Wednesday, July 11, 2007

NYTimes on UK Candy in the US

The New York Times breaks the news that British candy bars are better than American ones. Whatever.


There are a bazillion candy bars in the world because people have different preferences and determinations of why they buy & eat them (dietary restrictions, politics, price, availability). While I review candy, I’m giving my opinion with information about all my other preferences as a touchstone and I respect other people’s opinion (that’s why there’s a comment section on this blog!). I don’t think I’ve ever gotten in someone’s face and said “this bar is better than that one and you’re a fool if you believe otherwise.” (Okay, I’ve been a bit harsh on Arcor.)

The funny thing about the whole article was the comparison between Cadbury made in the UK and the American Cadbury chocolate manufactured with some UK ingredients here by Hershey’s.

It’s a different bar from the Cadbury bar available in the United States. According to the label, a British Cadbury Dairy Milk bar contains milk, sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, vegetable fat and emulsifiers. The version made by the Hershey Company, which holds the license from Cadbury-Schweppes to produce the candy in the United States under the British company’s direction, starts its ingredient list with sugar. It lists lactose and the emulsifier soy lecithin, which keeps the cocoa butter from separating from the cocoa. The American product also lists “natural and artificial flavorings.”

Anyone who’s been following along with the story about the FDA considering the dilution of the definition of chocolate will recognize that the stuff that Cadbury sells as “chocolate” in the UK doesn’t even qualify as such in the US. (So it’s good that the article is titled best candy bars and not best chocolate bars.) Also that last bit about soy lecithin makes it look like there aren’t any emulsifiers in the UK version, which are listed quite clearly right after that vegetable fat. (Honestly I’d like to see the complete lists side by side.)

I have to give it to the Brits though, they still have the Curly Wurly ... what a sad country we are that the Marathon bar is gone. Here’s my roundup of English candy ... which I generally like quite a bit! (I don’t think it’s better or worse than American and I’m glad that so many of the traditional English candies are still around ... Allsorts & Barley Sugar anyone?)

As for Hershey bars tasting like ear wax as Kevin Ellis was quoted in the article, well I’ve never tasted Kevin Ellis’ ear wax, so I can’t comment about his opinion, but I’ve always likened Hershey’s to being like a yogurty chocolate (the tangy milky taste) instead of the dried milk flavor of Cadbury. To each his own.

(I haven’t done many head to heads, but here’s one on the Milky Way/Mars bars from UK, Canada and US.)

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:26 am Tracker Pixel for Entry     CandyFun StuffNews

  1. Actually, to me Hershey’s always had a metallic taste.  Sort of that taste you get when you chew on aluminum (aluminium for our int’l brethren) foil.

    Of course, you’d have to have tried to chew foil for you to make that comparison.

    Comment by TheMatt on 7/11/07 at 11:03 am #
  2. Hershey’s tastes like ASS. Seriously Cybele if you haven’t found that out yet then you need to try some much better chocolate. I much prefer the majority of British chocolate to Americans as well, a few stand out like Reese’s, and the Zero bar, but for the most part the quality is lower and it doesn’t sit right with me.

    Comment by Terry on 7/11/07 at 1:02 pm #
  3. I’m not sure if you knew this or not but the reason Hersheys has that taste is because back when they first started making chocolate the milk that they bought would go off on the way to the factory. Being that Americans grew up on this taste they had to keep it in order to be perceived to be keeping the quality up.

    Similarly British chocolate eaters pallet has grown up on a chocolate with a rather high particle size. this could be seen as rather crude by many other countries but its just one of those idiosyncratic things of different cultures.

    Comment by Fredus on 7/12/07 at 1:39 am #
  4. The Dickensian charm of the English sweetie
    by Gina Mallet on Fri 13 Jul 2007 04:53 PM EDT
    This week, Kim Severson reported in the NYT that the best candy bars are English. She’s right. But when she went on to trash English food generally, she was all wet. (Listen lady, I’ll take bangers and mash any day ahead of a greasy burger with all that junk on it). She missed the point. English sweets are the most imaginative and alluring food and designed to enchant. Oldstyle English sweet counters promised a Dickensian pig out. I can remember od’ ing on a couple of pounds of Dolly Mixture, little pieces of sweet confetti, the day sugar rationing came off.  When we went back for more, the grumpy old lady in the village shop, whom we often compared to the witch in Hansel and Gretel,  said with schadenfreude,  “Too late, we’re all out.” It took days for her to restock the empty jars of barley sugar sticks, always a bargain, English Acid Drops that set the teeth on edge,  stripey Bulls Eyes (peppermint boiled sweets),  rich Butterscotch, Cadbury Eclairs, Chocolate Brazils,  Cinnamon Balls, Fizzy Fish, Fruit Drops, Pastilles, Brighton Rock, Jelly Babies, , Liqorice Allsorts, Melba Fruit sweets, Mini Chocolate Eggs,  Golden Humbugs with chocolate centres, Mint Imperials, the subtle Pear Drops, ... along with Mars, an Anglicized improvement over the American original, and Smarties which were fatter than M and Ms and much more fun, the yellow and reds had plain chocolate fillings, the purple and green were milk….

    Nobody but nobody can surpass the English in the blending of peppermint and chocolate - from the Bendick Bittermint, black choc robing a big peppery and crunchy peppermint disc, to After Eights. For years I could still find a Crunchie, my fave, in Toronto. Alas, no more. A Crunchie for those who don’t know it is a sublime mouth feel, milk choc and burnt sugar crystals dissolving in the mouth.  I need a care package.

    Comment by gina Mallet on 7/16/07 at 6:53 am #
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Next entry: Jelly Belly - All Natural

Previous entry: Dogs versus Cats (fruit snacks that is)
















  • .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
  • Here are some frequently asked questions emailed to me you might want to read first.


    For a daily update of Candy Blog reviews, enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner






Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.





Facebook IconTwitter IconTumblr IconRSS Feed IconEmail Icon


Candy Season Ends

-409 days

Read previous coverage



Which seasonal candy selection do you prefer?

Choose one or more:

  •   Halloween
  •   Christmas
  •   Valentine's Day
  •   Easter




These candies will be reviewed shortly: