Cadbury, currently the second largest confectionery manufacturer in the world (behind Mars-Wrigley) has been in the business of making candy for quite some time. Founded in 1824, the company originally focused on beverages – coffee, tea and drinking chocolate. Chocolate confections were added later, and, over time, became the company’s focus. Once a family-owned business, Cadbury is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kraft Foods, a hostile takeover that was not welcomed by loyal fans of the brand. Truth is, though, if you live in the U.S., Cadbury chocolate bars haven’t been made by Cadbury for some time. Ironically, it’s Hershey, who made a losing bid for the company, who’s manufactured the bars since 1988, and continues to do so.
Up for review are two of the Hershey-produced bars: Milk Chocolate with Roasted Almonds and the Royal Dark. Of the two bars, the Milk Chocolate with Roasted Almonds fares better, overall, although neither are really worth expending much effort to obtain. The milk chocolate, while unremarkable in taste, has a pleasant, silky texture to it, and the almonds impart a very satisfying salty crunch by contrast. It’s definitely a step up – even if just s small one — from the usual Hershey’s milk chocolate fare, neither overly sweet nor grainy.
Unfortunately, the Royal Dark fails on all counts. The texture is dry and brittle and the taste is neither sweet nor dark, being more bland than anything else. There’s no indication on the bar as to the cocoa content, only an ambiguous “semi-sweet.” Most likely it’s in the 50-55% range, barely edging it into dark chocolate territory (diehard fans of dark chocolate would argue that such a paltry percentage doesn’t even qualify it). It lacks the pleasant mouth feel of the Milk Chocolate bar, or sufficient bitter bite to make it appealing to fans of dark chocolate. Quite the disappointment.
If you’re looking for a quick chocolate hit, and milk chocolate is your thing, you could do worse than the Milk Chocolate with Roasted Almond bar (but then again, you can also do better!), but avoid the Royal Dark, unless you just want to intensify your craving for good chocolate.