Swiss Miss No Sugar Added Hot Cocoa Mix with Calcium, Milk Chocolate

Pros: The experience of drinking it does actually end
Cons: The experience of drinking it
Rating: 2 out of 5

When Heather tried a mug of Swiss Miss No Sugar Added Hot Cocoa Mix with Calcium, Milk Chocolate and attempted to throw the rest of the box away, I should’ve known.

Wait a minute. Can I shorten that name? How about cocoa-like substance? Much more convenient.

Okay, when Heather tried a mug of the cocoa-like substance and attempted to throw the rest of the box away, I should’ve known. I stopped her, saying that perhaps I wouldn’t be as sensitive to whatever taste had bothered her. I felt a twinge of self-preservation though, and the box sat on the counter untouched for more than a month.

Tonight, I tried it.

The packet the cocoa-esque substance came in was a perfect Trojan Horse. It was a flawless recreation of the slightly stiff paper packets of cocoa goodness I enjoyed in childhood. Once opened, the iso-cocoa substance played its sinister part all too well. On contact with water, dark seductive tendrils snaked down into the depths of my glass mug. My stirring quickened the thing. It spread through the water, descending from the surface like a comforting blanket of nightfall, whispering promises both sweet and warm. Only a small archipelago of dry cocoa-morphous substance remained floating on the surface. A few strokes of the spoon, and those too were absorbed into the chocolate – as it turned out, not quite chocolate – depths.

With equal parts anticipation and trepidation, I drank from the cup. I took another sip. Honestly, it tasted a little weak. Part of that might have been my fault for using only one packet, when typically I use two. Also, I was taking small sips just in case. So I drank deep. Far away, I heard a voice speaking.

“Why does it taste like someone put baking powder toothpaste in my cocoa?!”

With horror, I realized the voice was my own and the world came crashing in on me. The harsh sounds of our cats sleeping in another room grated on my ears. The blinding light of the soft-white incandescent 60 watt bulbs in the ceiling fixtures pierced my eyes. And the taste! Oh, by the gods of the forgotten pantheons of a thousand long dead peoples, THE TASTE!

I’m told I calmly poured out the rest of the cup, washed it, and threw the box in the trash. I believe this account, as I’ve had to dig through the trash to get the product information to write this review. Well, I guess I just needed the name of the pseudo-cocoa substance, but I didn’t want to get that wrong. I’d hate to warn people off of the wrong product.

In all seriousness, I don’t bear the Swiss Miss, or any of her relatives, any ill will. I have many warm childhood memories that include Swiss Miss cocoa products and their deliciously rich, chocolate taste (well, rich once you use twice the called for number of packets). The company as a whole produces a number of fine variations of hot cocoa.

This, however, is not one of them. I do not recommend it. I give it a 2 out of 5 instead of 1 only because it didn’t actually cause me any permanent damage.

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