View Full Version : Chocolate

14th Mar 2015, 10:53
There are many anecdotal reports lately of the declining quality of British origin chocolate bars and other formats. Sizes as well. This spills over to Canadian and Australian chocs as well. American chocolate has never been very good. Hershey's are a joke. Sorry US but that's why it's labeled "candy".

If the trend continues Belgian, Swiss and even Ffrench will hold the crown even tighter.

It's a shame because it is fixable but there seems to be no determination to do so.

14th Mar 2015, 11:24
I join in the lament for the decline of the traditional British choccy bar. High cocoa content chocolate, such as Black & Green's (70%) is fine in small doses (I often have a small piece with my after dinner coffee) but nothing beats the "comfort" factor of a bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk, or similar.

Agreed - Hershey and chocolate are two words which do not belong in the same sentence :yuk:

14th Mar 2015, 11:38
Agree completely. I love most things American but (apart from their mutilation of our shared language) two American things I think are noted for their poorness is their weak coffee and their chocolate. We all have a favourite but for me it is Cadbury's Flake.

joy ride
14th Mar 2015, 12:29
G&B for me any day. Cadbury, now American owned, is starting to substitute vegetable oil for milk and carob for chocolate, will probably start adding the dreaded corn syrup too, perhaps already has in some products. Not a big fan of Cadbury myself, but shame to see it being embuggerificated.

Windy Militant
14th Mar 2015, 12:42
but nothing beats the "comfort" factor of a bar of Cadbury's Dairy Milk,

As far as I'm concerned there is no longer Dairy Milk since the evil empire took over and changed the recipe adding corn syrup and other rubbish. They denied this when I wrote to them, pointing out that along with keeping UK production open they also made assurances that the recipes would not be changed, but as we know they lied about both.
It's all about money for them. When the Brummies ran it they made different versions of the chocolate for different regions. Kraft now make one type for all and to be honest it looks very similar in colour to what next doors cat leaves in my garden. While I haven't tried eating these, from trying some of the milk tray given to my mother at Christmas, I suspect that the taste is not that different. :yuk:
What I have noticed this year is there seem to be a lot more special offers on Cadbury's products than I remember, and there seems to be a lot more stock in the bins which doesn't seem to be moving.
For now I'm sticking to the guys from Slough until they are bought out as well. :(

Lon More
14th Mar 2015, 13:35
Lindt, Swiss chocolate. I believe in the UK Lidl stock it. Most places in Belgium have a shop that makes their own and some national brands like Leonidas have factory shops. There's one in Audinkerk, near the French/Belgian border for those who booze cruise

14th Mar 2015, 14:12
But no one has mentioned the Nestle take over of Rowntree and the demise of Black Magic!

Nestle stopped the South African production of Black Magic and we get a small, overpriced quantity of the new bastardised version imported for Xmas.

14th Mar 2015, 15:39
I'm partial to Reese's peanut butter cups.

14th Mar 2015, 16:27
Fry`s chocolate cream - yum

14th Mar 2015, 16:31
Cadbury's chocolate is now :yuk:

14th Mar 2015, 16:50
I don't work for them but, Mrs Fortyodd2's mother introduced me to Hotel Chocolat - and after that, anything else just doesn't come close. :):):)

14th Mar 2015, 17:17
One wonders what cretins allow a company to be bought , for the reputation and unique product, then systematically destroy those very features which made the company so valuable in the first place.
Further on this, if a Kraft or Nestle buy up a company for their product line and change the product, how could they complain if somebody else made a product to the original spec and sold it in competition?

Milk Tray Like It Used to Be!

Black Magic as it was!

In the world of Beer, Blacksheep Brewery effectively did this by brewing Theakstone's brews as they were before they were taken over by Scottish & Spewcastle.

14th Mar 2015, 17:38
ian16th how true..... "Nestle stopped the South African production of Black Magic and we get a small, overpriced quantity of the new bastardised version imported for Xmas"

Same in UK, coffee creams/orange creams/cherry centre, all seem to have now been withdrawn in the box selection. I put it down to the major supermarkets dictating the contents.

14th Mar 2015, 17:41
And there`s been a lot of hoo hah in the press recently about the change been made to the Cadbuty creme eggs. Hersheys isnt chocolate, its recycled mud :yuk::yuk:

14th Mar 2015, 17:56
Reeces are the only American chocolate I like. Cadburys are awful. Try these guys Montezumas (http://www.montezumas.co.uk) one of the best I've tried!

14th Mar 2015, 18:17
It all started going wrong when we stopped getting Nessels and some company called Nestlay took over ;)

14th Mar 2015, 18:22
It all went down hill after the milky bar kid was shot. Having said that, I'm very partial for a Caramac bar.

14th Mar 2015, 19:18
Travelling companion surprised me with a box of See's just before we boarded the plane at LAX.

There's something very pleasant about sipping a cup of good coffee with a chocolate in the mouth; an impromptu Cafe Mocha at 30,000 feet!

Chocolates & Chocolate Candy | See's Candies (http://www.sees.com/)

flying lid
14th Mar 2015, 19:50
I like a bit of dark chocolate with a coffee after my evening meal - it's my normal dessert these days.

Best chocolate for me is indeed from Lidl. It's Fin Carre dark chocolate 100gm bar is 35 pence. 50% Cocoa. Always have a few bars in the fridge.

As others say, Cadburys is now shyte.


14th Mar 2015, 20:04
aaaah, lid. :ok:

14th Mar 2015, 20:05
When I were a lad in Purley, the original Milky Bar Kid used to live opposite me. I wonder if he still tells people he did? :} Oh dear. Edited to add it wasn't the Milky Bar Kid who lived opposite. It was the bloke who said "It's the Milky Bar Kid!"

Cadbury's haven't had my custom (except for rare occasions) since the fiasco of the Kraft takeover. A friend of the family worked at the Somerdale factory which Kraft promised to keep open. When they duly announced the closure a week after the takeover succeeded they said it wasn't a promise, but 'a statement of belief'.

Even the Takeover Panel were a bit startled at that one.

Must confess I have a weakness for Galaxy. Otherwise it'll be Lindt.

flying lid - Thanks for the Lidl tip. Will give it a go.

14th Mar 2015, 20:16
Lidl stock a brand called Bellarom and they do a 45% 'Rich Chocolate'.

It has a really chocolaty hit without being bitter or too sweet. 99p for 200g.

Worth trying for that price.

14th Mar 2015, 20:42
A lot of the mass market choccie bars contain significant amounts of palm oil, which to me, is indistinguishable from lard. Cheap ice cream also contains this lovely treat.

14th Mar 2015, 23:36
Christ this is worrying! Since the end of last year I can no longer eat Cadbury Dairy milk, which was my all time favourite, as it gives me the jitters and I can't sleep after! What have they put in it?

Windy Militant
14th Mar 2015, 23:49
Probably the same stuff Nestle put in the Blue Smarties. :\

Takan Inchovit
14th Mar 2015, 23:56
I'd invade another Country just for the taste of another piece of Russki dark chocolate.

15th Mar 2015, 01:02
This is the ONLY brand chocolate I eat now,not sure if it's available in Europe but it's DELICIOUS!:ok::ok:

Whittaker's Chocolate | Since 1896 (http://www.whittakersworldwide.com/)

Cheers From Dunnunda


Metro man
15th Mar 2015, 01:59
I believe that British chocolate isn't allowed to be described as chocolate when sold in Europe. If I see high fructose corn syrup on the ingredients list of any food it goes straight back on the shelf, likewise MSG and Palm oil.

Basically I'm left with Belgian or Swiss though I'll give the artisan produced chocolate a try in most places. I recently enjoyed some Philippine chocolate made with coco beans from Davao in the south of the country which was excellent.

There is a very good Mexican chocolate made with stone ground beans which comes in a circular shaped bar.

15th Mar 2015, 03:36
This American has no problem with anyone that takes umbrage with Hershey. Simply put, they ain't chocolate.

I get mine from here: Anderson's Candy Shop - Gourmet chocolate candies, caramels, fudges, truffles and gifts (http://www.andersonscandyshop.com)

Love their dark chocolate covered ginger. Being in the High Desert of California I can only order during the winter.

Used to get the ginger candy from Mary's Candy Shop in Lewiston, Maine but they closed.

joy ride
15th Mar 2015, 10:11
I am somewhat dubious about these endless food scares, but corn syrup really does sound like something to avoid as far as possible. Green and Blacks 70% and their dark choc with Ginger are good, as are similar offerings from Lindt.

Although higher chocolate content bars are more expensive they are more satisfying and thus last longer

Most of the Americans I know and visit share IBMJ's comfort with a foreigner's contempt of Hershey et al, and pounce on the decent European chocolate I take them; no present is more gratefully received! Going over there makes me feel like I am re-enacting the Berlin Airlift!

15th Mar 2015, 10:39
I've fallen for this place Haigh's Chocolates. Not much change left after $10 but at least I know I'm having a quality fix.

Gave up on Cadbury's a long time ago after some dumb executive thought they could rip us off with a new reduced portion in similar sized packaging...goodbye for good, I've branched out and found something better.

15th Mar 2015, 12:21
When in the USA, the closest I've found to a UK/European taste in chocolate has been from Ghirardelis in San Francisco. I suppose not surprising as it is owned by Lindt, I think.

15th Mar 2015, 13:27
Valrhona chocolate. Yes, it's French, get over it: I did!

Buy the tasting pack with about 8-10 different mixes and cocoa percentages, then decide which one does it for you. Top quality that more than justifies the price.

Now if we're talking milk chocolate, we Swiss are still relevant! Sadly, freshness makes all the difference here, and the stuff you find in supemarkets never quite compares with the chocolate "du jour" you find in a traditional establishment mixing their own...

Some good creations to be found in Belgium too.

Have to agree with the previous posters that nothing found in the Anglo-Saxon world qualifies for the name "chocolate". But seeing where US beer was 30 years ago and where it's at today, no reason to lose hope.

15th Mar 2015, 13:35
Not touched milk chocolate for decades.

McVities plain choc digestives, After Eight, and plain choc Kitkat account for my tastes these days.

joy ride
15th Mar 2015, 13:43
Ah well, if we are thread drifting towards dark chocolate biscuits, then Border's Dark Chocolate Gingers are very high on my favourites list. You might perhaps find something even better in a delicatessen or on the Continent, but not very much better than them, IMO.

15th Mar 2015, 15:40
McVities plain choc digestives,Yummy.

When I 1st left the Royal Flying Club and was starting at the bottom in civilian life, Mrs I worked for McVities, Harlesdon.

A staff bonus was 1lb bags of chocolate 'rejects' for 1/-, some were rejected because they had chocolate on both sides :ok: Most of them were just slightly chipped or stuck together.

My office was popular at tea break.

15th Mar 2015, 17:18
Slight deviation, I've been hunting chocolate liqueurs, never can find them these days in supermarkets, with sherry/rum/whisky centres. I presume it's to do with the licensing act.

joy ride
15th Mar 2015, 17:23
Me too dazdaz, chocolate is like cake: the more booze in it the better!

15th Mar 2015, 17:45
joy ride.. How true, I'm off to make a Xmas pudding, ohh the sherry and brandy. Trouble is, have to leave it for six months to mature. But the wait will be worth it.:ok:

Windy Militant
15th Mar 2015, 20:58
Slight deviation, I've been hunting chocolate liqueurs, never can find them these days in supermarkets, with sherry/rum/whisky centres. I presume it's to do with the licensing act.
dazdaz1 I'm not sure if it's licensing, but the Christmas before last I had great difficulty tracking any down. I finally found some in Lidl's after trying all the major supermarkets. Last Christmas they had some excellent Brandy Cherries and Cherry liqueurs in the local Co op. In fact so many that after Christmas they were unloading them at a pound a box! Whish I took advantesh off! :\

16th Mar 2015, 01:24
Cadbury had a PR disaster in NZ a couple of years ago. A combination of palm oil, switching production in Dunedin to Australia, smaller bars and the Kraft takeover virtually handed Whittakers the domestic market on a plate - or maybe that should be in a box.:rolleyes:

I always preferred Whittakers anyway - and now never purchase any Cadbury product. I note that Cadbury's product in Australia is now marked as halal, so I'm guessing we're never going to see that Bacon Delight Fondant anytime soon ...:oh:

16th Mar 2015, 01:36
I like chocolate.

I don't care who makes it, I'll eat it.

I like chocolate.

Metro man
16th Mar 2015, 01:53
Sometimes I treat myself to top end chocolate, Fortnum and Mason in London have a nice section counter where chocolates are priced individually and aren't cheap.

Thornton's have a reasonable selection, and most decent sized cities will have a specialist chocolate shop sometimes producing on the premises.

Unfortunately mass market chocolate is just produced for the lowest denominator at the lowest price. As long as it's brown and sweet they'll buy the cheapest.

16th Mar 2015, 02:12
As long as it's brown and sweet they'll buy the cheapest

Only if that is all there is. :=

Sometimes one has no other option. :(

Una Due Tfc
16th Mar 2015, 02:38
I used to get asked to bring those giant dairy milk bars with me when visiting relatives in the States, not anymore. Now the suitcase is just full of rashers and black + white pudding (for anyone not from the U.K. or Ireland, those aren't desserts!)

16th Mar 2015, 10:45
Dont forget the haggis (but suitably concealed, with any other contraband you may have) ;)

joy ride
16th Mar 2015, 12:39
I thought that Haggis had to be gagged, shackled and chained in a steel cage in the cargo hold.

Una Due Tfc
16th Mar 2015, 13:07
That's the people who eat it Joy Ride :}

16th Mar 2015, 14:15
Ghirardelli Chocolate - Chocolate Gifts, Bars and Baskets (http://www.ghirardelli.com/)

At Ghirardelli, our chocolate is as rich as our heritage. We started in San Francisco more than 160 years ago, making us America’s oldest continuously operating chocolate maker. All of our experience, passion and commitment result in a delicious legacy you can taste with every bite of our premium chocolate products.
Great American Chocolate, except ....

The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company was bought by the Golden Grain Macaroni Company (http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Golden_Grain_Macaroni_Company&action=edit&redlink=1), maker of Rice-A-Roni (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice-A-Roni), in 1963.

Later, in 1986, Quaker Oats (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quaker_Oats) bought Golden Grain, and thus Ghirardelli.

In 1992, Quaker Oats sold the Ghirardelli Chocolate division to a private
investment group.

John J. Anton, from that group, became the president and CEO of the newly independent Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.

Lindt and Sprüngli (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindt_and_Spr%C3%BCngli), from Switzerland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switzerland), acquired Ghirardelli Chocolate Company in 1998 as a wholly owned subsidiary of its holding company.
Oh well, at least it is still based in San Francisco and still makes good chocolate.

16th Mar 2015, 16:16
My favourite chocolatier is Fassbender & Rausch in Berlin (on the corner of Gendarmenmarkt opposite the Hilton). Last time I was there I found it ten minutes before it closed for the evening - luckily, otherwise it would have cost me a fortune.:O

You've got to love a shop that has a 5ft wingspan model of an A380 made of milk chocolate and suspended from the ceiling.:ooh: Their model of the Titanic was pretty impressive as well as were those of Berlin landmarks..


16th Mar 2015, 23:54
I can't say I've noticed a sufficient change in alleged 'straight' chocolate to cause aversion therapy - although it would perhaps be a good thing if I could ...

Alas I've now sworn off my childhood favourite Cherry Ripe because they now taste more like cocoanut than cherry. :yuk:

Good thread - I'll look at the contents label a little more closely than I used to. Heck, I may even manage to loose some weight over this :E