The Year in Food 2007

Yummy Crisco Chocolate

In October 2006, the Chocolate Manufacturers Association and other trade groups petitioned the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to modernize food labeling standards. Hidden beneath regulations for chunky-style tomatoes and macaroni was an innocuous-sounding proposal to “use a vegetable fat in place of another vegetable fat named in the standard (e.g., cacao fat).” Theoretically, manufacturers could add Crisco to chocolate and still call it chocolate. About 1,500 people wrote letters and signed petitions effectively saying, “Don’t mess with our chocolate!” The FDA is reviewing the matter, but at least Mars vowed to accept no cocoa butter substitutes. A bittersweet ending. —Jessica Su