Candy, Candy, Candy, I Can’t Let You Go

I didn’t name a blog Cherry’s Sweet World without having a little love for all things sugary. At this point in my life it’s pretty much my only vice, and one I love to indulge in.

I’m vegetarian, so meals are mostly potatoes and veggies or salad, which allows for lots of guilt-free snacking. And really, not many things comfort me more than coffee and treats at the end of (or in the middle of) a busy day.

I’m a month into my visit to the US, and though I miss many things about the UK, not least my family and friends, I feel like I’ve been on a 30 day mission to find the right chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Although the US manages to supersize everything, and the choices are immense, the one thing I find myself saying day after day is, ‘Where is the damn sugar?!’

It’s not that they don’t try – I can buy 12 doughnuts in Walmart for just $3.99, and they are pretty incredible for the price. The ice cream sundaes are amazing – Dairy Queen is my new favourite day trip!

Sugar abounds here (not least in the giant sacks of cereal that seem to be just sweets and marshmallows to pour milk over, with no actual grains in sight), but why can’t I seem to find it in my chocolate??? I’d pay a fortune for a big fat bar of Dairy Milk right now!

I already knew that chocolate was different here, as production even of one brand varies from country to country. I thought I might be safe with Cadbury’s Fruit and Nut, KitKat or Twix, but they all have that same slightly cheap, powdery texture and unsatisfying aftertaste. Okay, ALL may be a sweeping statement, but at least the ones I have found so far do.

US candy brands haven’t thrilled me that much, either. I was excited to see the shelves stocked with things I have only read about – Milk Duds (little caramel balls in chocolate), Junior Mints (little mint balls in chocolate), and Goobers (little peanuts in chocolate), and I bought a ton to give everything a try. Although the ones listed are the best so far, so many others just taste of disappointment. and none of them are satisfying my cravings.

I even bought a fancy bar of Trader Joe’s ‘Belgian’ chocolate (at $5 a bar!), but if that is what passes for Belgian here, then Poirot must be rolling in his grave. Don’t blame the Belgians, or the Swiss, or even the English, for your dodgy chocolate! We may enjoy too much bland or fried food at times, but chocolate we do right. Where is the good American stuff???

It seems, incidentally, that I have been asking the wrong question. The reason that US and English chocolate tastes different is because the UK brands have a higher fat and cocoa content, whereas US regulations are different, so they tend to add less cocoa and more sugar.  

So, what I really should be wailing daily is, ‘Where is the COCOA???’

Point me in the direction of the good stuff, American friends! What should I be binging on before I head back over the water?

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