Anyone following the popularity of millennial pink food trends has likely been lusting after ruby chocolate for some time. And it's now finally available in the U.S.
In September 2017, scientists at the Swiss chocolate-making company Barry Callebaut debuted the first new natural chocolate since the development of white chocolate by Nestle in the 1930s. This confection, which is derived from the ruby cocoa bean found mostly in South America, is unlike its dark, milk and white chocolate counterparts because it's a gorgeous rosy-pink hue.
"The fourth type [of] chocolate offers a totally new taste experience, which is not bitter, milky or sweet, but a tension between berry fruitiness and luscious smoothness," the company said in a news release at the time of the launch, though surprisingly "to create Ruby chocolate, no berries or berry flavor, nor color, is added."
Since the product's release nearly two years ago, Americans have been champing at the bit to get a taste of this gorgeous and elusive flavor as it has slowly rolled out to other countries like Japan, where it made a big splash when Nestle used it for its Sublime Ruby Kit Kat bars.
Bas Smit, global vice president of marketing for the Zurich-based company, said that the team is working to get the product on store shelves throughout the U.S. this year — a feat that has proven to be harder than one might expect, considering that Americans love sweets.
So what's been causing the hold up for this pretty-in-pink treat? In order to sell "ruby chocolate," Barry Callebaut must get approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to actually call it "chocolate." The application was filed in March 2018 but the Swiss company is still waiting on a reply. The FDA has very strict rules regarding what can and can't be labeled as chocolate and since the ruby cocoa is totally new, other chocolatiers may be hesitant to let it into the very exclusive club.
To get the ball rolling, the chocolate will be called "ruby couverture" for now. Customers looking to snag a bar or bean can also look for Ruby Cacao Truffles from the gourmet food and gift shop Harry & David.
In February, Trader Joe's launched its first item made with the bean for a limited time and named them Ruby Cacao Wafers. While the bags of chocolate-dipped honey-wheat pretzels were available while supplies lasted (for 2.99), they're still on Amazon for a little under $6 a pop.
A representative from Trader Joe's did not immediately respond when TODAY Food asked if the wafers, or other ruby chocolate products, will hit stores again soon.
Chocolove, which is sold at many grocery retailers, Target and on its website, also created its own covertly named chocolate bar: the Ruby Cacao Bean Bar.
So, does a rose-colored chocolate by any other name still smell — and taste — as sweet?
We're gonna go with, yes.