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'Scho-Ka-Kola' - Then & Now !

Discussion in 'Uniforms, Personal Gear (Kit) and Accessories' started by Martin Bull, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Finally acquired one of these for my collection......'Scho-Ka-Kola' chocolate rations are mentioned in many German WWII memoirs ( for example, Guy Sajer mentions it in 'Forgotten Soldier' ). It's always warmly spoken of, especially on the Eastern Front. I found it quite hard to find an empty tin at a reasonable price ( good ones fetch 50-100 Euros on E-Bay ).

    [​IMG]

    It was a kind of 'energy chocolate', introduced in 1935 and heavily promoted during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It was supplied in large quantities for the Wehrmacht in very distinctive tins until the end of 1942, when the packaging was replaced by cardboard containers.

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    I was amazed to find that you can still buy this stuff ! :eek: It's still made in Berlin, and still in pretty much the same style as WWII. You can't buy it in the UK, but - in the true spirit of WWII Forums scholarly research ;) - I ordered some direct via Deutsch E-Bay.....

    [​IMG]


    What's it like ? Well. if you like fairly typical Continental dark chocolate ( ie slightly bitter ) then this is for you. I can't say that I felt a blast of caffeine-induced energy, but hey......It comes ( still ) in very :cool: little 'bite-sized chunks' and is nice to have in your pocket on a cold Winter walk......

    [​IMG]


    ...when you can try to imagine yourself on guard duty outside Stalingrad.

    Happy New Year !

    ;)
     
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  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    What a coincidence, so did I. Mine is underway from Germany and I should receive it withing days. I hope we haven't been outbidding each other on Ebay de.

    Famous German chocolade fabricks were (and still are in Cologne) Schokoladenmuseum Köln | Führungen, Workshops und Freizeit in Köln
    They also bought supplies from occupied countries (Holland) and from neutral countries (Switserland) .
     
  3. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Ah - Ha ! Another Scho-Ka-Holic ! :D

    No, mine came from - of all places - the USA :confused: and I have another one coming from the Russian Federation. Some German buyers seem to be willing to part with lots of EEE's to buy these......
     
  4. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    I sure am and I certainly love those little boxes, ever since I saw one im my neigbours home. I was left behind in 1944 (he will not part from it though) .

    Mine is the Hildebrand version (many pictures on the net) . The lid looks slightly different though (no date and not the mention "Wehrmacht packung" but it has a DRGM mention on the bottom so it's pre 1945 and probably war time) It could be a civilian or a military version. I paid 20 euros for it (including shipping)










    my next buy is the orange Butterdose .
     
  5. gunbunnyb/3/75FA

    gunbunnyb/3/75FA Member

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    so that's what went in the tin, i got one a few years back in a box of stuff i got at an auction, i thought it was a shoe polish,LOL!
     
  6. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    starkende Schokolade means strenghtning chcocolate.

    Another famous maker besides Hildebrandt is Mauxion which still exists nowadays in Thrüringa and suvived the end of the war , the Russian occupation and the DDR period.

    History - Ludwig Schokolade
     
  7. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    No wonder you didn't feel the hit - you hadn't been stood-to under shell fire on the edge of hypothermia for 48 hours! :)
     
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  8. Victor Gomez

    Victor Gomez Ace

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    Nowadays.......it seems to me........the chocolate is thinned out to make more.........sugared with corn sugar.....and loses some of its punch and charm. Soda pop suffers a lot of the same........available from syrups only, sugared with more corn sugar....no longer tastes as it did when you bought a glass bottle of pop. The Mexican Coke comes over the border and enjoys a loyal market in glass returnable bottles here because it obviously tastes better. Jam made from fruits we used to love.......same story with the corn sugar.....I have even thrown in a spoon of real sugar to these products but it doesn't quite fix them anymore. I used to maintain a habit of coke and pepsi until the corn sugar took over. There is a product that has been improved.......because it doesn't have to have any sugar.......yup and it is available in more varieties than ever before.......thank you COFFEE for improving because it is better than ever in my biased opinion. Have been on shift when it really hurt to have to use up the coffee pot to thaw out a frozen instrument air line in a gas plant in winter but never had to depend on chocolate for the oomph to get through the grave yard....just made the coffee darker as the night wore on, couldn't afford chocolate for that.....hope you find the chocolate you like if you do have to mail it around the globe to do it. It sure photo'd pure looking compared to ours here in USA.
     
  9. phylo_roadking

    phylo_roadking Member

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    Well, U.S. chocolate IS notoriously grotty...hence why Hershey were so desperate to get their hands on Cadbury's, and went toe-to-toe with Kraft for four years or so to get hold of the British manufacturer! As well as making their own product - which I've tasted (as imports here) and am not keen on - Hershey also imported Cadbury's products into the States before the takeover, I suppose Kraft does it now...

    Meanwhile, to a UK resident - the vast majority of Continental brands are far better than Cadbury's! When I was younger and travelling, I'd take an empty suitcase with me and cram it with chocolate in Germany or Switzerland rather than duty-free....I never knew how many months or years that would have to last!
     
  10. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    chocolate with corn sugar? That's a heresy for Europeans. The Swiss (Lindt, Sprüngli) and the Belgians (Leonnidas, Côte d'Or) are usually the best as chocolate makers, followed by the Germans (see brands above) , the French (Poulain , Menier, Jeff de Bruges) and the Dutch (Van Houten , Droste) .Brands are only examples, there a remany more great chocolate brands I could quote.

    Note that the Scho-ka-kola had 2% cafeine and was assimilated to a combat ration, or and energy food just as well as a delikatesse.
     
  11. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Your intrepid researcher can reveal that today's Scho-Ka-Kola consists of ; -

    Cocoa (58%), with coffee/cola-nut powder. Full ingredients : coffee (2.6%), cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, whole milk powder, cola-nut powder (1.6%), hazelnuts, almonds. It actually tastes pretty good with a nice, smooth texture......:)
     
  12. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Does he get the VC for conspicuous gallentry in the face of calories? :)
     
  13. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    It seems to be about the same composition as the WW2 recipe. This explains the cola name which hof course has nothing to do with the soda brand but refers to the ingredients.
     
  14. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    The latest addition to my 'Scho-Ka-Kola' collection. This just arrived from a Volgograd-based 'digger' who has been rummaging through an old dump near the area of Gumrak. It's one of the rare, later tins which were undated but carried the German Eagle marking.

    [​IMG]

    Definitely 'relic' condition but unlikely to be a fake ;). And it is genuinely from the Eastern Front. If only it could 'talk'......:(
     
  15. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Nice version Martin these were mid and late war. Your was obvioulsly 1942 or 1943.

    I have just received my Hildebrand maker version. The orange has faded into brown , but the DR. serial number shows it's a pre 1945 version . It was used after the war as a nail box by a shoemaker and there were still some shoe nails in it, including some typicla wooden German ones thant can be used for the restauration of officer boot soles.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    I received another Hildebrand maker type box, too band it's exactly the model I already have, but it's in much better condition.

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    There was also a Diamalt coughing drops box with it

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    Note the 2010 video of the empty former factory in Munich!

    Urban Exploration - Diamalt (Munich, Germany) - YouTube
     
  17. SKYLINEDRIVE

    SKYLINEDRIVE Member

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    Nice stuff!
     
  18. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Never seen this type before it was sold last weekfor the equivalent of 283 euros!

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    [​IMG]
     
  19. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    A silly question, but why use 'strategic' materials (metal) when there was such a shortage? Didn't the US use cardboard for such things predominately?
     
  20. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    I have also never seen anything like this before???

    It looks similar to a K98 rifle cleaning kit tin.
    [​IMG]
     

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