The Good: Tastes good, Easy to prepare
The Bad: Very expensive in this form, Environmental impact of packaging
The Basics: While Arctic White Cocoa Classics from Land O' Lakes taste wonderfully like white chocolate, but it is not the most robust flavor for a hot beverage.
For our 28 month anniversary, my wife showered me with food gifts, knowing full well that I would want to review them. The other day, I leapt out of my natural order of reviews to review the Godiva Dark Chocolate Mint Truffles she got me (that's here!). The night of our anniversary, we tried one of the other food gifts she got me, Arctic White hot cocoa from Land O’ Lakes. Being a real sweetheart, she got two packets for me; one for us to enjoy and one for me to review. I say it a lot these days, but my wife is adorable!
More than any other liquid white chocolate or vanilla drink I have had in recent years, Land O’ Lakes Arctic White hot cocoa stands out as a distinctive drink. For sure, white chocolate is a milder flavor, but the Arctic White seems to amp it up enough to make the beverage flavorful without being overbearing.
The Arctic White hot cocoa mix is part of the Land O' Lakes Cocoa Classics premium hot cocoa line. The mix comes in a 1 1/4 oz. sealed foil package and is a pretty delicious mix. Each 1 1/4 oz. packet is a single serving and these bear a relatively high price tag at about a dollar each. For a single mug of cocoa, this is expensive when compared to other make-at-home products, but about on par with getting a cocoa at a place like Dunkin' Donuts.
Ease Of Preparation
The Cocoa Classics Arctic White hot cocoa mix is ridiculously simple to make. Having picked up a packet a few months ago (in 2011), this is a product to stock up on as the expiration date recommended using the packet before March 17, 2013. Because it is sealed and has some artificial preservatives in is, this is likely to last virtually forever unopened. A single serving is the packet and six oz. of water. There is no measuring of the product involved!
As a result, preparation is ridiculously simple. The top of the envelope has a perforated edge and one need simply tear open the top, which is quite easy, and pour the contents of the packet into a mug that is at least eight ounces large. Then, simply pour hot water - near boiling, but not actually boiling as boiling water cooks the ingredients as opposed to simply dissolving them - over the powder and stir. Stir the powder until there are no blobs of white powder visible in the water or giving resistance from the bottom. The beverage will have a creamy white color to it, as if one had just boiled up a cup of milk.
Land O' Lakes Arctic White smells like milk and vanilla as the steam wafts up out of the mug. For a beverage that is supposed to be white chocolate flavor, the scent when it is hot and fresh made is actually one of vanilla. It is surprisingly inviting and it is exciting to the senses, encouraging one to sip the drink.
On the tongue, Arctic White hot cocoa tastes like a Nestles white chocolate bar melted down and without and waxy sensation on the tongue. The beverage is smooth, creamy and very mild. The sweetness of Arctic White also enriches the flavor and the analogy to a melted Nestles bar is a good one; it cannot be understated how the flavor is identical, save the waxy quality mass-produced white chocolate usually has. This makes the drink satisfying and delicious and I'm not one who usually enjoys mild flavors like white chocolate. This is flavorful, but not overbearing and there is nothing bitter like dark chocolate to this. Instead, it is sweet, creamy and delicious.
Land O' Lakes Cocoa Classics are hot cocoa mix and therefore not the most nutritious things in the known world, though the Arctic White flavor could be far less nutritious than it is. While I am used to reviewing things like all natural teas where the ingredients are all easily pronounceable and recognizable, the Arctic White hot cocoa has a few ingredients that cannot be easily identified. The primary ingredients are sugar, non-dairy creamer and corn syrup. It is not vegan compliant as a result. Ironically, there is no white chocolate or vanilla in the ingredients.
What is not a mystery is how high this product is in sugars. In each cup of Arctic White Cocoa Classics, there are 160 calories, fifty of which are from fat. There are five grams of saturated fat, so while one might be tempted to curl up and enjoy this while resting, they are likely to pay for it later on! While there is no cholesterol, a consumer gets 7% of their recommended daily allowance of salt out of a single packet of this beverage! There is a little protein, but not enough to live off this. In other words, this product is not a nutritious food product. But it is good!
This product contains soy and milk and because there are no notations on it, one must assume it is not Kosher or gluten-free.
So long as one leaves the Arctic White Cocoa Classic powder in its packet, it ought to stay usable. Given that it has an expiration date almost two years away, one assumes it will last quite a while and dissolve appropriately when one attempts to use it. The packets, for those of us who consider the environmental impact of such things, are terribly wasteful and expensive. The foil/plastic wrappers are not recyclable anywhere I've been.
Cleanup is very easy as well. If the product spills while dumping it into the mug, simply wipe it up or brush it up with a dry or damp cloth. If it has already been reconstituted with water into hot cocoa, simply wipe it up. Light fabrics might not even to stain if this gets on them, but you might want to consult your fabric care guide to clean it up, just in case.
As someone who loves deep, rich flavors, it might seem shocking that I would so heartily endorse Land O’ Lakes’ Arctic White hot cocoa. But for a creamy beverage when I want to relax, I think this might be my new standard. Rich chocolate flavors tend to energize me; this allowed me to feel the tension slip out of my body and the flavor was overall very soothing. That makes it worth recommending and trying, if not making a small stash of for the upcoming winter!
For other Land O' Lakes hot chocolate drinks, please visit my reviews of:
Raspberry And Chocolate Cocoa
Mint And Chocolate Cocoa
Land O'Lakes Chocolate Supreme
Land O' Lakes Chocolate & Caramel Cocoa
For other food or drink reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!
© 2011 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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