back to article I've got some sawdust: can I call it chocolate?

Bad news from the US. The Chocolate Manufacturers Association wants to change how chocolate is defined so that crappy imitation chocolate-flavoured stuff can be reclassified as actual chocolate. It has asked the Food and Drug Administration if the much cheaper vegetable oil may be substituted for cocoa butter, and whey protein …

COMMENTS

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  1. Tobin

    As long as some cocao solids, yes.

    I think that, in the UK, you can use the term chocolate as long as the product has some cocao solids in it. Companies have been replacing the butter with vegetable fat for years.

  2. Simon Ward

    Imitation crappy chocolate ...

    "The Chocolate Manufacturers Association wants to change how chocolate is defined so that crappy imitation chocolate-flavoured stuff can be reclassified as actual chocolate."

    I thought they'd already done that - after all, it's the only plausible explanation for Hershey bars ...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Back off Brussels!!!

    Let us hope no Europeans Reg readers see this post. I believe there are many on the other side of the Channel who dispute the British right to classify good ol' Dairy Milk as chocolate - in the words of the great man, "Back Off Brussels!"

  4. Jason Togneri

    Aargh!

    If you removed all the banana pulp from a banana, and filled the skin up with reprocessed, banana-flavoured fat, would you still call it a banana? This is absolutely ridiculous. We may as well relable "blue" as "gununga" and say, "What a lovely shade of gununga the sky is" - it'd be just as meaningless. I, for one, like my chocolate pure (okay, my 99% pure chocolate is too bitter for many of my friends) but even the sugary stuff ought to contain actual /chocolate/, for god's sake. Get a grip.

  5. Rich

    But we've been here before.....

    Isn't this exactly what the UK choccie manufacturers fought for 27 years for?

    This is why the chocolate you get here in the UK is ...well ....not at nice as the stuff you get in Euroland.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/678141.stm

    Yum!

  6. atouk

    What's REALLY inside...

    On more step in the erosion of Truth In Labeling laws.

    Pretty soon they won't even have to put on the label that the main ingredient of Soylent Green is people.

  7. Campbell

    Let not forget

    this isn't about chocolate, standards or health. It's about cash, it's about greedy corporations cutting costs to maximise equally greedy shareholder returns.

    So you make $150m bottom line profit making chocolate or $155m make sub-standard crap.

    Make no mistake, that's what it's about ladies and gentlemen

  8. regadpellagru

    Too late for us ...

    Hmmm,

    I'm sad for the US chaps, indeed, but,

    <sarcasm>

    In the small island just across the channel,

    this stupidity is now reality.

    </sarcasm>

    See

    http://www.senat.fr/europe/Themes/directive_chocolat_2000.pdf

    DISCLAIMER:

    Advised readers are warned against the danger of abuse of

    extremely bureaucratic french papers.

  9. Jules

    What about white "chocolate"?

    In our family, we call white chocolate by "white confection" because it too is not a chocolate.

  10. Leigh Smith

    Ever had US chocolate?

    I have and it tastes like sawdust anyway. Nasty, bitter (and not in tasty dark chocolate way), powdery and has an unpleasant after taste. Even US Mars bars taste horrible.

  11. Mike Richards

    Wow - we haven't quite plumbed the depths

    And here I was thinking there was nothing worse than the claggy lardy chalky brown lump that is America's contribution to chocolate - it's going to a have claggier, lardier, chalkier brown contribution.

    Although I should go easy, this is the nation that let the glutinous goop that is Dairy Milk loose on the world.

  12. Marvin the Martian

    Viva Brussels!

    Indeed, I'm a bit disappointed by the britnocentric delusions of both article writer and most commentors... you're wanting to have your cake and eat it as it were.

    It is indeed as Rich remarks the evil british cadbury and similar poisoners who keep fighting to mislabel their crap as chocolate. [Hm, maybe Ms. Crow can represent them, she's an expert on this topic I gather.] So looking surprised that the US does it only now, no, that doesn't pass well. Am I the only one having lived in both continents (UK and EU) and having noticed that in Britain you have the choice to eat either overpriced organic food OR absolute rubbish (but cheap)? Knowing that sometimes even the organic stuff would not pass ordinary EU standards? It's a bit of burocracy, but don't you care? My impression is that the ruling class stick to their organics, and screw the rest.

    Of course, after a generation of conditioning, the population starts to prefer the childhood memory taste of bad chocolate --- but this comfort food will be still on sale and bought because of the brand name and type, not because of `choc/no choc' labelling; so no losers here.

  13. Rupert White

    Does that make him...

    ... a Guittard hero?

  14. Jason Togneri

    Excellent chocolate in Estonia

    Surprising, I know, but the former Soviet Baltic states have some excellent dark chocolates - apparently it was very much more pure than elsewhere for a very long time, because the financially-deprived Soviet states couldn't afford all the artificial milks and sugars and whatever that went into more European chocolate (as was and is the trend), and so it turns out that they made a more 'pure' chocolate, which is still made today by the traditional recipe. Good for those of us living near the Baltic :-) trust me, I've tasted European and British and American (and Asian and Australian) chocolate and it's by far the best!

  15. Kurt Guntheroth

    hershey bars vs chocolate

    Hershey bars were I believe invented for US soldiers overseas in WWII. It must therefore be understood that hershey bars have the same relationship to fine chocolate that C-rations have to fine restaurant food. Even in the US, we don't take hershey bars seriously as chocolate. The US has plenty of chocolate in all grades from really good down to, well, hershey bars (and there are some places below even that...)

    I don't mind eating fake chocolate. It's what I expect when I get food from a vending machine in a bus station. I just don't want it called the same thing as real chocolate. I'm hoping the FDA will show some spine here.

  16. Dillon Pyron

    100%

    I have a half kilo of 98% and 4 ounces of 100%. Anybody want some?

  17. Jeremy

    They can't make chocolate anyway...

    In moments of homesickness, I pay through the nose ($1.40) over here for imported small bars of Cadbury Dairy Milk at a local 'farmer's market' (read: supermarket in disguise) because the crap that Hershey churns out and calls Cadbury Dairy Milk (with a disclaimer that it's made under license) does indeed taste like sawdust already so changing the definition won't mean squat.

    And while we're on the subject, don't get me started on how much it costs to get hold of Yorkshire Tea and Walkers prawn cocktail crisps - two other things the 'world's greatest country' can't seem to manage...

  18. Andy Bright

    Errr Cadbury anyone?

    I'm the first to admit I may have my facts completely bolloxed, but I'm pretty certain that the reason continental European chocolate manufacturers want British chocolate reclassified to something bizarre is the fact we almost exclusively use the vegetable oil cheapo stuff instead of cocoa butter - and probably all those other crap ingredients too.

    That's why British chocolate tastes like Cadbury and Galaxy and that other crap (the real stuff) tastes so bad.

    Yes I would imagine Thorntons and other toff choco makers use nothing but the correct ingredients, but in general we don't, and guess what? Nearly everyone that's not a chocolate connoisseur thinks our stuff tastes better.

    We may love our e-numbers, but no one knows how to make crisps, sweets and pastries like the British.

    (erm I'm not entirely sure that's something to be proud of though).

    Confused? Good.

  19. Karl Dane

    There's a wonderful Pratchett quote...

    ...as follows:

    " Wienrich and Boettcher were, naturally, foreigners, and according to Ankh-Morpork's Guild of Confectioners they did not understand the peculiarities of the city's tastebuds.

    Ankh-Morpork people, said the Guild, were hearty, no-nonsense folk who did not want chocolate that was stuffed with cocoa liquor, and were certainly not like effete la-di-dah foreigners who wanted cream in everything. In fact they actually preferred chocolate made mostly from milk, sugar, suet, hooves, lips, miscellaneous squeezings, rat droppings, plaster, flies, tallow, bits of tree, hair, lint, spiders and powdered cocoa husks. This meant that according to the food standards of the great chocolate centres in Borogravia and Quirm, Ankh-Morpork chocolate was formally classed as 'cheese' and only escaped, through being the wrong colour, being defined as 'tile grout'.

    Stolen and lightly edited (due to laziness, and a general reluctance to dig out my copy of The Thief Of Time, find the quote, and type it out) from livejournal here: http://meddler-inc.livejournal.com/

    KD

  20. Chris Collins

    Chocolate bad? You should try their cheese

    Having eaten the rancid offal they call chocolate in America (floor sweepings would improve the taste) I will counter your chocolate with the obscenity they call cheese. I believe they paint squash balls orange for that.

  21. David Willis

    Food n Drink

    Ok if we are going to bash the Americans over their food standards shouldn't we start at the bottom and work our way up ?

    Budweiser "King of Beers"..

    Beer it is not !

    Larger it is barely !

    Yellow, fizzy, sugared & flavored water (similar to coke but with less colour and flavor)

    with a dash of added alcohol.. yum yum !!

    Perhaps "carbonated alcoholic beverage" is nearer the truth.

    As for American chocolate

    Brown, sweet tasting , gritty.. full of animal goodness.. sounds like dog doo.. (not sure about the sweet tasting bit tho.. never eaten dog doo)..

  22. deLaney

    A mockery of chocolate

    This is just another example of companies not being truthful about their products. If this substitute product tastes so good why can't it sell without a name change? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has extended the time it's accepting public comment to June 25, so put in your two cents now!

    deLaney

    www.chocolatecandymaker.com

  23. Bren Flibig

    Merely greedy, or actually evil?

    Granted, Hershey's is as low as one can sink here in the USA and have it be called "chocolate" - like admitting a Yugo is a car.

    Cadbury's is not THAT much better - it already tastes like it's made with lard or tallow.

    But either one is VASTLY better than the waxy dirtlike substance passed of as, say "chocolatey coating".

    But this is STUPID, and it's not just about chocolate. They would like to "modernize" the definition of LOTS of foodstuffs. And there's no legitimate reason for it whatsoever. Objectivity has a social value beyond questions of personal taste in chocolate flavor.

    As it is, we have to memorize bizarre qualifications, like the word "process" in something like "pastuerized process cheese" as meaning "cheeselike substance with only a distant chemical relationship to actual cheese". If you see the word "process" in a "cheese" name, you can rely on it tasting like aged smegma.

    The same bunch of corporate bozos tried to take over the definition of "organic" food to include an astoundingly large list of inappropriate ingredients and additives, from a large list of purely manufactured chemicals to toxic sewage sludge - really - showing either no understanding at all, or a deliberate contempt, for the concept and the amount of work a large number of farmers, middlemen, and consumers put into coming up with reasonable definitions.

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