Photo: Albert's product gallery.
Mom gave me another batch of Ice Cubes after her recent trip to San Francisco.
You don't see Ice Cubes around these parts anymore, but when I was a kid they were the awesomest point-of-purchase items ever at 7-Eleven. For literal pennies, you could have weird but yummy chocolate melt in your mouth — or, if you weren't careful, in your hands, as in the warm weather they got pretty mushy in those foil wrappers pretty darned fast.
Made in Germany by Moritz and distributed in America by Albert's, per the wrappers, Ice Cubes were out of my life for decades; until recently, I'd assumed they were gone for good. They're still not available in my neck of the woods anywhere I can find, but certain specialty candy shops carry them, as do online vendors, and (something that just does not compute, since I associate them with my life of 25-30 years ago) they have their own Facebook page.
While not dark chocolate, pretty much the only kind I care to eat these days — unless you're talking really good milk chocolate — Ice Cubes do contain hazelnut, a flavor that along with coffee I consider one of chocolate's two best friends. Full ingredients, per the wrappers again: partially hydrogenated coconut oil, sugar, low-fat cocoa, dried sweet whey, soy flour, hazelnut paste, soy lecithin, artificial vanilla flavor. The primacy of the coconut oil apparently accounts for the namesake cool, melty experience, just as the hazelnut paste combines with it to provide an almost addictive alternative to any other chocoloate I tasted as a kid.
Unlike the whole hazelnuts covered with dark chocolate carried by Trader Joe's, Ice Cubes don't offer natural ingredients with antioxidants as a real or even imagined tradeoff for all that saturated fat. They're just flat-out fake, but they're an awfully rare indulgence, and they taste like memories.
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