Choco Wars!

As previously reported, I have been held in thrall by the Starbucks Chantico™ chocolate beverage. They call it a “drinkable desert”, and at 390 calories per 6oz serving, they’re not kidding. One of them is enough to knock me out for a good hour. I liked it. I will have to try making one myself, via the recipe on the Starbucks Gossip Blog…intriguing!

Ever the source of useful intelligence, my sister points out that Au Bon Pain has their own chocolate beverage, the Choco Bon Loco™. From the press release:

BOSTON, Mass. (Jan. 6, 2005) – For those with a sophisticated sweet tooth, Au Bon Pain is launching a new line of distinctive, hot chocolate beverages designed to satisfy the most discriminating chocolate connoisseurs.

Named Choco Bon Loco™, this “crazy chocolate experience” is a rich, thick indulgence made with European chocolate, steamed milk and real vanilla. The Au Bon Pain Culinary Team developed the recipe for the new drink in collaboration with Andrew Shotts, a top American Artisanal chocolate maker. For customers craving a pure chocolate taste, there is a bittersweet chocolate variety. However, for those looking for an additional kick, Au Bon Pain offers the Spiced Chocolate drink, infused with chocolate, chili peppers, cinnamon and ginger. The number one ingredient in a Choco Bon Loco™ drink is chocolate. In fact, Au Bon Pain blends three different kinds of chocolate together to create the signature rich and velvety flavor. While other chocolate drinks have sugar as the primary ingredient, Au Bon Pain’s Choco Bon Loco does not add sugar. The drink must be heated to 180 degrees to activate the flavors, smoothness and viscosity that create the experience of drinking liquid chocolate.

I am not knowledgable when it comes to good “artisinal chocolate”, but I’m game.