If you ask any American they may tell you that Hershey’s is the chocolate to buy. But, if you ever offer one to a European then you may find they grimace at the thought. That is because, for anyone used to eating European chocolates, Hershey’s will taste like vomit. It is kind of like a sour candy or a floral flavored cookie – either you like it or you don’t. However, when it comes to Hershey’s there is a really good reason why people don’t like it.
You see unless you are American and grew up eating Hershey’s chocolate, then it will taste very different from other chocolates. This taste is often described as being tangy, rotten, unpleasant, and very acidic. Essentially, it is one of the reasons why people believe Hershey’s brand to be a very low grade of chocolate. Once you dive into the recipe, you realize there is another reason for this and it has nothing to do with the quality of their cacao beans.
Generally, people from Belgium, France, Switzerland, and Germany find most American brands of chocolate disgusting. After all, they are from the countries known to produce the best chocolate. In these countries, the minimum requirement is for the candy bar to contain at least 20% cacao, whereas, in the U.S. it is only 10%. But, as it turns out it is not the different percentage of cacao causing the flavor imbalance.
Hershey’s uses a technique on its milk called controlled lipolysis, the idea is to give it a longer shelf life due to the USA being so much bigger than most countries. Hence, longer travel times to get from the factory to the store shelf to the consumer. But, this technique causes a by-product known as butyric acid. A chemical that is found in sour milk, parmesan cheese, and rancid butter. You can even find it in baby vomit.
Now Americans are used to this type of acid being present in their chocolate, however, Europeans are not. Which is why they are very confused when they taste it in a candy bar. One of the reasons why Europeans believe American chocolate to be inherently bad.