Hershey’s has introduced a somewhat bizzare line of chocolates under the “Goodness” label. (Even the URL for their site, “hersheys.com/happiness/goodness” seems like some kind of subliminal sales tool.) They’ve released three bars under this label.
One is a “whole bean” bar, which threw me for a while. After all, all chocolate is made with more or less the whole bean, right? Well, not quite. The clue here is that the “whole bean” bar contains “naturally occuring” fiber. Where do you get fiber in a cacao bean? The husk! I’m guessing that what they mean by “whole bean” here is that they’ve skipped the step where, after roasting, you remove the tough outer hull of the bean, and have just tossed the nib and the hull into the grinder. This is not an unknown way to do things. Oaxacan chocolate is ground with the hull intact, along with almonds and other spices. Part of the problem is that the resultant chocolate is not very stable, since the small amount of fats in the hull are incompatible with cocoa butter, so the chocolate tends to bloom quite easily. There’s no way that Hershey’s is going to put up with a product that blooms, so they must be performing some kind of science on the chocolate to stablize it. Given that Hershey’s knows how to produce non-melting chocolate, this is probably well within their capabilities. Another interesting question is how this bar fits in the FDA definition for chocolate, being that the nibs used to make chocolate are supposed to be no more than 1.75% hull.
Looking farther, I’m guessing this stuff is completely off the FDA reservation, since it also contains sucralose and other sweeteners. This stuff sounds so bizzare, I have to give this a try! I’ll file a report when I get a bar to review.
As a side note, I’m currently reading “The Emperors of Chocolate” by Joel Brenner, which details the intertwined history of Hersheys and Mars. These “pharma-chocolates” are an echo of the past for Hershey’s. Milton Hershey’s first venture was sold fruits, nuts, and taffy. The start of it’s undoing was Hershey’s father convincing him to invest in making “medicated candies”