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The sweet tests of chocolate
The botanical name of the cacao tree is Theobroma, which means "food of the gods," but some of the hot cocoas CR recently tested are more heavenly than others.
The botanical name of the cacao tree is Theobroma, which means "food of the gods," but some of the hot cocoas CR recently tested are more heavenly than others.The best one, Godiva Dark Chocolate, is full-bodied, with high-quality chocolate and cocoa flavors, roasted notes and a hint of vanilla. CR's trained tasters said the lowest-rated, Stephen's Dark Chocolate, is grayish and thin, with an artificial-chocolate flavor and the kind of sweet taste you find in cake mix. It also leaves an oily feeling in the mouth. Preparation and serving sizes varied. CR rated products prepared with milk when it was recommended, and with water when given an option of water or milk. Using milk instead of water generally improved the lower-rated products only slightly. As prepared, all of the cocoas have 20 to 35 percent of the daily-recommended value of calcium except Stephen's, which has 6 percent. Chocolate is a source of flavanols, anti-oxidants that have been linked to lowering blood pressure. Some cocoa-product labels mention antioxidants, but processing can mean a loss of flavanols, and most commercial cocoa drinks contain relatively small amounts, according to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, an independent, evidence-based evaluator of natural products. Bottom line. Godiva tastes excellent, but you might want to save it for a special treat: at $1.37 per serving, it's higher in price, calories, and fat than the others. Very good, less-pricey cocoas include two CR Best Buys: Hershey's, with mild chocolate and slight vanilla and malt flavors, 30 cents per serving, and Swiss Miss Dark, 20 cents per serving, chocolatey but with less dairy flavor. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * WHAT'S BREWING WITH COFFEEMAKERS CR's latest test of coffeemakers found that Cooks CM4221, a JCPenny exclusive and CR Best Buy, can brew a better cup of Joe than coffeemakers costing more than double its price of $40. The Cuisinart Brew Central DCC-1200, $100; the Kalorik CM25282, $80; the Zojirushi Fresh Brew EC-BD15, $90; and the Krups Coffee Machine FMF5, $100, also scored Excellent for brew performance.
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