Name: Curly Tops
Found at: Pinoy Mart, Tustin
Ingredients: Refined Cane Sugar, Milk Powder, Hydrogenated Palm And Palm Kernel Oil, Whey, Cocoa Powder, Soy Lecithin, Vanillin and Cinnamon Powder, Iodized Salt.
Why I Bought It: Apart from the name, which is, of course, cuter than a button, this is as straight forward a packaging as you'll ever see. On the box, there are pictures of the product, which uses primary colors and looks like it was illustrated in the late sixties or early seventies. "Milk Chocolate" it says in caps. On the lower right corner, it proclaims: "In Individual Cups". Very zen.
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Tasting Notes: It doesn't melt in your mouth like Western chocolate. Notice the absence of cocoa powder in the ingredients list. While you expect a Hershey bar to liquefy as it is heated by your tongue to body temperature, Curly Tops dissolves with your saliva.
If I only had one word to describe the texture, it would be "waxy".
I can think of a few hypothesis to why it's formulated this way. My best guess is this: In order for a chocolate product to be viable in the hot tropical climate of the Philippines, it cannot contain cocoa butter. Cocoa butter would melt into a goo on the shelf (especially if the store selling it does not have A/C).
So although it might not fit your definition of chocolate, it does for millions of Filipinos and Filipino expats who eat it even here in The States. Wouldn't you if it reminded you of home?