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Candy Debate: British Chocolate is Better Than American Chocolate

Categories: Candy,Candy News,Chocolate Candy,Foreign (non-US) Candy




British and American Chocolate Bars

It should come as no surprise to regular Candy Addict readers that there are some real die-hard fans out there who will search far and wide for specific candy. Candy Addicts seek out the candy of their youth, the candy of their home country, or the candy they remember eating only once (in 1967, at a convenience store which has since gone out of business). According to an article in The New York Times, the debate over British versus American chocolate has reached religious zealot stage, with several British themed stores selling their wares all over the country.

If you can get past the scary picture of the girl at the top of the article, you’ll be amused to see just how far people take this comparison. One gentleman vehemently declares that “Hershey’s tastes like ear wax” while another finds himself “outraged” that his “British” Dairy Milk bar is actually a Hershey’s product. So is this really more a debate about Hershey’s versus Cadbury, or are we really talking about an all-country Candy War?

As someone who grew up in the US happily eating Hershey’s, and then moved to Australia and happily eats Cadburys (of both UK and Australian varieties), I have to agree that chocolate in different places tastes different. Partially it’s due to cultural tastes – the American palette is more used to a sweeter bar, and those produced there often have more stabilizers and preservatives to account for a longer shelf life. British bars, on the other hand, are often not quite as sweet and often have a shorter shelf life.

While many of the products can be similar (M&Ms versus Smarties, Crunchie versus Butterfinger and so on) there are often differences not only in flavor but also in textures, colors, smell and size. Smarties are, in my opinion, a completely different eating experience to M&Ms, so I see no real point in comparing them too closely.

As for novelty value, I adore that the American confectionery world has a million uses for peanut butter, while the British confectioners have a thing for odd-shaped bars (Curly Wurlys) and novelty concepts without adding novelty ingredients (like in a Flake). As a true Candy Addict, there really is no simple answer to this, other than to keep enjoying chocolate on different sides of the Atlantic. Of course, I might also be “forced” to write a few “head to head” articles for Candy Addict, which would not only allow me to directly compare but would also allow me to eat more chocolate. Hmmm… I guess this is one debate which leaves a sweet taste in my mouth!

chocolate, Britain, UK, America, United States, Smarties, Butterfinger, Crunchie



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25 Responses to “Candy Debate: British Chocolate is Better Than American Chocolate”

  1. 1
    Mike says:

    My wife was born in England, and I was born in the U.S. As long as we’ve been together – 9 years now – I’ve gotten to know the British chocolates. She’ll say that British chocolate is flat out better. I say that there are some things they do better, and some things that we do better.

    Cadbury Milk Chocolate Buttons vs Hershey’s Kisses

    I’d give this one to kisses. When it comes to a small dose of just tasty chocolate, the Kiss is perfection. Buttons are just too small.

    Minstrel’s or Smarties vs M & M’s

    No contest, either of the British candy covered chocolate concoctions bests M & M’s hands down. Minstrels are have more tasty chocolate per piece, and Smarties have that candy shell with way more character than the one on M & M’s.

    Cadbury Dairy Milk vs Hershey’s Chocolate Bar

    I think this one just comes down to personal preference. Both have their merits. I wouldn’t turn down either one.

    British Disasters:

    Yorkie – When I tried this one for the first time, and discovered that it was just a big hunk of chocolate, not even good chocolate, my day was ruined.

    Turkish – I like Turkish delight, but this disgusting chocolate covered goop isn’t Turkish delight. More like a chocolate Turkish prison.

    American Disasters:

    Too many to name. We crank out crazy limited edition failures like nobody else. Any time I try one of these new limited edition Reese’s candies, I just want the plain old original.

    I don’t really want to see either side win this debate though. It’s nice to be able to dip into the British candies when I get bored with the same old American candies I grew up with.

  2. 2
    Dom says:

    I think this is less about British chocolate, and more about the fact that the tastes of generations of Americans have been tainted by the utter dross that Hershey’s has been churning out for years.

    Americans have become so used to “chocolate” tasting like a mixture of floor wax and sugar that it’s what they think chocolate to taste like. That doesn’t mean that British chocolate is necessarily any good – just that Hershey’s is particularly bad, and that’s the standard by which American chocolate gets judged.

    Interesting in your little montage of BritChocs above that most of the pictured chocolate is made by Nestlé and Mars and so not strictly British anyway. :)

  3. 3
    Breanna says:

    Great article! My 2 cents: all things being equal, Nestle chocolate is NASTY! Nestle nastiness happens in various forms around the globe, but it’s all poo.

  4. 4
    lolita1006 says:

    whoa, did you compare Crunchie to Butterfinger?

  5. 5
    M.A. Shackelferd says:

    The curly Wurly is like the Marathon bar from back in the day ..I’ll giv’em that…remember the Marathon Man?..dag why’d they have to quit producing them/… I’ve got one word for British “Hershey’s”…heh?…heh?…soured milk chocolate baby…quite right…quite right…what about the old Wonka Scrunch bars?… Zero’s? anyone?…how about a Chic-o-stick with Hershey bar chaser?…forget about it……

  6. 6
    gleek says:

    oh god.. crunchie is the best thing since sliced bread. i love those and hunt them down at every store i go to!!

  7. 7
    MichelleG says:

    Hello All,

    Dom:
    Actually a lot of those in the photo are Cadbury’s, which IS British. As for Mars, they have items produced “by licence” all over the world, so an American Mars product often does not taste the same as a Mars product produced in the UK.

    Mike: I couldn’t agree more on the “limited edition failures” – well put!

    Lolita: I can’t compare Butterfinger to Crunchie because they are so different, but if we’re talking a basic idea (chocolate coated crunchy goodness) then it works, for article purposes! :)

    Glad you’re all enjoying this one!

    Michelle

  8. 8
    Julie Nicolay says:

    Having literally just come home from the store with not one, not two, but three different British chocolate bars (Crunchie, CurlyWurly and Flake), as well as my favorite textural indulgence, Violet Crumble (OK, it’s Aussie and I am right this very minute – hang on a sec – opening it and eating it!), this is a great article to find in my inbox! I adore chocolate and yes, there is definitely a big difference in British and American chocolates.

    I grew up with American chocolate for the most part, and yes, mostly it was Hershey’s (I have to agree, Nestle’s tastes nasty…for me to actually NOT eat chocolate means it’s gotta be bad and I literally spit out a Nestle milk chocolate bar last Christmas that my Secret Santa at work had given me…yes, I was discreet…and not touched one since).

    But luckily, I also grew up with two parents who fed my brother and me food from all over the world, and that included candy. Dad traveled a lot for his job and would always bring us candy from other countries…and when he went to England for 6 weeks we really scored big and there was a lot of chocolate in that box! I developed a taste for it. I still like both.

    Each country’s candy is different (I’m including the world beyond America and Britain), and I’m good with that for it simply means that I’ve got lots more to try before I taste that final piece (I WILL be having candy in my sunset days, hours, etc, trust me). No matter which foreign grocery store I wander into, I always head for the candy first! Don’t you?! ;^)

  9. 9
    cremeeggfanatic says:

    I lived in england for several years and have to admit england has better chocolate. I go to a store that is a few hours away twice a year to get some and I love it. just found out they now have a regular candy bar filled with creme egg filling and i am in heaven.

  10. 10
    ella says:

    Europe has better chocolate, no doubt. Unless one goes to a place where chocolates are hand made, or organic. America has much to re-learn. My kids know only European chocolates (okay, and an occasional heath bar or reeses :)) and Canadian smarties are just plain yucky.

    That IS a really bad picture of someone who OWNS a food shop – I would be grinning ear to ear.

  11. 11
    Kat Deeley says:

    While I have to agree, the brits have a better milk chocolate, the scientist in me would like to know why. I used to think that Hersey’s “waxy” flavor came from the fact that it was a chocolate liquor mixed with a sugar/milk paste. However when I looked up Nestle’s process it wasn’t much different. The Wiki entry on chocolate seems to say that the EU has a higher minimum cocoa requirement for milk chocolate than the US. Does anyone know if this is actually the case?

  12. 12
    amypaige says:

    i love cadbury’s!!! sooooo much better than hershey’s or just about any other american chocolate as far as i’m concerned. since i live near the us/canada border, we go to canada to get our fix and pick up lots of cadbury’s or even kinder now and then. i’m always amazed at how only an hour away and the canadian grocery stores have entirely different candy. none of the american stuff except the occasional m&m. even the potato chip selection is totally different. ketchup & mustard chips?

  13. 13
    kaylurb says:

    I think Aero Bars are a tad overrated. OH and Turkish Delights make me gag.

    But Cadbury chocolate is quite delicious indeed.

  14. 14
    .;;';';' says:

    Having literally just come home from the store with not one, not two, but three different British chocolate bars (Crunchie, CurlyWurly and Flake), as well as my favorite textural indulgence, Violet Crumble (OK, it’s Aussie and I am right this very minute – hang on a sec – opening it and eating it!), this is a great article to find in my inbox! I adore chocolate and yes, there is definitely a big difference in British and American chocolates.

    I grew up with American chocolate for the most part, and yes, mostly it was Hershey’s (I have to agree, Nestle’s tastes nasty…for me to actually NOT eat chocolate means it’s gotta be bad and I literally spit out a Nestle milk chocolate bar last Christmas that my Secret Santa at work had given me…yes, I was discreet…and not touched one since).

    But luckily, I also grew up with two parents who fed my brother and me food from all over the world, and that included candy. Dad traveled a lot for his job and would always bring us candy from other countries…and when he went to England for 6 weeks we really scored big and there was a lot of chocolate in that box! I developed a taste for it. I still like both.

    Each country’s candy is different (I’m including the world beyond America and Britain), and I’m good with that for it simply means that I’ve got lots more to try before I taste that final piece (I WILL be having candy in my sunset days, hours, etc, trust me). No matter which foreign grocery store I wander into, I always head for the candy first! Don’t you?! ;^)

    December 5th, 2007 at 1:00 am

  15. 15
    jen says:

    Considering that Hershey bars were created to have a indefinate shelf life and were designed to be practly unmeltable and indestructable…its only obvious that our Europien neighbors have got us beat as far as Hershey goes.

    Although British chocolate is not the best chocolate in Europe, I do believe it is better than American.

    Europien chocolate melts in your mouth. The texture is much more creamy, supple and decadent.

    Swiss chocolate is well known for being excellent but I happen to know of a very rare and relativly unknown chocolate that is EVEN BETTER
    Freia melk chocolate bars from Norway.
    Freia chocolate is by far the best I have ever had..and my hips could attest that I have tried it all!
    This chocolate is very silky and smooth in the mouth, but the flavor is to die for!
    Created in the beautiful green and heavely forested North,
    known for its rugged landscape.
    I don’t know what those cows are grazeing on exactly but boy they make some good chocolate!
    Try it sometime…you may be plesently surprised.

  16. 16
    CrunchieVs.VioletCrumble says:

    I love Crunchies!!!! English candy is SO better than American candy. Crunchies Rock! Butterfingers drool! Not even CLOSE to being like a crunchie! BRITISH CANDY LIVE ON!

  17. 17
    Meghan says:

    I def. prefer British chocolate to American. It’s better quality, and they have a better range of flavors.

  18. 18
    Jayne says:

    Hi, I’m British and I do think that our budget chocolate is pretty good – I love the Cadbury’s Praline Flake and their peanut buttery Star Bar. Someone bought me back some Hersheys and, yeck, it had an oversweet, tinny flavour and a horrible waxy texture.

    I have to agree with Jen that, if you are prepared to spend a little bit more, then European chocolate is heavenly – the Belgians and the Swiss do it for me, with Dolfin and Lindt.

    However, my own local brand, Thornton’s is upping its game and there’s an exciting new shop just opened on my provincial high-street called Hotel Chocolat – their dark chocolate with orange and chilli is to die for.

  19. 19
    sally says:

    i’ve been living in london for 6 yrs but i’m born in america i just love all da american chocalates specially reeses hershey and watcha ma call it there are my favourite chocolates in the whole entire galaxy.even the most delicous chocolate cant replace it.

  20. 20
    Larcen says:

    As of 1988 ANY cadbury’s chocolate in the US is made under licence by Hershey’s and is sold in there stores.

    as for canada that is made by Cadbury Beverages Canada Inc. but they are owned by Cadbury plc

  21. 21
    Larcen says:

    PS nestle is swiss not brit. so is not realy relevant in this.

  22. 22
    Kev says:

    OK, I live in the UK. I have had brilliant chocolate all my life, I then try a Hersheys bar which tastes alright but with the most disgusting vomit like after taste in the world.

    One problem with this article; its wrong. OK i don’t care how much rubbish is but into american chocolate to make it not melt, and fortunately here in Britain the air temperature is very rarely high enough to melt ice. Saying this, British chocolate certainly does not have a shorter shelf life. Most chocolate over here lasts 6 months or more, and I cant understand why they need to last that long!?

    Thanks, kev

  23. 23
    Cass says:

    I’m divided. I thinkMars is better than Nestle, but Cadbury is sooo better than Hershey’s. Hershey Kisses taste like vomit.. but I like the novelty of buying american candy from the corner shop (I’m Australian.)

  24. 24
    Susan says:

    I am an American who lived in the UK for three years. I am a dark chocolate lover so I was in heavens when I found out that they had a lot more dark chocolates in the UK than in the USA.
    But I am no fan of the British milk chocolate which is Cadbury, and it is really nasty! Hershey is the best when it comes to cocoa powder. I like to make hot chocolate from scratch, and I tried Cadbury powder which was a disaster!
    Kit Kats in dark chocolate is the best for dark chocolate. That is my favorite.
    But when my husband who is British tried some Cadbury’s at Walgreen’s he thought they were rubbish. Now he loves Hershey Special Dark.

  25. 25
    cici says:

    Sorry but having also eaten both, I think you got things confused. British chocolate is sooooooooooooo much sweeter than American. Not commenting on which is better (i prefer UK but then I’m british) but it is UK that is sweeter, even the Simpsons acknowledge this when they visited England so grandpa can find his lost love! :-)
    ………………
    ……
    …….
    ….
    Hmmm this won’t post as saying to short, forgive the blah blah blah blah

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