Did you know that Hershey’s was once the sole supplier of milk chocolate to just about all the other candy companys in the United States? The company’s founder, Milton Hershey, was the first to figure out how to make milk chocolate in the U.S. Although milk chocolate had been manufactured for years in Europe, the formula was a closely guarded secret. Hershey experimented for years and finally came up with his own formula for milk chocolate. He of course, kept his formula a secret for years. So if one wanted to produce candy with milk chocolate content, they had to buy from either Hershey or European manufacturers. And, since Hershey’s milk chocolate was produced in the U.S., it was much less expensive than importing milk chocolate from Europe.
As a result, to this day, most milk chocolate produced in the U.S. has a slightly different taste than its European counterpart. It seems that Hershey’s process for producing milk chocolate caused the milk to sour slightly, giving it a unique taste.
I became aware of this interesting piece of trivia while watching the History Channel . They have a series called “America Eats” that explores the history of popular food products in the U.S.