Dark chocolate milk. The words just kinda roll off the tongue, don't they? Like a tasty Jeopardy! Before and After answer. Err, question. The words seem familiar, yet unfamiliar, in a "hasn't this always been around?" way. From what I've gathered, dark chocolate milk has been on the scene, at least in a small market capacity in the U.S., for a couple of years. But it's brand new to me. I just discovered it this past weekend--at a freakin' Wal-Mart of all places--and oh man, what a discovery!
In my bizarre, world view estimation, chocolate milk has always existed as an outsider, because in the world of dairy products it has always been the black (or chocolatey-brown) sheep of the family, brazenly taking something that's considered (for the most part) a healthy drink, and attempting to make a sugary, candy-like spectacle of it. It's like the mutton-chop-sporting late 1960s/early 1970s Joe Namath of the milk beverage universe. And in the world of milk-based confections like decadent, fat-riddled ice cream bars and "double dog dare ya" milkshakes, chocolate milk is a wimpy also-ran.
And no amount of positive marketing has helped make it the awesome, fun, kick-ass drink that the dairy marketers (let's call them the Milk Mafia) desperately want it to be, even though the basketball-playing, chocolate-milk-guzzling protagonist of that one commercial makes all those other non-chocolate-milk-guzzling dudes look like complete fools, even chucking the ball at them for their efforts. And the Milk Mafia has really stepped up their game, going the sport drink route for promotion, inundating us with a confusing mixture of science and hot, sweaty, muscular people while regaling us with important nutritional chocolate milk facts and sexy pictures of the stuff cascading into a glass.
But if you have even a mild interest in chocolate milk as a diversion from your usual drink, and/or you're a fan of all things chocolate, I believe this will interest you. Poured into a glass, this Natrel Dark Chocolate Milk is a lot darker than the usual chocolate milk. And the taste? Holy crap. It tastes like they heated up some chocolate milk, melted a bar of Lindt 70% dark chocolate in it, and let it cool down, while sprinkling it with awesome dust. It's thick and rich, and it goes down so smoothly.
It lands pretty low on the Food Sin-O-Meter, too, clocking in at a mere 190 calories and 2.5g of fat per 250 mL. If you're just in it for the antioxidants, you'll be sad to hear that the potency of the antioxidants is reduced by the milk. But then, is that really the point?
So, if you're at all intrigued by the thought of dark chocolate milk, I suggest you go out and pick up a carton. Just don't chuck your basketball at anyone.