Scho-Ka-Kola is a brand of German dark chocolate that contains additional caffeine from cocoa, roasted coffee, and kola nut. The chocolate is divided into wedges held in a round metal canister. The red-and-white design and recipe have changed very little since the original launch in 1936.
Scho-Ka-Kola (for Schokolade–Kaffee–Kolanuss) was created in 1935 by the Hildebrand, Kakao- und Schokoladenfabrik manufacturer, established by chocolatier Theodor Hildebrand (1791-1854) in Alt-Berlin. It was introduced at the 1936 Summer Olympics as a "Sport Chocolate" with stimulating effect. In World War II, it was referred to as "Aviator Chocolate", as it was commonly provided with Luftwaffe rations.
Scho-Ka-Kola was issued to German tank crews, special forces and pilots during World War II. During the occupation period it was also distributed to the German population by the Allies. German World War II Scho-Ka-Kola tin containers are highly sought after by collectors.
Scho-Ka-Kola is mentioned three times in Johann Voss's World War II autobiography, Black Edelweiss. "Johann Voss", real name Paul Karl Schmidt, joins the Waffen-SS in 1943 at only 17. He ends up in Northern Finland as an SS mountain ranger, and participates in heavy fighting against the Russians. When things go particularly bad, round tin boxes of Scho-Ka-Kola are issued to the troops. He also claims that during the Battle of the Bulge (particularly, the town of Reipertsweiler, in which Voss participated in a German victory), Scho-Ka-Kola was given to captured American troops as an act of respect for their bravery. Voss details Sho-Ka-Kola in the footnotes, calling the chocolate "pure luxury" and explains that each round tin contains two discs of dark chocolate, laced with caffeine from coffee beans.
In 1969 entrepreneur Hans Imhoff took over the firm, and in 1972 also bought the beleaguered Stollwerck chocolate manufacturer from Deutsche Bank for distribution. On July 1, 2005, the German Genuport company gained all brand and distribution rights to the product. Currently it is made by a subsidiary in Berlin and available across Germany and some special web shops.
Cocoa mass, sugar, cocoa butter, coffee (2.6%), whole milk powder, kola nut powder (1.6%), soy lecithin (emulsifier), E476 (emulsifier), flavor. May contain traces of hazelnuts, almonds and gluten. The caffeine content amounts to 0.2%, i.e. 200 mg per 100 g (3.5 oz), comparable to a cup of strong coffee or an energy drink. A milk chocolate variant is available, sold in blue-and-white canisters.
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- Brand website (German)