Mmm, tastes like plastic

So, Cadbury is cutting back on the cacao in their Dairy Milk bars and replacing it with palm oil.

I’m not going to start on the ethics of using palm oil (you can read about it here) or that eating mass market chocolate means that you’re supporting appalling working conditions and child labour.

Let’s talk about taste. Do you eat Cadbury chocolate? Do you actually taste it? I have my annual Cadbury Creme Egg, max out on sugar and fillers for the year, and call it quits. I’m imagining what my tasting notes would look like for a Cadbury Dairy Milk.

Hrm. Aroma of sweet (not sugar, just sweet). Tastes like milk powder, wax and sugar. Long finish of slick, oily petroleum residue.

I’m being facetious, of course. Cadbury just doesn’t warrant that kind of thought. It’s the kind of thing you pop in your mouth, forget about, and go back for more.

And isn’t that the problem? Since I started actually tasting – not eating, but tasting – chocolate, I eat a lot less of it. I actually concentrate on what I’m eating, and there’s something about the consciousness that makes me satisfied with one piece. It’s an experience, and not just something to eat.

Just try it. Take a moment to actually taste what it is you’re eating. It doesn’t even need to be chocolate. Choose one thing each day and actually stop to taste it.

I’ll leave you with this lovely tidbit from the Cadbury FAQ page:

Q) Why have you done this [introduced palm oil in to your Cadbury Dairy Milk Chocolate]?

A) We have done this for a number of reasons. Primarily it is because our consumers have been telling us that we could improve their enjoyment of our chocolate by making it slightly softer to bite. Vegetable fat helps deliver this softness whilst at the same time maintaining our chocolate’s great taste.

Oh, thank you Cadbury! Thank you for anticipating my needs before I even knew what they were. I’ve really been having trouble with snappy chocolate. I’ve always thought that it should be “softer to bite.” I’m glad that the addition of random vegetable oils won’t affect your chocolate’s, ahem, great taste.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Published by: Eagranie

7 years as a chemist + 9 months of culinary school + 2 years as a pastry chef & chocolatier + a lifetime of writing = this blog. This blog won't always be about chocolate, but it will almost certainly be about food. The name of the blog is a triple play on words. 1. It's a nod to my training as a classical pianist. Among other fantastic accomplishments, J.S. Bach combined technical prowess with artistic inspiration and penned the 24 preludes & fugues that make up The Well-Tempered Clavier, Books I and II. 2. In order to behave properly, chocolate needs to be tempered. In a nutshell, tempering prompts the chocolate to assume its most stable crystalline form (beta prime, if you're interested) so that it is shiny, snappy, and as stable as it can be. 3. Depending on my mood and how we meet, you might agree that I'm well-tempered. Or not.

Categories 2009, Food scienceTags, , 2 Comments

2 thoughts on “Mmm, tastes like plastic”

  1. Love this, Eagranie! I especially love your point about tasting versus eating. You’re right, when we eat without tasting, we’re just going to keep going back mindlessly for more. But when we really focus on the food in front of us, we’re really truly nourished . . . and a heck of a lot more tuned into the taste!

  2. Thanks, Lia! I think that “eating” and “tasting” are very different thing, though they shouldn’t be. In the meantime, maybe people will eat a little more consciously. Baby steps.

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