Many years ago someone told me that chocolate in the United States was formulated differently in order to improve its shelf life. I knew it tasted different, although I wasn't sure of the veracity of the claim about shelf life. This week Kim Severson of the New York Times said the world's best candy is British and explains the difference between American and British chocolate:
According to the label, a British Cadbury Dairy Milk bar contains milk, sugar, cocoa mass, cocoa butter, vegetable fat and emulsifiers. The version made by the Hershey Company, which holds the license from Cadbury-Schweppes to produce the candy in the United States under the British company’s direction, starts its ingredient list with sugar. It lists lactose and the emulsifier soy lecithin, which keeps the cocoa butter from separating from the cocoa. The American product also lists “natural and artificial flavorings.”
Apparently the claim about shelf life is true as chcolate bars
from the United Kingdom are made from a better recipe, containing fewer stabilizers. They melt more quickly than a Hershey bar
When I was living in Taiwan I was delighted to discover that much of the candy was made to the British rather than the American formula. I wonder why in a tropical country they felt no need to use a formula for the chocolate bars that would give them a longer shelf life? I would guess it probably has something to do with the proximity of Hong Kong where there were lots of people who were used to the British version of the candy bars.