Saturday, 21 August 2010

Things that probably shouldn't exist - Hot Chocolate... IN A CAN!!!

The other night I was at the supermarket picking up a few odds and ends to tide me over for the week, and I came across this.

Now, before you start to think that I have taken leave of my senses, I only bought it because it was on sale. I'm not sure whether it was on sale because it's a new product, or because they're trying to get rid of them. At this point, either option is a possibility!

The instructions seemed fairly straightforward, but for some reason I was a bit nervous about setting the wheels in motion. Step one was to remove the anti-tamper seal. Don't ask me who in their right mind would bother tampering with a can of hot chocolate, but anyhow...

Peeling back the seal revealed more - very specific - instructions.
I was half tempted to whip out a ruler to ensure I was pushing the button in precisely 1.5cm, but in the end I restrained myself because I figured I wasn't strong enough to push it in too far and bollocks it up completely. As I pushed it down, it felt kind of crunchy, like when you bend a cyalume stick to make it glow. My best guess is that when you push the button down, you're releasing something that mixes with another chemical that's in there and causes an exothermic reaction. Kind of like those hand warmer things you can buy from hiking shops.

Next, I was required to shake the can gently for about 20 seconds. That has to be one of the most daft instructions I have ever read, because "gently" is a very subjective thing. "Gently" to a two-year-old or to a frail old woman may not be the same as "gently" to, say, Arnold Schwartzenegger in his heyday. I started out flailing it about in a kind of pathetic, weak, manner, but decided that it wasn't hard enough so I shook it a little harder. And don't ask me how long I did it for, either. We've already established that precise measurements are not my forte, so why should timekeeping be??!

After I placed it down on the table nothing happened for a bit. Then, suddenly, the can started to vibrate and steam started to pour out of it and it made a high-pitched squealing noise. I began to worry that it would scald the top of our new dining table, so I picked it up with a potholder and put it on the bench. As a side-note, the jiggling motion and the high pitched squeaking noise that came out of it reminded me of a Paul Jennings story about these magical mushroom thingies that imitate objects that they are put next to, and then eventually jiggle and giggle and explode into a puddle of pungent goop.
I sure hope someone else remembers that story otherwise I'm going to sound like a total nutcase... YES! I Googled it! The story is called Yuggles, and basically, whenever someone nasty is around one of these toadstools, they turn into a brown, motionless replica of something nearby. But they're not very stable and eventually explode, just like I said.
Now, theoretically the temperature indicator was supposed to tell me when I should be drinking it, but it didn't. And patience isn't my forte, either (that's not true, I'm a very patient person... but rarely when it comes to food!), so I decided to judge it on how warm the can was to the touch.

For the purpose of this blog, and also because it felt weird drinking something hot out of a can, I poured the warm hot chocolate.

Hmm... it's a brown puddle... wonder if it's a Yuggle... kidding. I know that Yuggles don't really exist (or do they?), but this might as well have been one. I wouldn't bother with this product. I really, really wouldn't. But it doesn't resemble the frothy-topped hot choc on the label, at all (thankyou, Captain Obvious!), and it doesn't taste much like one of those frothy-topped speciems would. The hot chocolate was thick and syrupy but tasted plasticy, too. The texture reminded me somewhat of one of those Supa-Shakes you can get at the supermarket, where you shake them up and they turn into a thickshake. But hot. And plasticy. Eugh. I only made it half way through the mug (which was only about half full to start with) before I threw in the towel and tipped it out, which, if you know me and how I feel about food, chocolate especially, is really saying something!
So, although, in its defence, it was perfect drinking temperature, hot chocolate in a can shouldn't exist. DON'T DO IT, PEOPLE!!!
PS - they also make cafe latte in a can...


  1. I remember the Yuggles!

    I think self-heating food was originally invented by the military... which is not generally a source of gourmet food. We tried Dad's ration packs when we were little - they were awful.

    I wonder what chemicals are in there to create the heat - and what they do in landfills :-S

  2. I don't think rat-pack food is all that bad as a novelty (clearly I'm okay with dehydrated food because of the hikign thing) but I could imagine that if it's all you could eat, it would be awful. My favourite (not because it tastes good, but for the novelty) is cheese in a can. It's like those cheese sticks, but in a can. Awesome.
    ~* Ness (at work, can't log into Google profile)


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