Heat Resistant Chocolate, Part I

Are you sick of your chocolate melting in your hand? Well, we've got a fix for that: heat resistant chocolate

Let's face it: we chocolate extremos have a desperate need for heat resistant chocolate. You see, the melting point of chocolate is pretty close to human body temperature, which means if you try to slip a Hershey Bar into a pocket or backpack, you're gonna end up with a gooey mess.

Even if you don't keep your chocolate close to your heart, you'd better keep it close to an air conditioner if you live anywhere south of Saskatchewan in the summer, because otherwise you'll be dealing with melted chocolate. Bummer.

A New Hope

Fortunately, confectioners of the world have been hard at work on the problem. These days, there's tasty chocolate with a remarkable level of heat resistivity--which opens up not only new vistas for hot weather chocolate, but for wearable chocolate, too.

We'll get to that last bit in our article on chocolate bras. By the way, that wasn't BARS, but BRAS. As in brassieres. Yep.

But we'll talk about that later.

This Ain't Your Pop's Tropical Chocolate

It's not that hot-weather chocolate is new, precisely. Hershey's been making its Tropical B formula since World War II, specifically for the U.S. military, and troops were carrying chocolate "D rations" into the field as early as 1937.

These high-energy "treats" were heat-resistant to up to 120º F (50º C). But they were, in a word, unappetizing--although the troops had much more colorful terms for the flavor. It was like chewing a brick, too.

Both flavor and texture were deliberate: the brass didn't want soldiers eating their dessert before the rest of their meals. In fact, the original specs directed that it taste only "a little better than a boiled potato." Yum.

Soldiers called D rations "Hitler's Secret Weapon" because they tended to have a deleterious effect on the digestive tract. They were almost universally loathed. When Hershey introduced Tropical B in 1943, it was a little tastier, but not much.

The Gummint Gives It Another Go

The 1980s "Congo Bar" was the latest military version of hot-weather chocolate. It wasn't too bad, but not great either, and could stand temperatures of up to 140º F (60º C). But reception was mixed, and production ceased after Gulf War I.

Despite these military sins against chocolatedom, more reasonable confectioners kept trying to create decent heat resistant chocolate--and succeeded, as you'll learn in the Part II of this article.