Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Heaven
Weight: 2.12 oz. (60 g.) / 12 oz. (340 g.) total package
Calories: 260 calories in 2 servings (1/2 cup)
Cost: $ missing information
Purchased from: Safeway (missing location information)
Welcome to the second day (Day #2) of Chocolate Breakfast Cereal Week.
There are many ways to enjoy a chocolate breakfast; and granola with chocolate and nuts is certainly a category worth exploring.
Oat-based/muesli cereals were staples for centuries in Europe. Cacao beans from the Americas were first brought to Europe by the Spanish in the early 1500s, and gradually spread to other countries, primarily as drinking chocolate.
Oat cereals and chocolate eventually became available in merged form by the 1800s in Europe and elsewhere. In some cases, early commercial chocolate was diluted with cereal grains, starches or flours. Although I'm sure Europeans with access to hot chocolate might have poured some into their oat cereals earlier than the 1800s. (I think I would have.)
The Maya and Aztec peoples mixed cacao with corn/maize and cereal grains in Central and South America for centuries before Europeans arrived.
Today's Open Nature Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Heaven granola distributed by Lucerne Foods, Inc.* (Pleasanton, CA) was crunchy and surprisingly light in mouthfeel and texture. It was sweet, but slightly less so than other prepared granola cereals (thank you).
When it came to the inclusions, dark chocolate (chips) and hazelnut bits, these were also on the light side, that is they were very subtle accent flavors and not the main attraction. However, it's easy to add a few toasted hazelnuts (I did) or some dark chocolate shavings/chips (I did not) to amp up these flavors if desired.
Note: While no wheat ingredients were listed, it was not advertised as a gluten free cereal. And, as I found out later, it did contain barley malt syrup.
*Lucerne Foods, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Safeway.