I’m sitting her with half a piece of Hershey’s Extra Dark 60% cacao chocolate melting in my mouth, and I still can’t decide if I like it or not.
I’m delighted to report that it tastes like chocolate. With only one exception (Dark Chocolate Kisses), every single piece of Hershey’s Chocolate I’ve tasted has made me screw up my face in horror. For some reason I always get an awful aftertaste, almost as though the bar had been stored in the wrong conditions, or near something powerful tasting, or just for too long.
My Polish grandmother would hoard sweets in her wardrobe for months on end, eventually presenting us with out of date ‘treats’ with a distinct whiff of camphor. It was always terrible having to drop them in the bin (after testing a in the vain hope she’d somehow managed to avoid turning chocolate to poo, of course). My Hershey’s eating experiences have always been somewhat similar.
“Oh, Hershey’s. Hmmm, well I’ll give it a go. Oh, no! Yuck!” and so on.
This time I can report that I have no such problem with these little squares of dark chocolate. They taste perfectly chocolate-like. My problem is that they contain an inordinately large amount of sugar. Perusing the list of ingredients and ‘serving size’ information, I was shocked to discover that a ‘serving’ (40g) is over 30% sugar! Everything else is there – good quality chocolate, vanilla, organic lecithin – but poor old Hershey’s seem unaware of adult palates.
What I think we have here is a US/European difference. Everyone knows that Europe produces an incredibly diverse range of chocolate from most of it’s countries; Belgium, Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, and Sweden all have long established chocolate makers who continue to create wonderful ranges of confectionery.
I’m sure there are chocolatiers working in the US who continue the European traditions and add their own twists and styles (and I’d love to hear from you!) but I get the impression that Hershey’s may well be starting this journey, that they have yet to grasp the differences between continents. Instead of the dark, rich, bittersweet tastes of European Dark chocolate, we seem to have an overly sweetened ‘youthful’ product which may well be aimed at the majority of American palates.
I’d love to see this product on offer with a significant sugar reduction, keeping the same ingredients and adding nothing more. If anyone from Hershey’s should happen to read this, I’d say ‘A’ for effort but you definitely need to drop some of the sweetness. This product might well get some of the milk chocolate eaters over to the dark side, but I doubt that anyone with a confirmed love of dark chocolate would make this a regular purchase.