Why Some Europeans Can't Stand Hershey's Chocolate

Americans sure love chocolate. In fact, Food & Wine reported that Americans eat an average of 22 pounds of candy per year. For the chocolate aficionados out there, if this candy was all standard-sized Hershey's chocolate bars, that would be 227 bars per person — in one year.

It turns out, however, that Americans might be alone in their affinity for Hershey's chocolate. Europeans tend, to put it lightly, not be the biggest fans of the confection, in fact, some abhor the supposedly sweet treat. One Reddit user from the U.K. commented on the topic. "I honestly couldn't finish the Hershey's bar. The smell, and even worse the taste of vomit made me want to vomit myself ... I literally couldn't stand to finish it. I don't understand how they (Americans) can't taste the vomit-like acidic flavor, it's so strong!" they wrote.

So, what's the source of this difference in taste and potential zing of vomit? Cheddar News reported it has to do with the type of milk preservation used in making Hershey's bars, as opposed to European chocolate.

A recipe for sweetness: cocoa, sugar, and ... vomit?

Hershey's turned to a new milk preservation technique in the 1930s to extend the shelf life of its chocolate bars for up to a year. This was accomplished through the process of lipolysis, which involves adding special enzymes to the milk that breaks down fats and lipids, as well adding butyric acid. Herein lies the problem. Butyric acid is putrid. It can be found in sour butter and milk, and here's where it all comes together — vomit (via Cheddar News). Americans have become accustomed to the taste. However, it is distinct and strong for Europeans who aren't used to it and thus, to them, a Hershey's bar tastes about as good as revisiting last night's dinner the next morning.

Adding to the differences in taste are the different recipes used for making the two types of chocolate. According to Insider, a batch of chocolate has to be 25% cocoa solids to be considered milk chocolate. Additionally, chocolate produced in the U.K. usually has more fat, whereas American chocolate has more sugar.

Seems like there's an ocean-sized disagreement between America and Europe when it comes to which type of chocolate is the tastiest.