I will start this by saying that I was not always so passionate about chocolate. As a child, I certainly liked it, but as I grew older, I found I stopped eating it, along with most candy sold in North America. I just found it all too sweet. I would enjoy some dark chocolate now and then, maybe I`d pick out a few chocolates from the Nestle Black Magic we bought for every Christmas, but outside of that I was not that interested in chocolate. Even as I write this, it seems incredible to me that there was a time when I was fairly indifferent to eating chocolate. I liked it, but I could honestly take it or leave it. And then we started up Bramble House, and everything changed.
The first time I tasted the British Cadbury DairyMilk Wholenut bar… Aaah, yes. I remember it vividly because I could not believe what happened to my mouth… my saliva glands went nuts, and I was very nearly drooling. And I remember thinking, “How is this happening? How is chocolate this insanely good and I`ve been ignoring it all these years?!” After a bit of reading, (and of course, eating more of the British chocolate,) I learned something that British people all know very well: that British chocolate is very, very different from North American chocolate. Really? you might well ask dubiously; How so?
One of the biggest differences is the wax: chocolate bars in Canada and the United States all contain wax to prevent it from melting, and to extend the shelf life. If you have a look at the label you`ll see it. Often it is Paraffin, sometimes it`s Carnuba but they are indeed petroluem-based wax.
Similarly, the sugar content is different. North American chocolate bars are indeed, and rightly so, called CANDY BARS because there is more sugar than chocolate in them, and not cane sugar, but corn sugar, which is in fact much sweeter. (http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/is-high-fructose-corn-syrup-worse-than-sugar.html)
British chocolate contains cocoa butter, which is what gives it the gorgeous taste and that is why they are called CHOCOLATE BARS, and not Candy. It seems so simple, but until you have actually compared them, you can`t quite grasp the difference.
I remember when my sister and I tried the taste test: we took a British Cadbury Fruit & Nut bar from the shop, and bought the exact same bar from the local corner store to compare. My sister took a bite of the Canadian Cadbury, and said, unimpressed, “Okay. That`s alright.” And then she took a bite from the English Cadbury, and she did the same thing I had done when I first tried it: her eyes popped open and she looked at me, stunned, with a little bit of saliva in the corner of her mouth, and asked, “Why is this so good?!” and then, to herself, but aloud, “What is happening to my mouth…” and she wiped the wee drool that was creeping out. Ha. Okay, that is a gross image. But really: that is the sheer profundity of the difference. Without the wax, and all the extra sugar, the chocolate melts the minute it hits your tongue. And that little “zing!” that happens, that`s from the cocoa butter. In fact, British chocolate really does need to be refrigerated, because it melts so easily.
One of my favourite things to do is take a bag of Chocolate Buttons out of the fridge, and place one on my tongue and just let that darling, wee thing melt, just a bit, right before biting it and getting that rush of CHOCOLATE. There is nothing like it. And I have never loved chocolate more than I do now… so much so that I hoard them in my refrigerator, like a squirrel keeping nuts. And when the pile gets low, I get more, because I can`t bear to run out.
Right now, I seem to eat British chocolate nearly every day. I even travel with them, in case I feel a need for a bit of Cadbury Wholenut – which is, really, my absolute favourite. Just last week there was one Wholenut Bar left on the shelf, and I decided I`d better buy it because – I told myself – no one can possibly appreciate this more than I… ha ha. That`s awful to say, but that was how I justified it. I once ordered a case of British Aero bars, even though a lot of customers don`t buy it, just because I love the British Aero that much. True Confession? I once opened up a slew of Christmas Chocolate Gift Bags just so I could take out the Aero bars, and we sold the rest of the chocolate bars separately. I only did that once, though. Really. Just the once.
British Easter Chocolate? Just more awesome. I never bothered with Easter chocolate in the past, it was always that nasty plastic stuff that we are sold here. Now? We all hoard our desired Easter chocolate the minute the delivery comes in. It`s just what we do, and it`s why we love being part of Bramble House. Well, it`s one of the main reasons. Chocolate. I think Bisto is another reason we all love Bramble, but that`s for another blog, isn`t it.