Cheap Eat Challenge: Watch or join us as our family of 6 eats, or tries to, on $6/day.
Kip has brought a lot of great things to this marriage: dark brown eyes, handyman skills, and chocolate. Real chocolate. Homemade chocolate brownies, homemade chocolate pudding (I didn't even know there was such a thing), homemade chocolate sauce, truffles and treats of all sorts, and of course the motivation to perfect my chocolate cake. Ironically, Kip is still willing to scoot by with a processed replacement when in a chocolate-y pinch, while I have become snobby enough to (usually) insist on the real thing.
Yesterday I posted Kip's Hot Fudge Sauce. You should all try it as it is divine. But is it divine enough for the work. It's not particularly difficult or time consuming, but it does involve standing by a stove for several minutes and stirring a cocoa-perfumed elixer (obviously, I think there are worse fates, but still).
I compared it to the lovely IGA Chocolate flavored Syrup (this is just how it appears on the bottle) given to us by our friends when they (weeping) moved (Lest I sound like an ungrateful jerk about the chocolate sauce, let me point out that this chocolate sauce has been lovingly appreciated in this month of much less by my husband as it would have been by my children had they been made aware of its existance). Both of these chocolate sauces can be used for the same purposes: over ice cream, on desserts, and in milk. (Though ours might have to go in warm milk; I haven't honestly tried it in cold.)
HERSHEY'S/IGA: A little corn-syrup-y--actually a lot corn-syrup-y. Definitely what the bottle says it is--a 'chocolate flavored syrup.' (P.S. For the record, the Hershey's bottle does not read "Chocolate flavored Syrup". It reads "Hershey's Syrup, Genuine Chocolate Flavor." Is there a difference between the two brands? Maybe, but the semantics certainly make it a little sketchy-->Is it genuinely chocolate? Or merely genuine flavor? Or is it flavor that is sincerely felt to be much like chocolate? If it had read 'genuine chocolate' we could have been sure; as it is, we are left to lie awake at night pondering.)
KIP'S: Chocolate perfection. There is really no contest here; in fact, I'm sort of embarrassed to have even brought it up.
HERSHEY'S/IGA: I'm not quite sure what the IGA (a generic brand) is, but I saw some at Aldi for $1.15 this week. To buy Hershey's it's going to cost you about double or $2.30.
KIP'S HOT FUDGE SAUCE: $1.30 if you use regular milk, $1.89 if you use evaporated milk
HERSHEY'S/IGA: 24 oz.
KIP'S: About 32 oz. (which, in case your math skills have been asleep since the 7th grade, makes Kip's even cheaper than it originally appears)
IGA (Didn't have Hershey's on hand, so couldn't compare it): high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup (in case you didn't get enough of the high fructose variety), water (yum--that's worth the extra cost), sugar, cocoa, potassium sorbate, salt, mono- and di-glycerides (these are a personal favorite of mine--do you think McCormick sells an extract?), polysorbate 60, xanthan gum, and vanillin (an artificial flavor in case you thought I'd misspelled vanilla). Well, that sounds tasty. Now on to Kip's.
KIP'S: sugar, milk, butter, cocoa, flour, vanilla
TIME SPENT IN MAKING/PURCHASING:
HERSHEY'S/IGA: This is a little quicker, but you must wander down a fairly naughtly aisle at Walmart (or the less offensive store of your choice). If you are at Walmart you must also stand in the check-out line for approximately 12 hours or until your toddler reaches puberty and endure that extent of begging, crying, or whining from your children. Because of this, you will also be forced to purchase three extra candy bars and some gum to keep them silenced so you do not abuse them in public and thereby besmatter the already besmattered name of Walmart-shopping housewives even further. I have not figured this cost into the above equation, but you should be aware that it exists. You must also promise the minions chocolate milk for lunch. And dinner. For the rest of their lives. This, too, will add to your costs.
KIP'S: After the kids are in bed you and your husband can make this while talking about the day. It will take 10-15 minutes. You can then cuddle in front of the fire and eat the chocolate sauce on ice cream or with spoons out of the pot and no one will whine or fuss at all. In fact, the minions need not know it existed.
In short, Kip's hot fudge sauce is cheaper, larger, more natural, much much 10 trillion times tastier, more convenient to acquire, and also handsomer (not that I'm biased or anything). There is, it must be admitted, one advantage (should you be the type to view it as such) to HERSHEY'S/IGA chocolate sauce. It is fat free. Which--I feel compelled to point out--shows just how little cocoa was used in its creation, as cocoa is not a fat-free product.