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I'd seen this advertised on TV quite a few times, and every time I did my big supermarket shop I would always have a look amongst the drinking chocolate/cocoa products but was never able to locate it. I would always ask several assistants at various supermarkets if they stocked it, and each time they would shake their heads and tell me that they didn't. Eventually, I gave up trying and continued to buy my Cadbury's Options. The only reason I wanted to try the Aero Drinking Chocolate is because (apart from good old Cadbury) Nestlé's Aero is the only other chocolate I like. I adore chocolate, including drinking chocolate, but it must be rich, sweet and full of chocolate taste, otherwise it doesn't really hit the spot.
Anyway, a few weeks ago whilst I was in the tea/coffee aisle in Tesco, I spotted this stuff. There was a sign telling me it was' New' and on 'Special Offer' at £1.65. As it was the very last box, and there was a lady beside me who looked like she was trying to decide between the Cadbury and the Nestle version, I quickly grabbed the box and put it in my trolley before she got the chance to make her mind up!
I took it home and put it away in my kitchen cupboard. I'd forgotten I'd bought the stuff until about a week afterwards, whilst I was rummaging for something to put into my packed lunch the following day, I saw it and remembered I'd bought it. I asked both my daughter and my husband if they'd like to try some; hubby said "no" and child replied "yes".
I boiled my kettle then waited a couple of minutes before pouring the water onto the powder, as directed on the pack. I stirred well "to release the bubbles", watched little bubbles rise to the surface of the mug and got ready to enjoy my drink. I had to add a little milk to my daughter's mug as this is the way she prefers her hot chocolate, but mine was made exactly according to the instructions.
I blew on it to cool it down a little, and tentatively took my first sip, waiting for the gorgeous Aero 'hit' - it didn't happen! What a disappointment. I took another (slightly larger) sip, and burnt my tongue in the process, but still no real 'chocolaty taste'. Bubbles, yes - chocolate, no. I asked my daughter what she thought of hers, and she replied with the usual teenage grunt, "Er, s'okay". I persevered with mine to the last drop but wasn't at all impressed.
A couple of nights later I tried it again. This time I accidentally poured on the boiling water straight from the kettle, forgetting Nestlé's advice to wait a little while. I was rewarded with large, sticky brown, powdery lumps floating around amongst the contents of the cup. I tried in vain to press them away by flattening them out at the side of my cup with my teaspoon, but they stayed firm and refused to move. I poured the contents down the sink and tried again with another sachet - this time waiting for the boiling water to cool before pouring into my cup. This time, the drinking chocolate powder dissolved as it had the first time, but once more the taste failed to impress me I'm afraid.
It's difficult to describe what it tastes of exactly. It's bland, doesn't taste of chocolate much at all a, is not very sweet and does not resemble my favourite bar of Aero chocolate in the slightest.
I must admit, I was taken in a little by the advert on TV for this. It involves two friends drinking the stuff around a kitchen table, as they "oohh" and "aarhh" over millions of little chocolate bubbles floating around their heads. Now I'm not so naïve as to believe that bubbles were going to appear as soon as I put the cup to my lips, I did, however, expect to experience something which resembled the taste of chocolate!
The packaging looked convincing on the supermarket shelf. It's a medium-sized brown box with hundreds of different shaped bubbles all over. It's claims to be an "Instant Bubbly Hot Chocolate Drink" and states it is "creamy", "smooth" and chocolatey" - no. I'm afraid it's not!! The box has a rather tempting illustration of a steaming mug of drinking chocolate, again featuring a plethora of tiny bubbles. The box contains eight sachets of drinking chocolate, each one containing 99 calories per sachet (the relatively low calorie content of this stuff was also another plus point for me when I decided to purchase this, I must admit).
Once I'd actually really looked at the list of ingredients which are in this stuff, it makes for pretty scary reading. Firstly, there is 'fat reduced drinking chocolate' (42.9%) and I think maybe this may account for the less than chocolatey taste. It also contains 'hydrogenated vegetable oil'. This worries me slightly, as I've read a lot of reports recently linking hydrogenated fats and oils to all kinds of medical problems, from strokes, heart problems and certain cancers. It also contains a frightening amount of E numbers, including, E415, E466, E331, E340 and E452. This all sounds very 'manufactured' to me and not something I'd want to drink on a regular basis. I'm now down to my least three sachets but I don't think I'll be finishing off the pack to be honest. I'd rather use my 99 calories up on something I like the taste of.
If you're thinking of buying this stuff, I wouldn't bother if I were you - it was a real disappointment.
If you'd like more information about this product, you can contact Nestle on www.nestle.co.uk or phone them for free on 0800 585759.
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