Mom gave me another batch of Ice Cubes after her recent trip to San Francisco.
You don’t see Ice Cubes around here 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, since 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 as well as online vendors carry them, and (something that just does not compute because I associate them with my life of 25-30 years ago) they have their own Facebook page.
While not dark chocolate, the only kind I care to eat these days — unless you’re talking reallllly 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, as the hazelnut paste combines with it to provide an almost addictive alternative to any other chocolate I tasted as a kid.
Unlike the bars of dark chocolate full of hazelnuts 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 flat-out fake, but they’re an awfully rare indulgence, and they taste like memories.
Related: Joe / No Joe • Soda-Pop Culture • Cold Beans