The Good: Tastes fine
The Bad: Environmentally irresponsible packaging, Marshmallows melt.
The Basics: Those who love marshmallows will be disappointed by Swiss Miss Marshmallow Hot Cocoa, where the marshmallows melt in order to make the drink!
There are many things that I enjoy, maybe even love (love in the real sense, not just "love" the way people throw that word around). I love good food and drink. I love the environment. I love my wife. I love my work. These are all things or people I have a passion for that excites me and gets me out of bed each morning. When I can combine those things, I find myself immeasurably happy. So, when I find something I love consuming that is environmentally responsible that I can write about and share with my wife, I feel like I've hit the motherload. Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow is the opposite of that.
I've avoided reviewing some things because what people want the product to be is not what it actually is, but people allow themselves to be blinded by that. Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow is one such product. This is a product that sells itself on possessing marshmallows, but is essentially Swiss Miss Milk Chocolate hot cocoa with tiny, hard marshmallows in each packet. The thing is, in order to get the chocolate powder mix to dissolve, the water temperature must be at a temperature which will cause the marshmallows to melt. In other words, this ends up tasting exactly like the Milk Chocolate hot cocoa. There are wonderful hot chocolate drinks with marshmallows where the marshmallows are kept separate so they do not melt while preparing the hot drink. Those tend to be the only ones, in my experience, where the consumer is left with marshmallows in the mug, as opposed to a marshmallowy sludge at the top rim. This, however, is not one of those fine products and those looking for marshmallows in their cocoa will only be disappointed by Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate With Marshmallows.
Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa With Marshmallow mix is a hot chocolate mix put out by Swiss Miss. The box of hot cocoa packets is a pretty standard ten oz. box, containing ten one-ounce packets of hot chocolate. Trading on the general flavor of milk chocolate, Swiss Miss added about thirty tiny marshmallows (about 1/8" in diameter and 1/4" tall) to each packet. When hot water or milk is combined with the powder, though, the marshmallows tend to melt as quickly as the powder dissolves, especially as agitation is necessary to get the mix to blend with the liquid to make the drink. This ends up being just as good as the basic hot cocoa mix, but it is still likely to underwhelm those who actually want marshmallows in their cocoa.
Ease Of Preparation
Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa With Marshmallow mix is very easy to prepare, as most hot chocolate products are. Because each packet in the box is a single serving, one need only have a mug large enough to accommodate the powdered mix and some water with a little room for mixing it around. Because the powder has some mass to it before it is dissolved, I recommend using an 8 oz. mug.
Preparation is simple; empty the contents of a single packet from the box of eight into an eight ounce mug. Bring a pot of water to a near-boil - the Hot Cocoa With Marshmallow does not require boiling water, just very hot water. Boiling the water does not cook the powder, so if one does boil the water, there is no adverse consequence to the beverage, especially considering the marshmallows melt in hot water as well. Once the water is hot, simply pour six to eight fluid ounces of water over the powder and stir it up. It is that easy to make!
Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa With Marshmallow has a very good aroma to it, instantly preparing the consumer for a beverage that tastes like chocolate. The scent is mildly cocoa flavor and is scented recognizably like chocolate. Anyone who has ever had a milk chocolate candy bar will recognize the scent from chocolate on a warm day. This is identical to the aroma of the standard milk chocolate hot cocoa because the product in the mug is identical to the basic powder mix.
This milk chocolate flavored hot cocoa is very smooth. Hot, it tastes very milky with a bitter cocoa aftertaste. Interestingly enough, cooler drops licked off one's lips have a more sugary taste, which does not come across when the beverage is hot. This tastes like warmed chocolate milk and it is quite good. It also leaves for very little to be written about it; Swiss Miss lives up to its promise by providing a drink - with water or milk - that tastes like liquid milk chocolate. It does not, however, taste like marshmallows or keep the marshmallows in the mug in a way that one might be able to enjoy them. Within seconds of making the drink, the marshmallows are gone.
As the beverage cools, the chocolate flavor comes out more, but the drink becomes far less of a satisfying thirst-quencher. This is a good comfort drink, though, and it is a close approximation of milk chocolate.
Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa With Marshmallow is a chocolately drink with marshmallows, so any expectation that this is a beverage that is going to meet a lot of one's daily needs is fairly unrealistic. Still, there are worse beverages out on the market. One serving - a single packet - has 120 calories, eighteen of which are from fat. With two grams of fat, this drink is not a dieter's beverage, but it could be worse. This Marshmallow hot cocoa has no cholesterol or any vitamin or mineral nutrients, outside calcium (which it has an impressive 30% of the RDA!), but it does have 170 mg of sodium. This is not a food to try to live off of.
It is hardly a surprise that Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa With Marshmallow is not a nutritious food product considering that the primary ingredients are sugar, corn syrup, and modified whey. For those with allergies, it is noted on the package that the powder contains milk and there is no notation that this is gluten-free.
Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa With Marshmallow mix is ridiculously easy to store and clean up. Because the packets are individual servings and self-contained, as long as one does not store the packets in a wet environment, they will last. My box of cocoa, purchased in November 2009, has an expiration date in September 2011, but it is hard to imagine this would not last past the expiration date so long as the packets inside are kept cool and dry.
Cleaning up Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa With Marshmallow mix is easy, as it is a powder which may be easily brushed up and the marshmallows may easily be swept into a receptacle. If one spills it after it is mixed with water, it is likely to stain lighter fabrics and one ought to consult one's fabric guide for cleaning if that happens. Mugs, though, clean right out with hot water as this fluid does not stain ceramics.
Swiss Miss Hot Cocoa With Marshmallow is an average hot cocoa, but one does not get the marshmallows they are promised unless they take the time to painstakingly pluck out the marshmallows before making it.
For other beverage reviews, please check out my takes on:
Swiss Miss Dark Chocolate Sensation Cocoa
The Simpsons Duff Energy Drink
Celestial Seasonings Almond Sunset tea
For other food and drink reviews, please be sure to visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2010, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.