Carey: ABC on hot chocolate: “One way to improve the taste of the lower-rated chocolate drinks is to add milk instead of water.”
Meg: You are fucking with me.
Meg: They did not write that.
Carey: Ric Romero, Consumer Specialist at his best.
Meg: Oh my god. He’s unbelievable.
Meg: This conversation is a blog post. Go write it.
Carey: That never works well for me. “But it’s true,” they will say.
Meg: I’m going to post it.
Carey: Don’t forget to use the “BREAKING” tag
Meg: I will.
Meg: this is HOT


Edit Your Comment

  1. Bay State Darren says:

    My question is: why are they reporting on hot cocoa in L.A.?

  2. mantari says:

    Another way to improve the taste is to buy better drinks.

  3. mantari says:

    FLASH: You can make your drink more chocolatey by adding less liquid than the package recommends.

  4. mantari says:

    UPDATE: Sounding pretty good and tasting pretty good are two different things when it comes to hot chocolate.

  5. PingPongDarts says:

    My grandma’s secret recipe was adding TWO packets of mix to the liquid.

  6. says:

    @PingPongDarts: Ah, the good old days… people knew how to cook then!

  7. Sherryness says:

    Are you drunk? Separately, adding Kaluha improves the drink as well. hahahhaha

  8. MercuryPDX says:

    @mantari: And a pinch of salt.

  9. quail says:

    Don’t forget to mix it up well and to use super hot liquid to dissolve the powder.

  10. MercuryPDX says:

    @mantari: When it comes to hot chocolate, sounding pretty good and tasty pretty good can be two completely different things.

    Itsa tasty pretty good to me… Mario!

    I’ve always felt Ric Romero is like Arnold Diaz… but without shame and testicles.

  11. cabinaero says:

    We make our own hot chocolate mix using Alton Brown’s recipe. Also it really helps to mix about a half mug of hot hot hot water with the powder until the powder dissolves and then fill the rest of the mug with normal tap hot water or milk. Having only a half mug of liquid lets you stir more vigorously.

  12. humphrmi says:

    I do this all the time. Even skim milk improves the flavor of hot chocolate drinks. Even a small amount, and the rest hot water. I’ve tasted the best hot chocolate in the world (Swiss hot chocolate, in a Swiss breakfast restaurant) and cheap hot chocolate with 1 part skim milk and the rest hot water comes really close.

  13. alhypo says:

    Hmmm… it never occurred to me to use water to make hot chocolate. I just assumed it was supposed to be made with milk since it’s like chocolate milk only hot. This is one example where reading the instructions would have ruined everything. I’m so relieved my hot cocoa experience has been optimal without me even realizing.

  14. rdm says:

    Oh my god I love stuff like this. Holy crap… milk makes it creamier? Spending more money gets you better quality?

    I don’t know about you guys but when I was 8-9 like the kids in this video I was drinking swiss miss if I was LUCKY.

  15. rdm says:

    @Alhypo – you are a lucky, lucky individual, my friend.

  16. This is why you do not let your editors near a keyboard when they are drunk, people.

    Random story: The coffee in my old office was like just about everything else there: terrible. I added hot cocoa mix to it to make an approximation of a mocha, but every time I did that I’d read the ingredients and wince a little bit at the ConAgra logo on the back of the foil packages. HFCS, milk derived semisolids, and unpronounceable chemicals. Just like grandma used to make on those cold wintry nights.

    Even though I usually only used half a package, not all of it would dissolve, and the surface would churn with undissolved particles in a way that was both nauseating and hypnotic. I could read my future in it: “your body is like a twinkie; it will never decompose.”

  17. mantari says:

    “You can save time by making hot chocolate in batches, rather than doing each individual cup, one at a time.”

  18. humphrmi says:

    @mantari: You’re mocking us.

  19. teh says:

    Hot cocoa Mix:
    (Makes about 20 servings)

    3 cups nonfat dry milk
    2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    1 1/2 cups Dutch-processed cocoa powder
    1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips
    1/4 teaspoon salt

    Combine and pulse in a food processor.

    To make hot cocoa, stir 1/3 cup of this mix into 1 cup of hot milk.

    (snipped directly from the free version of Cook’s Country which happened to be on my lap when I read this)

  20. Bay State Darren says:

    @rdm: “This is why you do not let your editors near a keyboard when they are drunk, people.”

    I disagree completely. [Hic!]

  21. 1964F100 says:

    @krylonultraflat: Funny, I used to salvage bad catered coffee in the same way, back in the days before coffee began to be taken seriously by the masses. I guess those unpronounceable chemicals had a certain je ne sais quoi, not necessarily to say it was a good thing.

  22. dariaclone says:

    Does Meg get paid for this post? Or is she sharing with Carey?

  23. hn333 says:

    You guys are High.

  24. Bay State Darren says:

    [Whine] Thanx for rubbing it in that you guys are on some good shit. [/Whine]

  25. glass says:

    Did you know that you’re all pretty much wrong? Hot chocolate is made with real chocolate. It’s Hot Cocoa that’s made with powder.

    This news comes to you from the Who Gives a F@ck Department.

  26. DrGirlfriend says:

    Ric Romero is somewhat Geraldo-esque in that picture.

  27. dshjyd says:

    I just realized that this site is full of nerds.

  28. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    And this is why they have a “Ric Romero” tag on Fark. :-)

  29. Trai_Dep says:

    I’m sort of a fiend for proper cocoa when it drops down to freezing Winter temperatures. Low 60s, in other words.

    Cocoa. Pinch of salt. A teaspoon less than 1/2 the cocoa-amount of brown sugar. Splash of water. Warm in bottom of saucepan until it’s an even paste of gooey wonderfulness. Slowly add milk, stirring with a whisk. Real milk, none of that 2% white-colored water.

    If I had a cow, I’d squeeze its udders directly into the saucepan. Well, if I could manage to get Boise to balance over the stove.

    A splash of vanilla (real). (Miscellaneous spices to give it zest that will go unnamed). Keep warming it until it’s just about to boil over then flick it off (somehow makes it fluffier – go figure).

    SOUNDS like a lot of work, but in a few minutes, I have cocoa to swoon over.

    Passing gods drop by asking for a cup when they’re in the neighborhood. A few years back, Santa skipped the entire state of Oregon because he dropped by and wouldn’t leave until I feted him and Rudolph (sure, okay, fine). Then Dancer and Prancer, Blitzen and the rest. Do you have any idea how many cups of cocoa a reindeer needs before he’s sated? DO YOU?!

    No marshmallows. No whipped cream (that almost-boiling trick, the whisk and real milk means you don’t need it).

    Partial to a slug of scotch, maybe Kahlua.

    If I had to use the powdered stuff, I’d probably substitute a cup of Scotch for the water. Because otherwise, the results would be SO depressing.

  30. glass says:

    @dshjyd: “I just realized that this site is full of nerds.”

    really? just now? hmm.

  31. luz says:

    I’ve done that thing with nasty office coffee thousands of times. It doesn’t taste good except with stolen Coffee Mate, which…oh God. You wanna talk about noxious chemicals? *boak*

  32. humphrmi says:

    @glass: Seriously, as I said in my previous post, I’ve had hot chocolate at a Swiss restaurant for breakfast. I say this because you’re not going to believe what I say next.

    They serve Hot Chocolate powder in a packet.

    You get a packet of powder, and a warm (not hot) cup of whole milk.

    You add the packet to the milk, and you have what the Swiss call Hot Chocolate.

    And it tastes better than anything you’ll get out of a packet in the U.S., no matter what you mix it with.

    I can’t think of another better authority of hot chocolate than the Swiss. And it’s powder, that comes out of a packet.

  33. Sherryness says:

    My Nicholas would fix me a couple of squares of real European chocolate melted in the cup plus some real cream steamed in an espresso machine. Guess that spoiled me!

  34. matukonyc says:

    Wow.. nobody got the joke. OBVIOUSLY one uses milk unless one is an absolute moron. Hey — you can use milk in your Cream of Wheat, too — and tomato soup!

  35. univision says:

    Nice, there is a post on the site pointing back to Consumerist.

  36. iMike says:

    XOXO Meg.

  37. mantari says:

    “You can make your own chocolate drinks at home. We’ll show you how.”

  38. Bay State Darren says:

    I demand the presence of the “This doesn’t belong on Consumerist and isn’t a real consumer issue!” crowd into this thread henceforth! C’mon, show your faces.

  39. bobpence says:

    Sorry, Bay State Darren; only us blame-the-“victim” types are here at this hour.

  40. DropBearCharlie says:

    diluting kaluha with cocoa just seems silly at this point in the evening. The only acceptable dilutants are baily’s, amaretto, vodka and possibly milk…..

  41. yg17 says:

    @DropBearCharlie: Until you can find a way to make milk get me drunk, it is not an acceptable dilutant.

  42. Sherryness says:

    Actually, at this point it’s orange juice and vodka. No chocolate or milk in sight. But I was just dreaming of the past….

  43. Walrii says:

    @yg17: Try eggnog. I like to consider it a protein drink too (thanks to the raw eggs it contains)

  44. Sherryness says:

    @yg17: Past your eyes, of course. :) (pasteurized)

  45. faust1200 says:

    @Bay State Darren: I got ya covered.

    -Slow news day??
    -I make my chocolate at home. It tastes great and saves me money!
    -What’s with all the cat photos??
    -Excessive chocolate is unhealthy and I’m sorry but the OP is an idiot and shouldn’t have had hot chocolate in the first place!
    -This wouldn’t have happened if you had a Mac.
    -I’m tired of this motherfucking hot chocolate on my motherfucking Consumerist!

  46. Goldenthorn says:

    @humphrmi: Swiss chocolate: totally overrated. This comes from someone who grew up in Belgium and spent a lot of time in Switzerland. My best friend and I are somewhat obsessed with hot chocolate and sample it everywhere we go, like some people do with coffee. Different substance, same kind of crazy.
    Best hot chocolate? Paris (best there: deux magots, imo) or Brugges. Pure chocolate, melted, mixed with cream/milk/water, whisked. Depending on your chocolate preferences, you can get anything from so-sweet-it-hurts-your-teeth to dark-bitter-and-dry and then pretty much anything in between.
    Mix in a packet is not hot “chocolate”. It is chemical (though sorta delicious) evil.

  47. CumaeanSibyl says:

    meg ilu bb, y u so sxxy? <3


  48. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @faust1200: You forgot CREEEEDIT UUUUNIOOOOOON

  49. KarmaChameleon says:

    @faust1200: You win the internet. Enjoy your shiny tubes.

  50. homerjay says:

    Oh thanks a lot Romero! This totally explains why Santa brought me nothing but CRAP! Do you think maybe you could have brought this pearl of wisdom out BEFORE Christmas or were you saving the whole idea for when Santa visited YOUR house so YOU got all the good presents.
    You’re a mean mean man.

  51. overbysara says:

    journalism at its best.

  52. ViewableOnTheSite says:

    Anyone who drinks watery hot chocolate is an idiot who probably shouldn’t be trusted with buying groceries in the first place.

    (Did I blame the victim sufficiently?)

  53. MARTHA__JONES says:

    @cabinaero: Alton Brown rules.

  54. f3rg says:

    Wow, this story has completely turned my life around now. All my life–water on the cereal, water in the hot cocoa, dipping my cookies in water. And what has it ever gotten me? I’ll tell you what it’s gotten me: NOTHING! NOT A DAMN THING!!!

    Mr. Romero, sir, *sniff* thank you. I owe you my life…

  55. bostonmike says:

    Not that anyone will read down this far, but…

    The best hot chocolate powder for home use is by Big Train. Doesn’t need milk, honest. But the most amazing thing you could ever drink is the hot chocolate they make at Burdick’s Chocolates in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA. Unreal.

  56. Hoss says:

    Hossofcourse preference: Mexican hot cocoa. Starts with a block of unsweetend chocolate, is enhanced with cinnamon, sugar, rich vanilla, some milk or half and half, salt, and whatever moves you.

    For me it’s a special drink — not everyday — with nice toast and cheese or lox or whatever.

    probably not on topic though…what was the topic?

  57. @bostonmike:
    From the makers of “3 Gallon Condensed Chai Carton®” comes hot cocoa!

    Bleh. I can’t imagine that being any good. Big Train makes some nasty stuff.

  58. kimsama says:

    @Hossofcourse: Yeah, I totally was going to say that I like my hot chocolate Mexican style (hot chocolate, not hot cocoa, because it’s made with chocolate instead of cocoa powder).

    But I add honey and cayenne pepper to mine — it is ridic tasty. I will have to try the cinnamon and vanilla, that sounds right up my alley.

    Mexican hot chocolate = truly delicious. Especially if you have a crusty baguette or something to dip in it. Ahhh.

    P.S. “I don’t drink any hot beverages. It’s the devil’s temperature!”

  59. Mr. Gunn says:

    Best post EVAR!

    Meg r0x0rz!

  60. clevershark says:

    I think Romero is the last of those southern California anchors to have been hired on the strength of his moustache.’s been on his case for years as the reporter who specializes in the blindingly obvious.

  61. mammalpants says:

    hmmm. this is funny and true! i just recently added lower-rated chocolate drink to my water to improve the taste of my water!

  62. alhypo says:

    @f3rg: “And what has it ever gotten me?”

    Wet cookies.

  63. banmojo says:

    Starbucks had some wicked good thick dark chocolate drink thing a few years back, then they stopped making it. Fools.

  64. UnnamedUser says:

    My not-so-secret recipe is to not use pre-packaged mixes.

    1 tbs cocoa
    1 tbs dark brown sugar
    0.125 tsp cinamon (the real stuff)
    500 ml. whole milk.
    Bring it to 180 degrees F.
    Whisk vigorously.

  65. Bay State Darren says:

    Meg, now that you’ve [hopefully] sobered up, care to defend or repudiate the monster you’ve created here?
    @bostonmike: Yes, somebody did read that far down. It was me.

  66. themediatrix says:

    Whether you use pre-packaged or make home-made, the key to making hot cocoa is using a whisk. It makes the packaged stuff passable, and the home-made perfect.

    (‘Cause, no one wants to be swallowin’ little chunks of powdered muck in their drink.)

  67. MercuryPDX says:

    @faust1200: You forgot one –


  68. CumaeanSibyl says:

    @Mercurypdx: Ha, I beat you to it this time!

  69. JAYEONE says:

    I’ll take one hot cocoa, heavy on the Bailey’s, please!

  70. Trai_Dep says:

    Sounds like we all need to meet in that place where they pounded that golden spike in to join the US* transcontinental railroads. I smell… Cook-off!

    * sniff – I guess the Canucks don’t cotton to hot cocoa. They probably drink warmed seal blubber or something…

  71. strathmeyer says:

    Baley’s Irish Cream

  72. bluwapadoo says:

    But it’s true.

  73. Balisong says:

    @banmojo: We had the same thing at the cafe in Borders (before Starbucks bought it out). It’s just high-quality dark chocolate bits whisked into heated half and half. Enjoy ;)

  74. Balisong says:

    @banmojo: I actually just remembered the brand of the chocolate in it too – Joseph Schmidt. Go me!

  75. FightOnTrojans says:

    @trai_dep: I nominate your comment for “Best Comment Ever.”

  76. Buckler says:

    Ric Romero has been an ongoing joke at ever since he “broke” the story about blogging, YEARS after blogging had hit the mainstream. He’s the master of stating the painfully obvious. Head over to fark and do a search for “Romero”. You’ll see what I mean.