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Wow, Brits! Tell us how you really feel about American chocolate

coney with everything Dec 9, 2010 04:43 AM

http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyl...

The comments are funny, and a bit damaging to my American pride! (can't disagree much, though...)

  1. Naguere Jan 1, 2011 05:25 AM

    Ages ago I read a book on the Hershy Company, and very interesting it was too

    One fact that made me smile was when a factory was built in Canada, the chocolate did not taste the same. tests were done and the problem was fixed.

    It seems that in production the milk addition takes on a slightly burnt twang, which unbeknownst to anyone anywhere was the signature taste of Hershy chocolate.

    I must say, it's not often you are able to use the word 'unbeknownst', but then I am a Brit.

    1. Akitist Dec 31, 2010 07:23 AM

      Brits enjoy Vegemite, so the validity of their collective opinion is suspect. Room temperature toast and beer seem to be the norm in Blighty, too.

      Additionally i wonder how many of the commenters on the Guardian piece have actually eaten Hershey Kisses.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Akitist
        s
        smartie Dec 31, 2010 10:17 AM

        Vegemite is Australian, we Brits eat Marmite.

        1. re: smartie
          toodie jane Dec 31, 2010 02:13 PM

          Yes, you Brits also eat Malteasers, which are absolute tripe. ("bleagh!" , as Snoopy used to say)

          but we do forgive you because you also make nice biccies.

          1. re: toodie jane
            s
            smartie Dec 31, 2010 07:44 PM

            wow Maltesers are one of the best choccies. Other faves are Picnic, Bounty, Galaxy, Flake, Twirl, Milky Bars, sigh the diet starts Sunday.

          2. re: smartie
            Akitist Dec 31, 2010 08:29 PM

            OK, Marmite. I stand corrected. Same sort of thing, though.

        2. e
          eliz553 Dec 21, 2010 07:24 AM

          (Clearly not in the same price bracket)

          Callebaut is the best chocolate (IMNSVHO) I have had the pleasure of eating. My daughter just made a beautiful peppermint bark with it. :-)

          1. Bob W Dec 15, 2010 08:57 AM

            I love threads like this. Of course Hershey's Kisses suck. Even as a kid I knew that. My sixth grade yearbook lists my favorite foods as "pizza and expensive chocolate." Yes, i was a little shit.

            For anyone who wants to try some incredibly good made-in-America chocolate, try this guy's tablets: http://www.garrisonconfections.com/in.... His factory is in Central Falls, RI, one of the most downtrodden cities in the US (remember that story earlier this year about a city firing all of its teachers? Central Falls!)

            9 Replies
            1. re: Bob W
              LindaWhit Dec 15, 2010 12:44 PM

              Bob, the link you have is broken, as it's picking up the period at the end of your sentence. Correct link:

              http://www.garrisonconfections.com/in...

              His chocolate is quite beautiful - I just might have to order some for a coworker - thanks for the link!

              1. re: LindaWhit
                Bob W Dec 16, 2010 05:28 AM

                Thanks for the helping hand Linda! Your coworker will be very happy. The seasonal collections are really something. Twelve new flavors introduced at each solstice or equinox. That's 48 new flavors every year, and many are quite remarkable..

                LA Burdick is another outstanding New England chocolatier that has some amazing gift collections featuring tiny chocolate mice, penguins, etc. Incredible flavors packed into tiny chocolates.

                http://www.burdickchocolate.com/

                We don't splurge on much, but as they say, life is too short to eat bad chocolate.

                1. re: Bob W
                  Withnail42 Dec 22, 2010 01:28 PM

                  Thanks for the links!

                  Also really like that yearbook quote!

              2. re: Bob W
                c
                cheesemaestro Dec 15, 2010 03:56 PM

                It does seem rather pointless to compare Hershey's products to others costing several times as much. I'm not familiar with Garrison Confections, but the US is also home to many excellent small to medium-sized chocolate makers:

                Guittard
                Scharffen Berger (now owned by Hershey)
                Dagoba (also owned by Hershey)
                Theo
                Patric
                Steve Devries
                Amano
                Askinosie
                Tcho
                Tazo
                Claudio Corallo
                And probably several more I've missed.

                Not all are of equal distinction, but all are much better than Hershey, at a significantly higher price.

                1. re: cheesemaestro
                  TheDewster Dec 16, 2010 07:38 AM

                  My favourite mass market bar is the Zero Bar available in milk (silver wrapper) and dark (gold wrapper) it has a smooth soft chocolate center like a ganache. Wonderful Belgian chocolate at about $1.30 a bar. I bought a boz of 33 for $17.00 at a wholesaler.

                  1. re: cheesemaestro
                    b
                    burgeoningfoodie Dec 21, 2010 06:34 AM

                    We have a producer in a small small market called Escazu. How do people feel about the haute chocolate such as Vosges..

                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                      b
                      burgeoningfoodie Dec 28, 2010 07:24 AM

                      Someone told me abut Tcho in San Fran that is suppose to be very good.

                    2. re: cheesemaestro
                      j
                      Johnny West Dec 21, 2010 06:52 AM

                      I'm going to make fudge using Velvetta cheese today -
                      need to figure out which chocolate to buy. Recipe calls
                      for Hershey's but will look at other options.

                      We'll see how it goes.

                      1. re: Johnny West
                        buttertart Dec 21, 2010 06:54 AM

                        Please post your results, it sounds interesting.

                  2. GraydonCarter Dec 11, 2010 08:39 PM

                    But really if you've been to Belgium, you get spoiled. Every other shop in Bruges is either a lace shop or a chocolate shop, and they really know how to do it right. I can't enjoy American chocolate any more, I really got spoiled.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: GraydonCarter
                      Tripeler Dec 11, 2010 10:10 PM

                      Most every chocolate I have had from Belgium has been spectacular.
                      Interesting -- about 30 years ago, most chocolate in Japan was dreadful. These days, however, most all of it is quite good.

                      1. re: Tripeler
                        buttertart Dec 12, 2010 09:16 AM

                        Taiwan too, it was one of the only things that really was lousy when we lived there.

                      2. re: GraydonCarter
                        Georgia Sommers Dec 12, 2010 07:23 AM

                        I agree, Belgian chocolate is wonderful. In fact, we picked up a few pieces, intending to enjoy them while sightseeing, but at the first bite I had to stop walking, sit on the nearest steps, and enjoy the experience. It was that good.
                        Still, I can put down an almond Hershey bar with a smile. There is no refining me. :)

                        Chicago has some fine chocolate shops, as I'm sure many cities across the nation do. Last Christmas we recieved a box of Vosages. Very nice.

                        1. re: Georgia Sommers
                          LulusMom Dec 12, 2010 09:28 AM

                          We've been to Belgium numerous times, and Belgian chocolate is by far the best I've had. Pretty much all I eat these days. I'm not particularly fond of the big name US brands, but I have to say i wasn't impressed with British chocolate either - I thought it had a waxy mouth feel. But this is all obviously a matter of taste, and what you were brought up on.

                      3. Veggo Dec 11, 2010 07:21 PM

                        Brits trashing foreign food simpy don't have much traction.

                        12 Replies
                        1. re: Veggo
                          s
                          smartie Dec 12, 2010 06:16 AM

                          that's a ridiculous statement and you know it. I don't live in the UK any more but I did for my first 45 years, I am now in the US and there is plenty of awful food here (including Hershey's chocolate).

                          Exactly how many times have you eaten British food? Where?

                          1. re: smartie
                            e
                            ediblover Dec 12, 2010 06:34 AM

                            Having more of everything means having more negative things.

                            I can't help but chuckle at the apples/oranges going on here. People mention "American Chocolate" and they're bringing up Hershey's. That's literally the equivalent of talking about American cuisine and talking about McDonald's and KFC. Yes, burgers and fried chicken is part of our culture, as is fast food, but comparing them to local, often high end, non-chains is absurd.

                            You want to compare Hershey's kisses to something? Name your own large chocolate manufacturer that has an iconic product. Well, here in the states, we have the large ones that can satisfy and the small ones for those special occasions. And, fact is, the small shops we got here can match anything the world has.

                            1. re: ediblover
                              s
                              smartie Dec 12, 2010 06:56 AM

                              Cadbury's chocolate.

                              1. re: smartie
                                e
                                ediblover Dec 13, 2010 10:21 AM

                                That's more or less a wash, since Hershey's makes Cadbury's products over here. But, even if that weren't the case, they're still on the same lowly level.

                                1. re: ediblover
                                  s
                                  smartie Dec 13, 2010 01:53 PM

                                  have you tried Cadbury's made in England? It's not the same as Cadbury's made in the US

                                  1. re: smartie
                                    LulusMom Dec 13, 2010 02:49 PM

                                    Any idea where Canadian Cadbury's are made?

                                    1. re: LulusMom
                                      b
                                      burgeoningfoodie Dec 14, 2010 05:21 AM

                                      I'd imagine overseas. There smarties are better than our smarties (and different).

                                      1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                        buttertart Dec 14, 2010 05:25 AM

                                        Smarties isn't a Cadbury's product, is it? Used to be Rowntree (bitter Cadbury rival).

                                        1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                          LulusMom Dec 15, 2010 09:36 AM

                                          I really dislike their smarties (which are basically comparable to M&Ms) and find them ludicrously sweet, but my (Canadian) husband loves them. I've just looked at a package we have in the kitchen, and they are actually a Nestle product. But the Canadian Cadbury toffee almond bar is very nice.

                              2. re: smartie
                                Veggo Dec 12, 2010 07:17 AM

                                I'm just funnin'. I wish I could get decent fish and chips or a meat pie or bangers and mash in my area. At least I can get stilton and some nice ales.

                                1. re: Veggo
                                  s
                                  smartie Dec 12, 2010 07:51 AM

                                  funnin' back, if you wanna compare like for like try Hershey's kisses v Cadbury's buttons. 9 out of 10 cat owners will prefer Cadbury's.

                                  1. re: smartie
                                    Veggo Dec 12, 2010 09:42 AM

                                    include me among the nine!
                                    A word in Hershey's defense: Milton Hershey's philosophy was to provide chocolately treats to youngsters that were affordable to the parents. In an economy where cocoa as a commodity is over $2300 /ton, some shortcuts have been necessary to maintain that objective, and yes that means compromises in quality, and even experimentation with chocolate substitutes. The trustees of the MH foundation who oversee the Hershey School for disadvantaged children and set corporate policy have been faithful to Mr. Hershey's wishes, while at the same time developing premium products for more discriminating adult tastes. Hershey's kisses are for the kids.

                            2. e
                              ediblover Dec 10, 2010 12:10 PM

                              Sorry, but unless they've got a huge national affection on a similar scale, I don't want to hear it. I view it as someone touting the burgers of In-N-Out or 5 Guys over McDonald's. Sorry, but if they were THAT good, they'd be the kings; as it is, they're not even princes.

                              Hershey's kisses are one of those things that I don't mind. I know they're not great, but there's a place for them. It may only be the playground, but they rule that playground. If the British think they've got something better... Well, where is it?

                              Finally, did the writer seriously bring up Paul Young when discussing Hershey's kisses? If we're doing that, I might as well bring up Anthony Mangier and Una when discussing Little Caesars pizza. But, hey, they're Brits. I guess all we can do is suck it up while we're enjoying a morsel we got from Jacques Torres.

                              1. b
                                burgeoningfoodie Dec 10, 2010 09:50 AM

                                I like Ghiradelli okay for store bought brands. Otherwise I do my best to get my hands a on a chunk of Callebeaut for baking/cooking. As it is more available in bulk than say Perugina or Valrhona. We do have a chocolaterie here based out of the Netherlands.

                                1. Peg Dec 10, 2010 06:57 AM

                                  In my office (my British office), when people come back from holiday they bring in sweets from the country/place they have visited.
                                  When people bring back Hersheys kisses from the US they remain uneaten. There's always some person who has not tried them before who takes one - but they never take a second.
                                  My colleagues and I have discussed this phenomenon and have reached the concensus that Hersheys kisses are made of rancid soap.

                                  12 Replies
                                  1. re: Peg
                                    buttertart Dec 10, 2010 07:28 AM

                                    Them's fightin' words round heah, Miss Peg! ;-)

                                    1. re: buttertart
                                      s
                                      sedimental Dec 10, 2010 11:32 AM

                                      Yup. Hershey's kisses is 'bout as 'merican....as.........well............as............
                                      apple pie "a la modey" ;)

                                      1. re: buttertart
                                        Peg Dec 11, 2010 01:12 AM

                                        I should lay all my cards on the table and admit that I hold dual naionality - British and American. I think I can speak with impartiality on the quality of the chocolate that comes my way.
                                        Reeces pieces (and peanut butter M&Ms of which I have heard mythical tales) are held in very high regard among my workmates. So it is not a matter of national pride that makes us revile Hersheys.

                                        1. re: Peg
                                          chowser Dec 11, 2010 09:06 AM

                                          That's funny to hear. When I lived in England (close to 20 years ago now), everyone gave me a hard time about how Americans love peanut butter on everything and I said something about pb and chocolate in Reece's pb cups and they shook their heads. So, it's nice to hear some have learned to appreciate that pb is good with many things!

                                      2. re: Peg
                                        coney with everything Dec 13, 2010 09:28 AM

                                        Peg, my office is the US office of a British company. Similarly, when someone comes back from a trip to the mothership, they bring back British chocolate (or digestives, which can be had here but for a serious price)

                                        I have in my desk a secret big red box from Marks & Spencer that one of my colleagues sent back a month or so ago...I shared when I first got it but now it's MINE ALL MINE.

                                        I send over JellyBellys because that's the US candy my colleague likes!

                                        1. re: coney with everything
                                          buttertart Dec 13, 2010 09:51 AM

                                          Digestives (and good ones, McVities etc) are cheap in Chinese markets in NYC. Not the chocolate ones though, damnit.

                                          1. re: buttertart
                                            coney with everything Dec 14, 2010 05:55 AM

                                            I've seen the digestives here in my favorite Asian market as well, buttertart, but as you say, no chocolate. Must...have...chocolate.

                                            1. re: coney with everything
                                              buttertart Dec 14, 2010 05:59 AM

                                              Darn it all anyway. Marion Cunningham has a recipe for them in the Breakfast Book, I should try it and dip them in chocolate...

                                            2. re: buttertart
                                              toodie jane Dec 14, 2010 06:26 AM

                                              If you have Cost Plus World Market stores back there, they carry the choccie ones. Also, Tim Tams from Austrailia. swoon.

                                              1. re: toodie jane
                                                k
                                                karenfinan Dec 15, 2010 02:03 PM

                                                oh the tim tam slam!!!!! yum:-)

                                            3. re: coney with everything
                                              b
                                              burgeoningfoodie Dec 14, 2010 05:21 AM

                                              Yeah my fiance loves Hobnobs...

                                              1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                d
                                                da0419 Dec 14, 2010 07:46 AM

                                                OOh, I like the Chocolate Caramel Digestives...yummy

                                          2. chowser Dec 10, 2010 05:29 AM

                                            The Brits making fun of something American--now that's something new. ;-p Ironically, I just bought two bags of kisses, one milk, one dark. I can't remember the last time I had them but they caught my eye when I was buying extension cords. They tasted so plasticy chocolate and yet were so addicting. I don't think anyone holds up kisses as the ideal tasting chocolate but they bring back memories. And, you can make quite a nice foil ball as you're eating them--useless multi-tasking at its finest.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: chowser
                                              buttertart Dec 10, 2010 05:44 AM

                                              They feel good in your mouth too. I like the wrapper and the little tissue tag. It's more about the experience than the taste (I associate them with trips to the States when I was little and they weren't yet available in Canada, so they have a certain allure).
                                              Try wrapping a cookie dough around onr of the dark ones and baking them - pretty darn good.
                                              I sometimes use Special Dark if I'm out of the good stuff or if I'm baking for people I don't particularly care about (bad me) - with some cocoa substituted for some of the flour (1/4 c of the 1 c in the Malgieri Supernaturals) in brownies, they taste in the ballpark of those made with better stuff.

                                            2. d
                                              david t. Dec 9, 2010 03:24 PM

                                              Well, you know what? payback's a bitch for sending us the cadbury cream egg.

                                              10 Replies
                                              1. re: david t.
                                                LindaWhit Dec 9, 2010 03:47 PM

                                                ROFLMAO!

                                                1. re: LindaWhit
                                                  buttertart Dec 9, 2010 05:00 PM

                                                  I'm still reeling at the rat hair thing, where does this come from?
                                                  I can see if one had only ever been exposed to candy-bar type chocolate that one might think chocolate can only be a mediocre foodstuff, but if one has had the higher-end ones from France or other countries there is no way that position could be maintained. There are ones out there that would blow your socks off.
                                                  The best thing I've eaten this whole year (sweets division) was a milk chocolate bar crammed full of marcona almonds by Jacques Bellanger that was utterly mindblowing, the flavor evolved in your mouth and was incredibly long-lasting.
                                                  I was exposed to Cadbury from England as a child and love it, Canadian chocolate at the time seems to have been modeled on it as well.
                                                  Like Hershey's but I can see where someone not accustomed to it might find it had a slightly acid edge - there is a book on the history of the Hershey's and Mars companies that covers the invention of the Hershey's chocolate-making process, since cocoa mass is acidic the milk that goes into it in their process is slightly soured and that taste is present in it.
                                                  I think you identify and generally prefer the type of chocolate you are introduced to as a child (the Hershey's taste IS chocolate to many many people) but that if you are lucky enough to be exposed to European brands you are likely to find them very enjoyable.
                                                  (Incidentally the second-best chocolate I've had this year is a 72% dark imported from Russia.)

                                                  1. re: buttertart
                                                    Caitlin McGrath Dec 9, 2010 05:30 PM

                                                    When I replied above, I assumed the reference to rat hairs was about FDA regulations regarding various kinds of foreign matter in food - what and how much.

                                                    There's something keeping me from being able to load the link to the info on the FDA site, but here's an explanation via Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Food...

                                                    No doubt more than you really wanted to know!

                                                    1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                                                      buttertart Dec 10, 2010 05:05 AM

                                                      "Chocolate and chocolate liquor: Insect filth: Average is 60 or more insect fragments per 100 grams (when 6 100 g subsamples are examined)"
                                                      Nothing about rat hair. One inhales that much with each breath, I should think.
                                                      I work with the FDA every day in my professional capacity and know from filth (which has a strict definition, by the way), as it were. The most inherently filthy food is dried figs, because they are pollinated by wasps, not all parts of which escape.

                                                      1. re: buttertart
                                                        c
                                                        Chowrin Dec 10, 2010 06:39 AM

                                                        my googlefu trumps yours?
                                                        http://www.suite101.com/content/fda-r...

                                                        1. re: Chowrin
                                                          buttertart Dec 10, 2010 07:28 AM

                                                          Find this in the actual FDA regs.

                                                    2. re: buttertart
                                                      josquared Dec 10, 2010 09:22 AM

                                                      "Incidentally the second-best chocolate I've had this year is a 72% dark imported from Russia."

                                                      Right around when the Soviet Union had broken up into independent countries (early 1990s or so), my brother went over there on some missionary work. Coming home back from work one day, I found him talking with my parents, just recently arrived back and detailing his experiences there.

                                                      We all chit-chatted for awhile, but before he left he said I should try some of the Russian chocolate he had gotten over there.

                                                      I was wary based on his expression, which had a bit of a smirk to it, but I said sure. The chocolate bar came in what looked like tissue paper almost, and when I unwrapped it, it looked quite odd, a dark slate color that some resembled asphalt or similar. Also, it smelled like nothing like I had ever experienced, and definitely not like the chocolate I had grown up with (pretty much the whole Hershey's line.) But I said what the heck and pulled it into my mouth

                                                      One bite later, and one word came to mind - petroleum. It was the foulest thing I had ever put into my mouth (even to this day) and had me rushing to the nearest trash can to expel it ASAP

                                                      So I'm glad to hear the chocolate standards have improved for certain. And I'll definitely take what some folks label as "vomit" and "earwax" over that vile piece of chemical catastrophe anyday :)

                                                      1. re: josquared
                                                        buttertart Dec 10, 2010 09:53 AM

                                                        Things have indeed changed in the past years. Russian cuisine of the highest sort being heavily French-influenced, it's not surprising that one of the areas improved with social change and increased prosperity is chocolaterie. You could put this one up against pretty well any of the better (if not superluxury) brands.

                                                  2. re: david t.
                                                    s
                                                    smartie Dec 9, 2010 06:12 PM

                                                    they are disgusting too - I once filmed a sequence of something or other in the 80s at their fillings factory, great vats of white and yellow goo, waves of sickly sweet stuff and have never eaten one since.

                                                    1. re: david t.
                                                      toodie jane Dec 14, 2010 06:22 AM

                                                      @ david t.: but don't the mini eggs even out that score?

                                                    2. s
                                                      smartie Dec 9, 2010 01:31 PM

                                                      I am an expat in the US from England. I have to profess that Hershey's tastes of vomit to me too, I saw a few others in the comments section saying the same thing and I thought I was the only one!
                                                      I can eat Dove chocolate in the US otherwise I go to a Brit store or the Brit department of Publix and stock up on British Cadbury's chocolate - the one made under license in the US doesn't taste right.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: smartie
                                                        Kajikit Dec 26, 2010 01:43 PM

                                                        As an ex-pat Australian, American 'Cadburys' is disgusting. Just as horrible as Hersheys. I don't know what they did to it but I'd rather not eat chocolate at all than have either of them! Hershey's kisses are semi-edible but I only really liked the flavoured ones that they don't have any more. But they really weren't 'chocolate'. Dove is the most edible cheap chocolate in the grocery store. On the whole, American chocolate is the chocolate of extreme desperation.

                                                        1. re: Kajikit
                                                          buttertart Dec 27, 2010 04:47 AM

                                                          To those who didn't grow up with it.

                                                      2. LindaWhit Dec 9, 2010 07:17 AM

                                                        LOLing at the comments: "Hershey's chocolate tastes like earwax though. Anyone who professes to actually like the stuff is mental or has had their tastebuds surgically removed."

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: LindaWhit
                                                          j
                                                          jenn Dec 14, 2010 04:27 PM

                                                          me I'm distracted by wondering who would actually eat earwax. . . same question I had when berty bott's came out with the ear wax jelly bean. . . .

                                                          1. re: jenn
                                                            m
                                                            mpjmph Dec 15, 2010 08:09 AM

                                                            I don't think anyone eats it on purpose, but I know I've absent mindedly scratched my ear then ate something or chewed my nail and got the taste of earwax in my mouth. Not pleasant.

                                                        2. arashall Dec 9, 2010 05:56 AM

                                                          And I find Cadbury's just terribly bland and boring. Guess it's what you're used to. Of course, most of my Cadbury's has been consumed in tropical climates, and I think they may add something waxy to keep it from melting.

                                                          1. g
                                                            gfr1111 Dec 9, 2010 05:55 AM

                                                            I like Hershey's Kisses, always have. However, they're for kids--milk chocolate and overly sweet for an adult palate. I've read criticisms of American chocolate, Hershey's in particular, as being too "gritty," according to Europeans. I contrast, I find some European chocolate to be too fatty and lacking in "chew." It needs more chewiness to be satisfying. If there is no chewiness, it is like eating chocolate-flavored butter. I hasten to add that this is not my evaluation of all European chocolate, much of which is a superior product, but European chocolate is, at times, certainly not without fault.

                                                            I would be curious to hear what the author of the article thinks of Ghirardelli chocolate, a much more European style American chocolate. I'll bet that she would like it.

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: gfr1111
                                                              linguafood Dec 10, 2010 09:33 AM

                                                              I think Ghirardelli chocolate tastes like greasy soap. I think Hershey's chocolate tastes like it's been made with milk that has gone sour.

                                                              I'll take Lindt over those any time.

                                                              1. re: linguafood
                                                                buttertart Dec 10, 2010 09:49 AM

                                                                The soured milk is a fact, not just a taste. I'm not surprised that someone like you who was raised on...Lindt...Milka too I bet...would not care for them.

                                                              2. re: gfr1111
                                                                honkman Dec 10, 2010 11:35 PM

                                                                Ghirardelli doesn't taste particular like European style chococlate. Together with Hershey they are good examples of lousy tasting American chocolate. There are many good tasting American chocolates but you often have to go to smaller producers whereas in Europe many of the large producers still make good chocolate.

                                                              3. Withnail42 Dec 9, 2010 05:05 AM

                                                                Can say I disagree with the assessment of the Kisses. Always thought they were gross even as a kid.

                                                                1. c
                                                                  Chowrin Dec 9, 2010 04:59 AM

                                                                  someone on that thread is fantasizing about rat-shit flavored candy. Food standards in America really, really suck.

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: Chowrin
                                                                    t
                                                                    TheFoodEater Dec 30, 2010 03:39 PM

                                                                    rat-shit flavored candy is called 'hershey's' haven't you heard?

                                                                  2. c
                                                                    Chowrin Dec 9, 2010 04:55 AM

                                                                    you could do much worse than Hersheys.
                                                                    Chocolate, as a foodstuff, will never rise above mediocre, because it requires too much processing to remove disease. That said, chocolate goes remarkably well with many good things that have substantial quality variation.

                                                                    Like Milk. Hershey has some of the best in the world -- that's why Milton put his plant there.

                                                                    Or vanilla... mmm...

                                                                    Or coffee... (blueberry cappuchino! man, ethiopian can do crazy things to the tastebuds!)

                                                                    28 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Chowrin
                                                                      m
                                                                      mateo21 Dec 9, 2010 05:24 AM

                                                                      "... as a food stuff, will never rise above mediocre, because it requires too much processing to remove disease."

                                                                      I'm curious what you mean by this, Chowrin. Are you saying that Cocoa has disease problems? Or that chocolate, as a finished product, has disease problems? I'm a little confused. And how does this translate to chocolate as a foodstuff, "never rising above mediocre"?

                                                                      1. re: mateo21
                                                                        c
                                                                        Chowrin Dec 9, 2010 05:36 AM

                                                                        you bake all the interesting flavors out, through prolonged and excessive processing. it creates a homogenized, mediocre product. compare to coffee, where the roasting process makes alcohols and other fun things that you drink.

                                                                        Chocolate as a finished product does not have disease problems... in general. Look up the law on how much rathair they're allowed to have in every bite!

                                                                        1. re: Chowrin
                                                                          Caitlin McGrath Dec 9, 2010 01:45 PM

                                                                          "Look up the law on how much rat hair they're allowed to have in every bite!"

                                                                          In the respect, chocolate is no different than any other foodstuff with any degree of processing. Unless you make every single thing you eat from whole, fresh produce and never use anything - not a thing - manufactured or canned or otherwise packaged, the laws for allowable inclusions affect you.

                                                                      2. re: Chowrin
                                                                        honkman Dec 10, 2010 11:29 PM

                                                                        "you could do much worse than Hersheys" - Actually Hershey is still some of the worst chocolate I have tried ever anywhere. It has an artifical flavor I haven;t found anywhere else.

                                                                        1. re: honkman
                                                                          c
                                                                          Chowrin Dec 11, 2010 01:49 AM

                                                                          oh ye of too large budgets,
                                                                          a story I've to tell...
                                                                          of chocolate that was part veggie oil
                                                                          and drawn from the depths of hell.

                                                                          1. re: Chowrin
                                                                            honkman Dec 11, 2010 09:13 AM

                                                                            I guess you never had good chocolate so far. And similar as with everything food related - high quality ingredients cost money and so if you want taste good stuff you have to pay more. Chocolate is not different to meat, produce etc.

                                                                            1. re: honkman
                                                                              c
                                                                              Chowrin Dec 11, 2010 09:20 AM

                                                                              chocolate is shelf-stable. what makes "good chocolate" better than "less good"? Is it the amount of theobromine? *snort*

                                                                              1. re: Chowrin
                                                                                honkman Dec 11, 2010 11:03 AM

                                                                                The same as what makes good coffee or pasta or meat or tea better than not so good coffee or pasta or meat etc. - better ingredients and better processes to make product, e. g. milk, cocoa beans and how they are processed. You might not know but chocolate is not growing on trees or magically appears in supermarkets.

                                                                                1. re: honkman
                                                                                  c
                                                                                  Chowrin Dec 12, 2010 02:39 AM

                                                                                  can you detail what makes a "better process" for processing cacao into chocolate?

                                                                                  1. re: Chowrin
                                                                                    Mr Taster Dec 15, 2010 03:56 PM

                                                                                    I'll take this one.

                                                                                    We were on the Carribean side of Costa Rica and Panama this summer, and visited a cacao plantation. We made and ate FRESH chocolate. It was like nothing else I've ever had. The seeds of the cacao fruit are slightly fermented, dried, and roasted (much like coffee beans) and are ground through a hand crank grinder which looks a bit like a meat grinder. You collect the ground cacao (which contains all of the glorious cocoa butter that is extruded from commercial chocolates and resold at a high premium to cosmetics and pharma companies. This natural emulsifier is then often replaced with cheaper stuff like soy lecithin).

                                                                                    To the ground cacao, you mix various ingredients to make the chocolate more palatable, as you like. Vanilla, cinnamon, milk, etc. Aside from the roasting, *nothing is cooked!* You mix and knead the stuff vigorously for about 20 minutes until it becomes very much the texture of a dense dough.

                                                                                    Eventually you spread this chocolate "dough" out onto a platter and shape it into a squat, flat block where you slice it up like fudge. The fresh chocolate gleams with the beautiful layer of cocoa butter. It tastes like nothing else I'd eaten before.

                                                                                    I'd say that's a "better process" for processing cacao into chocolate!

                                                                                    Mr Taster

                                                                                    1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                                      y
                                                                                      yfunk3 Dec 15, 2010 05:21 PM

                                                                                      I remember seeing a travel show about a Mexico City chocolate store that makes all their chocolate in-store using this method and the hand-crank machine.

                                                                                      Damned if I can remember which show and what the store was called, but the chocolate definitely looked incredible!

                                                                                      1. re: Mr Taster
                                                                                        c
                                                                                        Chowrin Dec 21, 2010 12:21 PM

                                                                                        roast time/temp?

                                                                                        1. re: Chowrin
                                                                                          Mr Taster Dec 22, 2010 12:39 PM

                                                                                          No idea. The roasting was not done in a machine. It was done by hand, in a metal pot with a long handle, over flames. Think of the way that Ethiopians do traditional coffee service where they roast the beans in front of you and you can get a sense of what this process was like.

                                                                                          Mr Taster

                                                                                  2. re: Chowrin
                                                                                    chowser Dec 11, 2010 11:06 AM

                                                                                    Does all chocolate taste the same to you?

                                                                                    1. re: chowser
                                                                                      honkman Dec 11, 2010 04:31 PM

                                                                                      No, but it sounds like it tastes all the same for you

                                                                                      1. re: honkman
                                                                                        chowser Dec 11, 2010 04:53 PM

                                                                                        Um, I think you have your posters/posts confused. I was asking Chowrin if chocolate tastes the same to him, based on his comments.

                                                                                        1. re: chowser
                                                                                          honkman Dec 11, 2010 06:33 PM

                                                                                          Oops. I guess I didn't have enough chocolate today.

                                                                                      2. re: chowser
                                                                                        c
                                                                                        Chowrin Dec 12, 2010 02:39 AM

                                                                                        yup. they process it too much for it to be otherwise.
                                                                                        That said, vanilla in chocolate makes everything better. and good vanilla tastes better than bad vanilla. Tried Macaibo chocolate?

                                                                                        1. re: Chowrin
                                                                                          chowser Dec 12, 2010 05:06 AM

                                                                                          It's a matter of taste, I guess. Not even getting into taste but there's a world of difference in mouthfeel between a Hershey's kiss and a good chocolate that melts in my mouth.

                                                                                          1. re: chowser
                                                                                            c
                                                                                            Chowrin Dec 12, 2010 05:13 AM

                                                                                            proportions issue? amnt of cocoa butter versus chocolate solids?
                                                                                            I grok what you're saying, there's def. a texture difference. not sure which way I swing, actually.

                                                                                            1. re: Chowrin
                                                                                              chowser Dec 12, 2010 09:22 AM

                                                                                              We all have different taste buds. If you can't taste the nuances of different types of chocolate grown in different places with different production methods, then you should stick with the least expensive. People who can, won't.

                                                                                              1. re: chowser
                                                                                                kukubura Dec 31, 2010 01:14 PM

                                                                                                What a weird discussion! Of course there are chocolates of varying qualities. How is this even a debate? And I really wonder about anyone who thinks that Hershey's is the best at doing anything other than making mad amounts of money and then posts on a food forum! Hilarious!!

                                                                              2. re: Chowrin
                                                                                l
                                                                                LiviaLunch Dec 12, 2010 08:01 AM

                                                                                > you could do much worse than Hersheys.

                                                                                No. No, you really couldn't.

                                                                                1. re: LiviaLunch
                                                                                  j
                                                                                  jenn Dec 14, 2010 04:25 PM

                                                                                  concur!

                                                                                  1. re: LiviaLunch
                                                                                    c
                                                                                    cheesemaestro Dec 15, 2010 03:41 PM

                                                                                    Well, there's the Tootsie roll. In case some people aren't familiar with it, it's a chewy candy with a disgusting fake chocolate flavor. It contains no real chocolate, just "artificial cocoa whey" or some such nonsense. When I was a kid, we used to call it a Tootsie turd, which it definitely resembles.

                                                                                    1. re: cheesemaestro
                                                                                      LulusMom Dec 15, 2010 03:44 PM

                                                                                      absolutely horrible.

                                                                                    2. re: LiviaLunch
                                                                                      c
                                                                                      Chowrin Dec 15, 2010 07:20 PM

                                                                                      to me, at least, white chocolate is a vile abomination -- milk candy(a quite good product) trying to be "chocolate". yick.

                                                                                      But i rec that others feel differently.

                                                                                      1. re: Chowrin
                                                                                        Withnail42 Dec 22, 2010 01:24 PM

                                                                                        Not here! That stuff should be called chocolate.

                                                                                  2. b
                                                                                    burgeoningfoodie Dec 9, 2010 04:52 AM

                                                                                    Unfortunately, the independent brands that don't get world wide distribution don't get any praise as there is some good chocolate to be found just probably not from the large sellers. I mean most chocolate manufacturers are now owned by say Proctor and Gamble or Cambell's (like Godiva). I think even Scharffenberger is not owned by someone else.

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: burgeoningfoodie
                                                                                      Withnail42 Dec 9, 2010 05:43 AM

                                                                                      Scharffenberger is, ironically, now owned by Hershey's

                                                                                      1. re: Withnail42
                                                                                        b
                                                                                        burgeoningfoodie Dec 9, 2010 05:52 AM

                                                                                        Ahhhh thats what it was. I mean when I read about Kraft buying Cadbury in England it made me sad. I wish that these money grabbers could just stick to their own product and if it isn't doing it for you.. find a way to make your product better.

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