Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas in Chocolate: Friendly Farms Chocolate Mint Milk (Aldi)

Smooth and delicious.
My mind was jumping at the excitement of the possibly delicious taste combinations of Friendly Farms’ Mint Chocolate Milk from the moment I first laid eyes on it in an Aldi advert.  But inevitably, my mind also shifted to the possibility that it would be atrocious.  After all, chocolate mint milk doesn’t exactly appear to be a popular item; a quick check of the internet has revealed that, outside of soy brands, there really isn’t a supplier of chocolate mint milk, either seasonally, or year ‘round (and if there is, they don’t market it very well), though there are quite a few recipes to make it yourself at home.

Initially, I was a little off-put by the rather small size of the carton.  It’s 32 oz. (think half the size of an orange juice carton), for $1.99, which seems a little bit high to me.  But hey, it only comes around once a year, and my curiosity got the better of me, so I decided to splurge on it.

The smell is enticing, consisting largely of chocolate milk (which is to be expected, considering it is the first ingredient mentioned in the name) with a nice background hint of mint.  While scents can certainly be deceiving, it did allay one of my biggest fears, and that was that the mint would be too overpowering.  Eager to dig in, I didn’t even waste time pouring it into a glass, instead taking it straight from the carton.

Not surprisingly, this stuff is silky smooth in texture, given the fact so are Aldi’s half-gallons, also manufactured by Friendly Farms.  Initially, the chocolate flavor comes through, and it tastes exactly like the milk contained in their half-gallons.  But about a split-second later, the mint comes through--and it is a very welcome addition.  The mint is a background flavor that never really comes through full-bore, but that’s a definite plus, as it never even comes close to overtaking the chocolate. 

This allows both flavors to work in almost perfect harmony, making this a simple, rich dessert that can be taken straight out of the carton.  However, let’s not ignore the nearly endless possible combinations for this stuff, as this would make an excellent base for a milkshake, a delicious coffee creamer, a good mixer with a seasonal Bailey’s, a delicious mocha…and that’s only the tip of the iceberg.  And if it’s this could straight out of the carton, I can only imagine what it would add to existing beverage recipes.

Overall: 8/10.  Let’s be honest here:  As amazing as this stuff is, it’s not something I could drink very often.  But for a once-a-year holiday treat, Friendly Farms Chocolate Mint Milk is a delicious, sippable dessert that works very well straight out of the carton.  It’s smooth, rich, and creamy with a perfect balance of chocolate and mint flavors, with the mint wisely taking a backseat.  Would also make an excellent mixer for existing drinks, such as a delicious base for a milkshake, or a perfect twist on beverage recipes that call for milk.  Definitely recommended.

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