Company Bans Imported Chocolate So We Keep Eating Their Inferior Stuff​​

chocolateYou get what you deserve, America. And you know what we deserve? Crap chocolate. British chocolate is getting banned from the USA and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

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Thanks to a deal Hershey's struck with Let's Buy British Imports, British-made Cadbury chocolates are banned from entering the US. Something about infringing on trademark.

“It is important for Hershey to protect its trademark rights and to prevent consumers from being confused or misled when they see a product name or product package that is confusingly similar to a Hershey name or trade dress,” says Hershey's rep Jeff Beckman.

Oh yes. Heaven forbid we accidentally purchase the British version of Kit Kats and discover how much better the English have it. No Toffee Crisps for you, with their orange and yellow package that looks just like Reese's Peanut Butter cups, all except for the shape and the words. No Yorkie bars, which bear no resemblance whatsoever to York Peppermint Patties.

What's the difference, you ask? It's all about fat content.

"Chocolate in Britain has a higher fat content; the first ingredient listed on a British Cadbury’s Dairy Milk (plain milk chocolate) is milk," says New York Times reporter Tatiana Schlossberg. "In an American-made Cadbury’s bar, the first ingredient is sugar." And that's not just powdered milk solids like you get in a lot of American milk chocolate -- it's real, fresh milk.

Sugar is pretty much the main flavor in every food here in America. Even in our savory foods. Our bread. Our boxed mac and cheese. ALL OF IT. Especially that corn syrup-flavored sugar. Yum yum! Can't get enough of that brash, metallic sweetness that burns my tongue.

Well, that's the way we like it, apparently. 

In addition to that, American chocolate has more additives and preservatives to give it a longer shelf life. You can taste it, too, but only if you slow down long enough to pay attention.

And yes, that goes for chocolates sold under European and British brands (like Cadbury). You think you're eating Cadbury's Milk Bar, but you're really eating American-made chocolate with a different recipe licensed to be sold under the name Cadbury. Check the wrapper. It's not impossible to get UK- and European-made chocolate in the US, but it's not as common as you'd think.

The truth is Europeans are hoarding all the good stuff. You go over there and see. I have been to France and Switzerland and partaken of their chocolate, and it's freakin' mind blowing. That lower sugar (just a bit) and higher milk fat really make a difference. It's luscious, richer, more flavorful.

But here in the US, we have a bias against "fancy" food with subtle, sophisticated flavors. We think it's a waste of money. We like our candy cheap. And so here we are.

Look, there are Americans who, like me, know what the good stuff is and would like more of it -- LOTS more of it. There's even a petition protesting Hersheys' lawsuit against British chocolate imports. And yeah, I'm signing it -- not that I have much faith that it will do any good.

Prove me wrong, good-chocolate-loving Americans! I dare you. Make me eat my words by flooding this petition with signatures and bringing British chocolate imports back. Until then, I stand by my position: We deserve the second-rate chocolate we get.

Have you tried British or European chocolate? Which do you prefer and why?

 

Image © Maximilian Stock Ltd/photocuisine/Corbis

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