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Courtesy of The City Bakery
One of the best hot chocolates in the country will soon be available nationwide. The City Bakery in New York has become famous for its dedication to hot chocolate: During its annual Hot Chocolate Festival in February, it offers different flavors (fresh ginger, bourbon) every day. But owner Maury Rubin’s classic version has the biggest cult following. Count F&W’s editor in chief, Dana Cowin, among the drink’s fervent devotees. “I will take a 40-minute trip downtown for this hot chocolate because it’s available nowhere else in the universe,” she says. Until now.
This weekend, Rubin will unveil mini Tetra Paks of the liquid dessert, available in milk and dark chocolate ($4.99), in New York state (Whole Foods, Zabar’s, and Rubin’s own spots, The City Bakery and Birdbath) and at Central Markets throughout Texas. In January the product hits stores in California, and will spread to all US regions by February. “I want this to be America’s hot chocolate, in every basic supermarket in every town around the country,” Rubin says. Instead of powdery mixes that end up a little gritty or watery, the pourable drink is silky-rich and ready to heat. Both flavors are also unbelievable chilled: The dark blend is heart-racingly intense, while the milk chocolate recalls the glossy pools formed by chocolate ice cream as it starts to melt.
Research and development took about two years, according to Rubin, because the handful of factories that work with shelf-stable dairy packaging had never processed a product with this much real chocolate in it. Besides whole milk and cream, imported high-quality chocolate makes up about half the beverage. But Rubin got the result he wanted, to match the perfection of his 22-year-old recipe served at The City Bakery. Just add a big fat marshmallow.