Monday, March 12, 2007


in which my husband finds the cocoavia

intrigued by this entire chocolate-with-anti-oxidant thing, i go in search of the candy specially made to include all these groovy flavonoids, the cocoavia. after a brief web search at lunch, i discover it's sold at the pharmacy 1/2 a block from my house.

my husband sweetly treks down the alley in search of said candy. which he had trouble finding.

let me note that the cocoavia is a product of the venerable american firm mars. that's hard at first to discern, since the packaging bears a small dove logo and also a masterfoods logo.

only scrutiny of the fine print will reveal the name mars. this seems odd to me, as mars = candy to most americans.

walk up to anyone and say "mars bar" and the answer will be instantly "chocolate!" why not make the cocoavia a recognizable mars or dove bar?

and let me further note that in the early 90s i had the pleasure of meeting a mars brother at a splendid christmas party in virginia, altho' it wasn't explained to me who he was until much later. (as the mars reputation suggests, i found him a completely normal if somewhat quiet person, without any airs.)

but since that time, i really haven't had any contact whatsoever with mars. just want to make that clear -- i have no mars relationship, being more of an artisan chocolate type person nowadays.

anyway, my husband explained the trouble finding the cocoavia -- it had a poor shelf position at the cvs, and the box in which they sell them doesn't really look like a candy box. he had to walk the aisle 3 times before he noticed it, he said.

he thought most people would have given up before they found it. really, i said?

and then he showed me the box. well.

well, the box certainly does make the product look more like a vitamin than chocolate. i'm not sure just what it is, but something about the box reminds me of viactiv.

the bars themselves are better-looking -- indeed they remind me rather of the hachez cocoa de maracaibo skinny bars -- if i were mars, i'd ditch the box presentation and sell the bars individually or in nicely packaged clear plastic bags to make them look more gift-wrapped.

in fact, i'd follow the hachez presentation completely, to be honest. ok, so how is the chocolate?

mars doesn't tell you the percentage, but does call the candy "semisweet." eating it, i'd say it's probably 55%.

the bar is fashioned into skinny segments, similar to the hachez, no doubt. opening the bar, it has a nice chocolate smell, if a little fruity.

as you would expect from a mass-produced candy, its shine is minimal. the back of the bar has all kinds of pooling marks -- not very well molded -- and the type on the front isn't very crisp.

the bar doesn't snap and the break isn't clean. the ingredients make clear that the bars have a lot of lecithin.

so far the best thing about this candy as chocolate is the smell. i brace for a waxy texture in the mouth but am instead suprised to find it pleasantly buttery.

it melts easily on your tongue. actually, it tastes better than i expected, not overly sweet.

pretty good smell, pleasant texture, tastes better than hersheys. ok!

and it's good for you. not only does it have said groovy anti-oxidants, one 22g bar also packs a wallop of calcium -- 25% of the daily requirement.

oh, it's much better than chocolate viactiv! if i ate the recommended 2 a day, that'd be 50% of my calcium requirement.

anyway, the box claims 2 22g bars of cocoavia candy, at 100 calories each, could lower your bad cholesterol up to 8%. the box doesn't say how long you have to keep up the regime to see this effect however.

my husband asks if 8% is a worthwhile figure. i don't know.

after some googling, i find that the medical journal circulation discusses at length a therapeutic diet that they say lowers bad cholesterol by 8%, as if that's a good thing worth adopting a special diet for.

so i guess 8% would be a good start. apparently if you take a fancy anti-cholestorol drug like a statin, that could lower your bad cholesterol by up to 35%.

i guess you can't toss your pravachol for cocoavia. on the other hand, i'm not sure the cocoavia has any harmful side effects!

then again, a daily dose of the generic version of pravachol costs about US$0.16 a day; whereas the cocoavia is about US$1.25 a bar. but there's no doubt which is easier to swallow!

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posted by fortune | 6:33 PM | top | link to this | email this: | links to this post | | 1 comments

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