No matter what you got up to on Wednesday, I hope you all had a good Valentine’s Day. Whether you had a good time with the people closest around you or spent a cosy evening with that special someone, the memories will last a lifetime.
In the aftermath of it all, though, you probably have a reminder of Valentine’s Day in your fridge – the wonderful assorted chocolates you lovingly handpicked for your lover, or picked up from a gas station on the way home after you forgot that it was Valentine’s Day. It’s cool. I’m not judging.
Everyone has their favorite chocolate, whether it be a Snickers, dark chocolate or one even of those interesting chocolate orange concoctions. The average American will eat around nine and a half pounds in chocolate (the equivalent of a larger-than-average newborn baby), but there are some people out there who genuinely hate the stuff.
If you’re anything like me, you seriously considered cutting such people out of your life forever. Hating chocolate is like hating Pixar films, puppies or the very concept of fun. Surely anybody you can’t share the other Twix bar with is someone who can’t be trusted with your time, effort or love, right? Well, on this occasion, science says you’re wrong.
It might be weird to think about, but there are some people who literally can’t stomach the stuff, thanks to a weird quirk in how chocolate – especially American chocolate – is made. So, take a bite of the Hershey’s bar I know is on your desk. If there isn’t a Hershey’s bar on your desk, go to the store and buy one.
When you get a taste of that sweet cacao bean goodness, you’ll notice that it’s very sweet, with a slightly sour and tangy taste. Belgian, British or most European brands of chocolate don’t taste like this, and it has something to do with how American chocolate is made.
The best chocolate scientists from around the world have all sampled Hershey’s chocolate, and they say that the taste of the chocolate points to a process known as controlled lipolysis, which causes the fatty acids in milk chocolate to decompose. Hershey’s themselves have neither confirmed nor denied this, but all signs point to this chemical process.
This produces butyric acid, which is also found in Parmesan cheese (yay!), as well as spoiled butter and vomit (not so yay). It’s the butryic acid that gives American chocolate that distinct taste, and this isn’t helped by the fact that some chocolatiers also uses the emulsifier PGR, which contributes to that puke taste. This also explains why some of your friends (especially your foreign ones) can’t stomach chocolate.
So there we have it, you guys: depending on your personal preferences and your chocolate upbringing, there are some people who straight up hate chocolate. But don’t blame them – it’s just science. If you bring them some Belgian or Swiss chocolate, maybe they’ll come around.