’s limited edition Hot Chocolate at dispensaries throughout California while supplies last.

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Tastemade/Snapchat

15 Fun Facts You Probably Never Knew About Chocolate

If you have a stash of Hershey’s kisses in your bedside table or do thorough research on which dark chocolate is best for your heart, then you probably consider yourself a chocolate aficionado – or, at least, a super fan. But how much do you really know about the melt-in-your mouth candy we all adore or the ancient bean from whence it came? We’re about to find out. Here are 15 things you probably didn’t know about chocolate.

It’s technically a vegetable

Milk and dark chocolate come from the cacao bean, which grows on the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), an evergreen from the family Malvaceae (other members of the family include okra and cotton). This makes the most important part of the sweet treat a veggie. Eating your daily vegetables just got a whole lot easier.

White chocolate isn’t really chocolate

White chocolate truffles #whitechocolate #chocolates #chocolates

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Sorry, white chocolate lovers. Since this extra-sweet variety doesn’t contain cocoa solids or chocolate liquor, it isn’t chocolate in the strict sense. However, it does contain parts of the cacao bean — mainly cocoa butter — so that counts a little bit.

Cacao was once used as currency

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The cacao bean is native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. Archeologists say the ancient inhabitants of these areas started cultivating the bean as far back as 1900 BCE and that the valuable bean was used as currency in the Aztec society. Cacao beans would be traded for luxury items like jade and ceremonial feathers, or everyday items such as food and clothes.

Most cacao beans are now grown in Africa

Despite its Central American roots, nowadays most cacao (nearly 70% of the world’s supply) comes from Africa. The Ivory Coast is the largest single producer, providing about 30 percent of all the world’s cacao.

Napoleon loved chocolate

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The French leader demanded that chocolate be made available to him and his senior advisers even during intense military campaigns. He was famously known to choose chocolate over coffee when he worked late at night, often enjoying the sweet until 2 or 3 a.m.

Milk chocolate was invented almost 4,000 years after chocolate was first cultivated

The Mayans and Aztecs were enjoying the bitter cacao bean long before the dawn of modern society, but that “chocolate” is nothing like a Hershey bar you’d go pick up at the store. The most popular chocolate in the modern world (although its darker counterpart has become extremely trendy recently) is milk chocolate – however, this wasn’t invented until 3,600 years after ancient civilizations started enjoying cacao.

Swiss chocolatier Daniel Peter created the tasty treat in 1875 after eight years of trying to make his recipe work. Condensed milk ended up being the key ingredient he was missing.

The invention of the first chocolate bar started a manufacturing empire


Credit: Flickr

In 1847, British chocolate maker Joseph Fry found a way to mix the ingredients of cocoa powder, sugar and cocoa to manufacture a paste that could then be molded into a chocolate bar unlike anything the world had seen before. Demand was immediately high, and the Fry Chocolate Factory in Bristol, England began pumping out the bars. In the following decades, over 220 innovative chocolate products were introduced to the masses, including production of the first chocolate Easter egg in UK in 1873 and the Fry’s Turkish Delight (or Fry’s Turkish bar) in 1914. In 1896, the firm became a registered private company and was run by the Fry family, with Joseph Storrs Fry II, grandson of the first Joseph Storrs Fry, as Chairman.

Hot chocolate was the first chocolate treat

But, to be fair, it wasn’t quite the frothy, delicious drink we know today. The OG hot chocolate was an Aztec invention called xocolatl, which means “bitter water.” The drink was made with cacao beans, vanilla, and chili peppers and was thought to help battle fatigue. When Columbus and his men brought cacao beans back to Europe, sugar was then added to the drink, helping it to become popular throughout modern society. Now we get to watch first hand as YouTuber wilmo55 shows us a behind-the-scenes look at how this ancient beverage was prepared centuries ago. We’re not sure how well xocolatl would go over in our AS (After Starbucks) age, but we know that we owe a lot to this ancient drink.

Chocolate inspired the invention of the microwave

The thing that heats up so many of our frozen dinners and takeout leftovers – we owe it all to a little bit of melted chocolate. About 70 years ago, Raytheon engineer Percy Spencer was testing military-grade magnetron (or really intense magnets) when legend has it the heat made the chocolate bar in his pocket melt. Fascinated, Spencer brought popcorn kernels into the office next day and put them by the same heat, creating the first ever batch of microwave popcorn. Thanks to his melted snack, the microwave oven was born. Check out this How Stuff Works video to get the whole history on our favorite appliance.

Cacao trees can live to be 200 years old

It probably sounds impressive that these ancient trees, which have been revered as “gifts from the gods,” can live to be centuries old. Seems fitting, right? Unfortunately, there is an interesting catch. Although these trees can live to be hundreds of years old, they old produce cacao beans for 25 years of that time. Talk about delicious irony.

Chocolate has a special melting point

When modern day chocolatiers were trying to find a way to market candy that wouldn’t melt in the consumer’s pocket, they discovered the trick was to make the melting point right below the human body temperature. Chocolate is the only edible substance to melt between 85-93° F, which is why it melts so easily on your tongue; it has a specially designed “mouthfeel” unlike any substance on earth, somewhere between solid and liquid. Want to learn how to melt chocolate correctly? Then you need this quick video tutorial from Everyday Food to feel like a honest-to-goodness chocolatier.

There’s now a chocolate that can withstand intense temperatures

Food scientists have been laboring for decades to come up with chocolate that won’t melt in the higher temperatures, to accommodate warmer places around the world. In 2012, Cadbury announced that they were developing a technique for formulating a bar that could withstand very high temperatures – up to 104 °F. By grinding the sugar down to a smaller particle size and reducing the fat content, Cadbury’s new chocolate can withstand much higher temperatures without liquefying. The company hopes to introduce the product in Africa and Brazil in the future.

Chocolate helped the Allies win World War II

Granted, there was a lot more that won the war than eating chocolate, but historians credit the chocolate rations Hershey provided to the troops as a source of positive morale and energy. The Hershey Chocolate company was approached in 1937 about creating a specially designed bar just for U.S. Army emergency rations. According to Hershey’s chief chemist Sam Hinkle, the U.S. government had just four requests about their new chocolate bars: they had to weigh 4 ounces, be high in energy, withstand high temperatures and “taste a little better than a boiled potato.” According to some soldiers, the taste of a boiled potato was preferred to these ration bars, but the treat had a knack for picking up the soldier’s energy and spirits.

It shares some similarities with marijuana

The cacao bean has this nifty concoction of chemicals in it, a mixture that really sets off the pleasure centers in our brain (which is why we love/crave chocolate constantly). One of the big parts of that mixture is a chemical known as anandamide, which activates dopamine receptors and consequently, makes us happy. The most closely related compound to this chemical is THC, which is the main constituent of cannabis and has a similar effect in the brain.

Switzerland consumes the most chocolate per year

According to U.S. News, Switzerland is the #1 purchaser of chocolate in the world. The people of Switzerland purchased 18.1 lbs. of chocolate (yes, per person) in 2015 and that number went up to 19.8 in 2016. On the other hand, the U.S. wasn’t in the Top 10 in 2015 and broke in at #9 last year, with Americans buying 9.5 lbs. of chocolate for themselves in 2016. Honestly? We were expecting a lot more.

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FOODBEAST Hit-Or-Miss

10 Bizarre Foods That Pair Well With Cheese

I know I’m not alone when I say this: I am obsessed with cheese. If I had the choice, I’d probably eat cheese all day and melt cheese on all other non-cheese items. Everyone has different things they like to eat with this favorite dairy product, and tbh, some of those relationships are a little… weird.

Forget your typical grilled cheese or cream cheese on a bagel, here are 10 bizarre things people like to pair with cheese.

Pickles and Cheese

This one shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, but pickles and cheese are all the rage. Whether you’re dunking them in beer cheese dip, fondue, or straight up wrapping them in a slice or two, the sourness of the pickle and the creaminess of the cheese complement each other perfectly.

If you really want to do this flavor combination right, try making these mozzarella-stuffed fried pickles by Richard in the Kitchen, and don’t say we never did you any favors.

Hot Cheetos and Cream Cheese

👍🏻😛🔥 #hotcheetosandcreamcheese #yummy #sogood #flaminhotlimoncheetos #creamcheese

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You might have heard of people drinking milk with their Hot Cheetos. Well, this weird pairing kind of takes that notion to the next level. Maybe to help ease the burn of this spicy snack, some have taken to dunking their Flamin’ Hot Cheetos in cream cheese.

Crazier yet, people are literally making cream cheese and Cheetos sandwiches, mainly with bagels as their bread of choice.

Salsa and Cottage Cheese

How is this nasty!? Thank you @jornelas_420 for trying! #cottagecheeseandsalsa

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The logic behind this pairing seems to be if two things separately are great dips, then together they should make one super dip. You love dunking your chips in salsa, and fresh fruit is great with a scoop of cottage cheese, but together?! Together they make a combo that the general interweb is furious about.

Caramel and Bleu Cheese

You read that right. Apparently, spooning caramel onto bleu cheese makes for an out-of-this-world flavor combination. This is a little known fact that cheese experts swear by for a cheese-centric dessert. Truthfully, we’re having a hard time picturing what exactly this would taste like. Confusion, maybe?

Kimchi and Cheddar Grilled Cheese

Judge if you want, but this actually sounds amazing. We know it sounds weird when you first think about it, but kimchi and cheese get along better than you’d think. Cheese brightens up the intense kick that kimchi presents, and if you don’t believe us, we dare you to make your own. Or, better yet, go out and order one now.

Peanut Butter and Cottage Cheese

I may be a big proponent of cheese, but peanut butter is definitely my #2. So I’m trying to not be too salty about this one. In some alternate universe, people actually enjoy eating scoops of PB with cottage cheese. Now, I’m all for eating peanut butter straight from the jar (I did that like five minutes ago) but why do we have to add cheese to the equation?

As it turns out, this combo is a high protein snack that bodybuilders will “indulge” in for a late night snack or for breakfast. I don’t know your life, guys. Not here to judge.

Banana and Cheese

Afternoon treats 🌞🌞 #homecook #fromamyskitchen #bananaandcheese

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This is an old school snack dating back to the ’70s and we kind of see why it went out of vogue. Basically, you wrap a piece of single-serving cheese around a banana and immediately eat it. No tea, no shade — that sounds downright disgusting. But if Mr. Rogers was a fan, how bad could it have honestly been?

Hot Chocolate and Cheese

Also known as Colombian hot chocolate, this cup of cocoa has a little surprise inside. Spoiler alert: it’s cheese. After making this frothy drink on the stove, Colombians will usually add some kind of white cheese, like queso compasigna, queso blanco, panela, halloumi, or mozzarella. You can use a spoon for dunking or you can put the cheese in the bottom of your mug and pour the cocoa on top. We’re definitely intrigued.

Coffee and Cream Cheese

Putting cheese in coffee is very much a thing around the world. In places like Korea, Switzerland, and Panama (where queso blanco is the general coffee cheese of choice) putting cheese in your coffee is a pretty standard thing. Fans of the pairing have said that when cheese is mixed with espresso, it supposedly tastes something like tiramisu. That might be one mystery we could do without solving ourselves. We’ll take your word for it.

Cereal and Cheese

Ask and you shall receive #cheeseoncereal

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Potentially the most jarring pairing on this list: cereal and cheese. We’d like to believe this is something only broke college students do when they run out of ramen, but it’s a thing that actually happens. Photos of people putting shredded cheese on more bland cereals, like Cheerios, have surfaced on the internet recently, and a lot of people have been coming to their aid against haters, claiming this combination is actually delicious.

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Packaged Food Products

OREO Releasing An Official Hot Chocolate Mix Nationwide

There aren’t many things that are better than a sip of hot cocoa in the winter, but OREOs trying to upgrade that experience by bringing its creamy, chocolaty cookie taste to your mugs might be one of them.

Boxes of Oreo Hot Cocoa mix have been appearing in stores, and according to Mashable, will be making a nationwide release as soon as this October.

The cookie-inspired hot chocolate was first spotted by The Impulsive Buy on September 18, as the 8-count box was apparently chilling on a Walmart shelf. There have even been happy Instagram users sharing photos of their boxes, adding further excitement to the nationwide release.

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While the concept itself isn’t new, you can find endless recipes for Oreo Hot Cocoa pretty much anywhere. But it’s nice that OREOs is cutting out the middle man, and making it as easy as tearing open a package and adding it to your hot beverage.

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Drinks Fast Food What's New

Starbucks Celebrates New Year’s With A TUXEDO Drink

No, Starbucks isn’t coming out with a line of tuxedos… although let’s revisit that awesome idea sometime in the near future. Rather, the coffee chain has introduced a line of specialty drinks they’re calling the Tuxedo Collection.

The sartorially-themed collection features three drinks that follow the formal attire’s black and white motif. Options from the collection include a tuxedo mocha, a tuxedo hot chocolate, and a tuxedo frappuccino.

Might be the most dapper looking drink I’ve seen at @starbucks.

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Each drink is dressed to the nines with a mound of whipped cream. One half is garbed with chocolate shavings while the other a generous serving of chocolate syrup. The result resembles something suited and booted and ready to paint the town red.

You’ll only have a minute to enjoy them though, because the drinks will be off store menus after New Year’s Day.

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Drinks Restaurants What's New

This Unicorn Hot Chocolate Is A Secret Menu Item Straight Out Of A Fairy Tale

As the year comes to the close, we’re gonna take a look at one last entry into the world of “rainbow” foods. Creme & Sugar, a coffee and dessert parlour in Anaheim, CA, created a fantastical beverage appropriately named Unicorn Hot Chocolate.

The drink is made with double white chocolate vanilla hot cocoa, multicolored fruit marshmallows, house-made whipped cream, edible glitter dust, and rainbow sprinkles. 

Owner Joanna Czikalla drew inspiration for the drink from her love of Willy Wonka and anything whimsical or fairy tale-inspired. Growing up in Anaheim and formerly working at Disney definitely helped nourish this passion. Because most hot chocolates on their menu weren’t that photogenic, she threw together something using ingredients she already had for her colorful unicorn cakes and unicorn bark. The result was breathtaking.

No unicorns were hurt in the making of this Unicorn Hot Chocolate.

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Don’t expect to see this on Creme & Sugar’s menu once you walk in, though. The Unicorn Hot Chocolate, while a permanent and popular fixture, is also a secret menu item. Patrons can also order Unicorn Shakes, which follow a similar concept.

You can find the Unicorn Hot Chocolate, in multiple colors, at Creme & Sugar in Anaheim. There is also a Cookie Monster variation topped with crushed Oreos and blue cocoa. 

Cookie Monster Hot Cocoa is not for sharing 🍪☕️🍫 #foodbeast

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Drinks Restaurants What's New

You Won’t Be Able To Take Your Eyes Off This ‘Blossoming’ Hot Chocolate

In a deep-fried, cheese-pull driven industry, it’s always great to see something unique and whimsical every now and again. Dominique Ansel, the man behind Cronuts, just introduced beautiful new beverages to his bakery in New York City.

At Dominique Ansel Bakery, an unsuspecting cup of hot chocolate is given a marshmallow flower. As the flower hits the hot liquid, it “blossoms” immediately into the drink, making for one of the rare foods that’s worth a social video.

Ansel’s Tokyo location features another version of this drink that’s made with a purple marshmallow flower.

Watching the flower unfold reminds us of the awesome holiday stop motion movies that should make their way onto broadcast television within the next few weeks.

We might need to make another trip out to NYC to try this for ourselves. Heck, even Tokyo’s a possibility.

Cover Photo: Mike Chau | FoodbabyNY

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Drinks Fast Food Packaged Food What's New

Dunkin’ Donuts Adds Oreo Hot Chocolate And We’re Ready To Sip

oreo-hot-chocolate-dd

As oversaturated as the market is, we still can’t get enough Oreos in our lives. Seriously, there are so many variations of the creme-filled cookie sandwich that we can hardly keep track of them.

Dunkin’ Donuts has announced a new take on the cookie for the fall season. No, it’s not an Oreo donut. Rather, the chain will be releasing an Oreo Hot Chocolate for customers to enjoy.

The hot beverage features the classic Oreo flavor of cookies and creme and will join Dunkin’ Donuts’ existing flavors of Original Hot and Dunkaccino.

We’ve learned years ago never to underestimate the power of a good cup of hot chocolate, no matter how old you are. Curious to see how noticeable the Oreo component of this new item will be, or will it taste more like the brand’s original flavor.

Now that there are a handful of Dunkin’ Donuts locations in the West Coast, we definitely want to make it a point to try a cup before they’re taken off the menu.

The Oreo Hot Chocolate is available now, nationwide, for a limited time.