Hershey’s All Natural Extra Dark

Posted by in Chocolate Reviews on May 14 2007 | Leave A Comment

Hershey’s Extra DarkI’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My Polish grandmother would hoard sweets in her wardrobe for months on end, eventually presenting us with out of date ‘treats’ with a distinct whiff of camphor.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.

Hershey’s Extra DarkWhat 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.


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Comments On This Post

  1. Petra

    You forgot to mention Finland! Never tasted Fazer?

  2. Simon

    I have indeed tasted Fazer, and I apologise to any European chocolate manufacturers I may have omitted.

    It has been some time since I tried Fazer, and I will make a point of getting hold of some as soon as I can.

  3. boo

    thank you for your review of this hershy bar. i’ve seen in the shops and have been tempted to purchase and try it out but now i think i will pass it by.

    i’ve always been disappointed by the taste of hershey’s and i have tried other hershy dark bars (hoping for something palatable) and have been disappointed. you’ve saved me some money. 🙂

  4. Emilia

    Fazer is AWESOME indeed~!!!
    It’s the best chocolate ever, you must try it ^^

  5. chazza

    Green & Black’s chocolate caramel is the best chocolate in the world. it cannot be beaten, plus it’s fairtrade, which makes it ultimately the best chocolate in the world

  6. On the coasts of the US, there’s a lot more variety in the chocolate available. I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and there’s a definite preference for locally made or imported chocolates that taste more of chocolate and much less of sugar. Lots of chocolate cafes and such opening lately, too, on top of our very excellent local chocolate producers (whom I maintain can stand their own against European makers). It’s true that Hershey’s recently bought local favorite Scharffen Berger, but they seem to be keeping their hands off. (What ARE Hershey Kisses supposed to taste like, anyway? They even smell funny.) Did you ever get your hands on any Scharffen Berger? If not, drop me a line and maybe I can send you some later in the fall, when the weather cools down.

  7. Oh, I so agree with you about Hershey’s chocolate. When I was a kid, before I learned what “real” chocolate tasted like, I thought Hershey’s chocolate was IT. Now I’ll take just about anything over Hershey’s because after eating a wax filled Hershey’s kiss I feel like I should put a wick in my mouth and just light up. Instead I’ve discovered a chocolate that leaves all that junk out, using only all natural ingredients and cocoa butter and the sugar amount is 0 to minimal, and when present is raw. And due to the processing method, in the new phase of heart healthy chocolate, NOTHING else out there can touch it. It uses pure Belgian chocolate, but is made by an new American company with a clue. It’s called Xocai and since I started eating it I can’t stomach most of the other chocolate out there, because like you instead of tasting chocolate I taste all the other stuff they add, whether it’s sugar or some vegitable oil or wax. If you haven’t tried it, it can be purchased through http://www.myfitchocolate.com.

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