I really don’t know where to start with this one. Chocolate is constantly on my brain. For one thing, it comes in a million and one varieties: milk, dark, white, hot (as discussed in last week’s post), with nuts, on biscuits, in cakes…
Today though I’m thinking about regular old milk chocolate bars.
I am of course biased, but I really do think British chocolate is the best; nothing beats a standard purple Cadburys Dairy Milk bar. It’s creamy, sweet and reallll chocolatey. Swiss chocolate does of course come in second. To be fair, most European chocolate does pretty well. I can’t say I’ve ever had a bad bar. For example, I was recently sent an amazing bundle of goodies from my friend in the Netherlands, that included sweets, biscuits, tea and… Chocolate. The chocolate of choice was from Poland, and I have none left to show to you because I ate it all. That in itself should tell you that it was good stuff.
It’s in this picture that I took upon receiving the parcel though:
Outside Europe is a different story. In particular, America. I know I’m not the first person to notice this, so I’m sure I’m not shocking an American audience, but seriously guys – how do you put up with it? In my humble opinion, it tastes like sick. Well, hershey’s bars do. I brought some back for my friends and family, and though they managed to wolf it down, they hastily agreed with me.
Even Dairy Milk in America is not right. I just don’t get it. I read somewhere that Hershey’s bars use sour milk, which explains a lot. To me, it tastes like it needs more milk in it in general. Preferably in date, though. Also, chocolate is meant to be sweet, but it shouldn’t be the overriding flavour which is strangely managed in American bars. Basically, the balance isn’t right and if you could sort it out for when I’m next in town that would be grand. You have no idea the disappointment we faced last time, upon finding Dairy Milk in the supermarket and then realising that it was terrible. The ups and downs of travel, eh? A good friend of mine even sent a bar from Australia and though better, it’s still not the same.
I understand that a lot of British Chocolate has recently been banned from the states due to trademark issues, and that SUCKS. I genuinely feel sorry for you over it. Then again, if you like American Candies, well done – you are a braver person than I.
Brits, don’t worry though, according to the US customs website, as a traveller you are allowed to bring chocolate with you for personal use (consumption, I would assume). This is a good bit of information.
I generally love eating local food when I’m away, but this is one thing I’m unfortunately not willing to budge on. That isn’t to say though, that I won’t be trying more when I’m out there. It just means I shall be hoarding chocolate from now until my next trip, and buying extra luggage space, to get me through the trip. I will, of course, be doing the same with tea.
After saying all that though, I will admit I do know it is not ALL chocolate – it’s generally mainstream that I don’t like. Independent producers have their cocoa together. There was one place on our US travels, for example, that did amazing chocolate. The Animas Chocolate Shop, in Durango, Colorado. I’ll never forget the place, because they gave us some free stuff because we were there Prince George was born. And then we, of course, went back and bought more after we’d scoffed that.
I suppose basically what I’m saying in all of this, is that so far I haven’t ventured too far out of my chocolate comfort zone: England is where I’m happy, but next time I’m away, I will do my best to broaden my horizons and consume more cocoa based products. It’s not going to be an easy task, but it’s one I will suffer. (I jest.)
Finally, after all that ranting on, I’m realising I didn’t even give any chocolatey tips. My main ones would be:
- If you’ve never had British chocolate, your first port of call should be a proper Dairy Milk. But it’s difficult to go wrong. If I tried to make a list of good chocolate, it would be as long as this post already is.
- Britain has many, many fab independent chocolatiers. I’ve mentioned my local before, but it’s so good I’ll do it again, Rumsey’s is mine and worth a visit if you’re ever in Buckinghamshire. You can also order online, if not.
- For the proper Cadburys experience, go to Cadbury World. It’s mostly for kids, but adults are allowed in too. I mean, it’s a day out based on chocolate. Fun for all the family, at it’s best.
Sorry if you spend your entire day craving chocolate now… Welcome to my life.
P.S. Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post, apparently I don’t have enough will power to ever stop and take a picture of chocolate before eating it.