Thursday, October 1, 2020

Nature To Go - Cocoa Dusted Almonds - Sept. 30, 2020

Chocolate of the Day

Manufactured for Food Castle Inc. 
Nature To Go 
Cocoa Dusted Almonds
Good - Good +
Weight: 1.4 oz. (40 g.) / 16 oz. (453 g.) in total container
Calories: 200 calories in 1 serving 
Cost: $9.99 for 1 container
Purchased from: Grocery Outlet Bargain Market, Palo Alto, CA

Welcome to Day #10 of Chocolate, Nuts and More Theme Week.

Today's Nature To Go Cocoa Dusted Almonds were manufactured for Food Castle Inc. (Vernon, CA), in the U.S.

Food Castle is a food wholesaler that produces fruit and nut snacks in Southern California. (Vernon, located near Los Angeles, is known for its industrial, food processing operations.) And California farmers produce a lot of fruits and nuts, including almonds that are processed into snack foods, with and without chocolate.

These almonds did have the same tasty attributes that many chocolate coated nuts offer: smooth, rich chocolate flavor combined with crunchy, satisfying nutty texture and flavor. Cocoa powder was mentioned three times in the ingredients list.*

The Cocoa Dusted Almonds had two coatings: an undercoat of dark chocolate, and an overcoat of "dark coating" that included the dusted cocoa. Since the chocolate portion was manufactured using primarily alkalized cocoa(s), much of the acidity and natural cocoa flavors were muted. (Some prefer their cocoa to be well-behaved with a bit of vanilla, and today's tamer cocoa coatings may showcase nut flavors as well.)

The "other" aspect to this chocolate and nuts treat today lay in the ingredients. Palm kernel oil was the number one ingredient listed in the outer cocoa dusting (dark coating).  The oil helped the cocoa powder adhere to the nuts; however, anytime I see added vegetable oils, natural flavors, and/or lecithin, I try to list ingredients (below) for people who may have dietary concerns.

*Ingredients: Dark Coating (palm kernel oil, sugar, inulin, cocoa (processed with alkali), emulsifier (soy lecithin), natural vanilla flavor), almonds (almonds), dark chocolate coating ( sugar, unsweetened chocolate, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, butter fat, cocoa powder (processed with alkali), soy lecithin (added as an emulsifier, salt and natural flavor), cocoa powder (processed with alkali)
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