A chocolate bar may be a sweet afternoon pick-me-up, but it’s never been the go-to choice for a picnic in the park on a hot summer day. After all, is there anything more wasteful — or disappointing — than opening up a wrapper, only to find melted chocolate soup? (Yes, actually, but you get the point.) Following the model of Mondelez International-owned Cadbury, Nestlé decided to tackle the tragedy of the melting chocolate bar and has created a temperature-tolerant solution.
As food scientist Harold McGee notes, the ideal melting point for milk chocolate, when cooking, is 104 to 113 degrees Fahrenheit, but the product will begin to melt at 93 degrees, a stifling, but customary, temperature for New York City and many other cities in the summer. McGee recommends storing chocolate at 60 to 65 degrees: in other words, cool room temperature, and definitely not outside heat.
Nestlé’s latest invention can reportedly withstand even 113-degree heat. The product features a “tropicalized shell,” which remains solid in warm weather thanks to humectant liquids, such as propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol. While these “ingredients” have been known to negatively affect the texture of the product — for instance, by creating a waxy mouth feel — Nestlé insists this problem can be evaded with low concentrations.
And while it may taste the same and solve a summer snacking problem, isn’t there something unappetizing about an ideal-for-melting ingredient that refuses to melt?