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Willisms

« Quote Of The Day | WILLisms.com | Quote Of The Day »

America Is Losing The Chocolate Race

  hersheybar.jpg

America is an undisputed worldwide powerhouse economically, militarily, and politically. The U.S. dominates in computing, science, communications, and a whole host of other fields of endeavor. I am ashamed to say, however, that America lags behind in one of the most important fields of all: chocolate.

American chocolate is the equivalent of Chrysler K cars from the 70's - absolutely terrible, and has the competition around the world just laughing at us.I hate to say it, but the iconic Hershey Bar, putative symbol of American chocolate-making prowess, just sucks. It has a waxy look, a waxy feel, and a waxy taste. No wonder - it has wax in it, and a very low cocoa butter content. Though in fairness, I've had Morinaga chocolate from Japan, and Lotte chocolate from South Korea that was even worse. You could wax your car with that stuff. Chocolate often contains carnauba wax, which is also literally used as a car wax.

lindt.jpg  

Europe has it all over America when it comes to chocolate. What really makes chocolate scrumptious is the cocoa butter content, and EU rules stipulate that "milk chocolate" must have at least 25% cocoa butter. U.S. FDA regulations stipulate a paltry 10% cocoa butter content by comparison (though 20% cocoa butter is required in white chocolate).

The Europeans also know what to do with chocolate - Americans don't even seem to know what the hazelnut is, and yet the Europeans mix hazelnuts and chocolate with abandon. They even make a chocolate-hazelnut paste called Nutella that is just awesome. (Nutella is made by the Italian company Ferrero, which also makes the tasty Ferrero-Rocher chocolate balls, which are pretty easy to find in the U.S.) Hazelnuts and chocolate is as natural a combination as soup and sandwich. And yet the uncultured American bourgeoisie seems to prefer . . . the peanut.

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a chocolate gap. Go to your local supermarket and get some Lindt, as shown, or Toblerone, or some equivalent high-quality European chocolate, and taste the difference. We are AMERICANS dammit, are we going to let these European gourmands just push us around??

To borrow a phrase from the Democrats - America, We Can Do Better.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 21 June 2006 12:25 AM

Comments

Dove's dark chocolate is still pretty good, I keep a jar on my desk at work.

Lindt (that you have pictured) makes excellent truffles, especially their dark chocolate ones.

Posted by: Rodney Dill at June 21, 2006 05:05 AM

Ok, Ken...I will give up my Godiva's. BUT, you'll have to pry my nestle crunch and milky way from my cold dead hands!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at June 21, 2006 07:34 AM

My only chocolate intake comes from ice cream. No one does ice cream like the USA. Period.

Ice milk? Gelato? Get the **** outta here.

Posted by: Hoodlumman at June 21, 2006 08:25 AM

My husband loves to go to a place called Ritter's. It is frozen custard. He is a chocolate toffey lover. If he doesn't get some kind of ice cream treat or a little chocolate, he gets in kind of a bad mood...

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at June 21, 2006 08:48 AM

Well, nothing puts me in a good mood like chocolate!

And Hoodlumman, you are right, the U.S. is an ice cream SUPERPOWER as it should be, and that damn near makes up for our chocolate deficiencies.

Even those moonbats Ben and Jerry make excellent ice cream.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at June 21, 2006 09:01 AM

Our chocolate needs more cowbell. And milkfat.

I have had some great niche chocolates in America at individual locations, but nothing mass produced.

Posted by: Will Franklin at June 21, 2006 10:54 AM

Yep, they are like good local microbrews compared to PABST.

Ick.

Posted by: Ken McCracken at June 21, 2006 11:06 AM

To make things more interesting. Nestle just bought out jenny craig. LOL I swear they really did.

Posted by: christian at June 21, 2006 01:22 PM

Mmmm cowbell... Mmmmmm Milk fat... Jenny Craig?!?!

Posted by: Zsa Zsa at June 23, 2006 05:17 AM

Speaking of delicious American "micro" chocolate:

http://www.scharffenberger.com/
http://www.vosgeschocolate.com/
http://www.lakechamplainchocolates.com/

In other good news: I hear French cheesemakers are defecting from France and heading to Wisconsin. Can only be a good thing for the state of American dairy! (Sadly, as yet their products get snapped up so fast by American upscale restuarants it rarely makes it to the our home tables).

Posted by: Carolynn at June 27, 2006 06:43 AM