The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

14 December 2007

To warm the cockles of your heart

Because who wants cold cockles?

Trini came back from lunch with some odd-looking cylinders, which proved to be Hillside's Self-Heating Hot Cocoa. I didn't ask why, if it was hot, it needed self-heating.

I did, however, examine the system. The can is very large, considering it holds only 9 ounces of product, but there's something going on under the surface. The base of the can contains water and green dye; when you push the button on the base, the water is released, and it reacts with calcium oxide powder hidden in the can walls. You end up with calcium hydroxide and, this being an exothermic reaction, a whole lot of heat, which gets applied (at a safe distance) to the drinkable contents. (There are coffee and tea variants.)

After five to eight minutes, the stuff is supposed to be 70 degrees warmer than its environment, so I'm presuming I drank it at 140. Actually, I took a sip and said "Jeebus, this is hot!" Wait a moment, sip again, and hey, this stuff isn't half bad. And it's only two bucks a can at Wally World.

Posted at 2:00 PM to Worth a Fork


Glad to know it tastes ok. I bought a can for work, but it just hasn't been cold enough for me to want hot cocoa. I suspect that's going to change this weekend.

Posted by: rita at 6:35 PM on 14 December 2007

Since the chemical light sticks came out a few years ago, it was obvious that self-warming foods were on their way. I'm waiting for the Hot Buttered Rum version.

Now we need instant chilling cans. No more refrigerators or ice chests to fool with...

Posted by: Winston at 6:41 AM on 15 December 2007