Taste test experiment with Chocolate

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My workplace is an office full of women, no men. On top of a filing cabinet in one corner there is a constant supply of junk food – chocolates, biscuits, gummies, and crisps.

I think only one of those doesn’t need a translation: chocolates. The rest: cookies, gummy bears (or whatever shape), and… oh god I can’t remember the American term… potato chips! I’ve been here too long.

Anyhoo, last week a box magically appeared that said “Hershey’s” on it. I was ecstatic. It was a mixed selection of mini-bars and Kisses and Resse’s cups, and I knew they would be mine-all-mine.

Because the Irish hate the taste of Hershey’s chocolate. ‘Disgusting.’ ‘Vile.’ ‘That’s not real chocolate. It’s just nasty.’ (Despite this pervasive opinion, my favourite Special Dark were all gone the next day. Fuck!)

Irish people really like Cadbury’s choccy. I find it boring and too sweet, personally. And if you look it up (hubby did, I can’t be arsed) Hershey’s has a higher percentage of cocoa than Cadbury’s. So there. It’s closer to “real chocolate” than Cadbury’s. That doesn’t matter and there is no point in saying so – Cadbury is an English company but they had a factory here – had – and the loyalty and habit runs deep.

I told hubby about my joyous discovery upon the Filing Cabinet of Future Pudginess. And even though he knows Hershey’s is better quality, he still said, ‘yuck.’

And then he said something else. ‘The Kisses are good, but the plain Hershey Bar is just awful.’

‘Bullshit,’ sez I. ‘I bet you wouldn’t know the difference between them based on the taste! If I chopped them up so you couldn’t tell from the shape which was which, you’d never know the difference.’

He of course insisted that would never happen. And a challenge was born, because I love calling out someone when they are wrong…Game on.

That was Thursday, and I didn’t expect any of the stash to still be left today. I underestimated the hatred these people have for the Hershey, PA, treat: the Krackle, Mr Goodbar, and the freakin’ Special Dark were decimated, but plenty of Kisses and Bars remained. And Resse’s, yay! Irish people also think peanut butter is icky.

I took one of each.

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Contestant number one. So innocent and shiny.

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Contestant number two. Bigger, more threatening.

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Not so scary now, chopped down to size.

I put on my best American Movie Trailer Announcer Voice (I have a talent for this voice. Ask the women in the office) and pulled Himself into the kitchen for the Great Hershey’s Taste Test! Complete with me making up a terrible theme tune to get him in the mood.

He got a wee spoonful of each. Then he asked for another taste, and I was allowed to mix the spoons up so he wouldn’t know if he got them in the same order.

I give him mucho credit, he took it very seriously.

First sample, he had no opinion. Second one, he said it tasted smoother. Third, he didn’t say much. Fourth, he said it was the better of the two.

His final guess – one and three were the same, two and four were the same.

Correct!

As to which was which? Totally wrong. Both times.

He made sure to repeat over and over how terrible they both were afterward though.

18 responses »

  1. I have to confess, I have no time for Hershey’s chocolate. But that is in part because I once sang at a huge convocation of German-language choruses in Hershey, PA, which concluded with a 5. a.m. skinny dip in the hotel pool (I swam up and down with two of the sopranos, rendering as best we could the Rhinemaidens’ song from the first Ring opera) and the entire time, we were socked in with the aroma of chocolate from the Hershey plant. The first hour is OK. By the end of the second day you just want it to stop. And the hotels all leave a Hershey bar on your pillow, which I ate, resulting in a gigantic zit.

    I am mad for these bricks of chocolate, called Brix funnily enough, which are marketed as good to have with red wine. Which is true. You hack off bits with a knife. It lets you deal with all your primitive urges at once.

  2. That is fabulous! I would never, ever, ever, hear a story like that anywhere else.

    I love Godiva best. But you appreciate what you cannot have – sometimes – even if it is a bit shit, honestly.

    I made the mistake of telling iDJ about Brix. He now wants a set of chocolate knives to go with the cheese knives. Dammit.

  3. How can anyone let a Reese’s cup sitting on a filing cabinet for more then a few minutes? Egads. My son and I went to Hershey’s at least once every summer – it s a fabulous park. The history of the place and the man is pretty amazing too. And lucky for me (being a tasteless American), the only bad chocolate is no chocolate.

  4. Hey HTBS,
    Been awhile since we’ve spoken. As you can imagine; the election was all consuming for the last few months and I’ve had a few lapses in Wi-Fi- service so now that it’s over ; I thought I would drop by and see how you are. What you thought of the election and what the Irish think.
    Besides the presidential race there were several referendum questions that were worthy of note. You’ll be pleased I hope to hear that in Maryland and Maine; we (I live in Maryland) finally voted and approved a same sex marriage law. As of January 1, 2013 Gay couples can get a license and get married.
    Second and of particular interest to me; and perhaps you as well; Colorado and Washington both decriminalised marijuana. I believe that makes 15 states now. I hope Obama addresses this but I won’t hold my breath. I have to admit we have more pressing issues and he can only do so much in four years and I am not sure how he feels about the issue.

    My family and I moved about 15 miles farther away from the Baltimore and the more populous towns like Aberdeen ( Ah-bare-DEEN;to the Scotts but not to Americans. They say; AA-bur-deen) and Havre De Grace; (We won’t even attempt to discuss the possible ways this name can be sliced and diced and generally made ridiculous by the local population).

    Small town; quiet; near the river. What more could I ask? Except to own a house boat of my own design. I don’t want one of those clunky trailor looking things. We’ll see.

    My health is; well; I still wiggle when they kick me so I guess I’m Ok.

    My younest daughter, whose name coincidentally is Erin; is having a baby in January. A girl named Isabella Louise.

    My dinner is done and I am hungry so I will go. Take care; my regards to DJ. I hope all is well.

    Mark

  5. Hahaha. I love Hershey’s kisses and bars. (Dark or milk, but no nuts.)

    We used to have a Hershey’s plant around here, and then they closed it down to open a plant in Mexico instead. I was so pissed I said I’d never eat their products again; that was a lot of jobs for this area to lose, and they had that amazing smell as you drove by. But, umm…

    I’m not a very good activist. :(

    So this halloween, guess what I bought a huge bag of and didn’t pass out to the children?

    • Ha! Now I know why I rarely got the ‘good stuff’ on Halloween!

      I do that with Walmart. ‘No, I hate you, you suck!’ Then when I’m back in America I freak out because everything I could ever want is RIGHT THERE and it’s all SO DAMN CHEAP. Sigh.

      There was one sad lonely Mr Goodbar still there last Friday! I ate it. It wasn’t nice.

  6. I only like regular non adulterated Hersey’s on ‘Smores, otherwise it’s to… sharp or something. I like the dark and I’m ok with it mixed with something else. So Reece’s and so on.

    It’s really all in what you grew up with. We grew up with Hersey’s and other of it’s ilk, so that tastes normal to us. Cadbury isn’t all that great I think. Milka is good with additives. If I’m going to eat strait up chocolate I want something dark and usually not from around here. Germany has great chocolate (outside of just plain, nothing in it Milka).

    Having said all that, I would miss it if it wasn’t around. I have the leisure to disliked it because I’m surrounded with it. I get all the holiday candy I want and if I really need a Reeces cup one can be had in about 15 mins.

    I could NOT handle smelling chocolate all the time. When I baked cookie for a job it was nice for a couple of days, before to long I didn’t even want to eat cookies and it took me some time to recover.

Thoughts? Gardening tips? Cocktail recipes? Don't just like and leave, please - I can talk for Ireland and would love to prove it!

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