Long-term readers of this blog may know of my fondness for something which has come to be known as ‘junk’ food. There are two reasons for this: (a) that I don’t believe it’s junk at all, and (b) that I love to piss off the politically correct.

When I moved from the United Kingdom to live in the United States two years ago, I was faced with a horrible dilemma. And that dilemma concerns junk food. There simply wasn’t enough good junk food. American chocolate sucks. Those US citizens who have visited the British Isles will instantly be aware of this, since Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and related products from Britain taste like a chunk of heaven compared to the more acrid taste of Hershey’s familiar to most Americans. So I have been forced to take extreme measures: when I visit the UK or have friends or family visit me from the UK, I make sure to have several months’ supply of Cadbury’s chocolate in the luggage. A man must survive, you see.

The Cadbury family were people that would have confused the contemporary Left. John Cadbury was a Quaker who felt that alcohol was a major cause of societal ills among working people; he saw cocoa and chocolate as an alternative to alcohol. He led a campaign to ban the use of climbing boys to sweep chimneys. He was a leader against animal cruelty, forming the Animal Friends Society, a forerunner of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He was a pioneer in employee welfare and labour relations. His was the first company to introduce the Saturday half-day holiday and to close on bank holidays. He established one of the first democratic unions which dealt with working conditions, health, safety, education, training, and the social life of the workers. Now here’s a man whose life story could send leftists into mental wards: he championed social reform AND HE MADE JUNK FOOD.

Great junk food. I mean, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk is nothing short of delectable. Capitalism never tasted so good. So it has always bewildered me that there is such short supply of the stuff in the United States, where the chocolate tastes like its secret ingredient must be underarm sweat or goat-cheese vinaigrette.

Well, one must never, ever examine what seems to be a serious deficiency of the free market without first consulting Rule Number One of the Libertarian Reason Canon of Fact: ‘If it looks like a balls-up, it’s probably the government.’

Ever hear of ‘vegelate’? Sounds disgusting, doesn’t it? It sounds like something only the French government could come up with. In actual fact, it’s a word the French coined to describe, of all things, the succulent cuts of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk… why? Because, it so happens that the reason we enjoy Cadbury’s chocolate so much is because it’s less chocolatey than we thought – so much less that people in other nations don’t even consider it CHOCOLATE!

I realise that this will be a shock to some of you Brits. I am still reeling from the information myself, having all my life equated Cadbury’s products not only with ‘chocolate’, but with the bloody BEST of ‘chocolate’. Now I come to find out that I’ve been eating ‘vegelate’ all my life, and that ‘chocolate’ is something else. And therein lies the problem with American chocolate: it’s real.

Time for a lesson on the composition of chocolate.

Chocolate is the product of cocoa mass and cocoa butter. Cocoa mass is the stuff they get from the cocoa bean (of the tropical cacao tree). Cocoa butter is the FAT from the cocoa bean. Well, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk happens to taste so damned-delish because it supplements cocoa fat with vegetable fat – up to five percent of it. So, you see, Cadbury’s chocolate contains fats other than those derived from the cocoa bean. Elsewhere, these extra vegetable fats are not used – they are not seen as a proper part of a chocolate product. So there are chocolate gastronomes around the world who look down upon Cadbury’s, calling it “cheap”, “substandard”, “not pure”. And there are governments around the world who like to define what words like ‘chocolate’ mean, and who find that Cadbury’s Dairy Milk falls outside their definitions. And one of those governments is the United States.

THUS, the reason one cannot find a decent chocolate bar in America is because the Food and Drug Administration have been judging chocolate, and they find that anything which contains vegetable fats is not chocolate but a ‘chocolate-flavoured candy’, so, according to the government of the United States of America, (shock, horror) – CADBURY’S CHOCOLATE IS NOT CHOCOLATE!

Let me pause here, since I am perspiring.

Cadbury’s obviously decided that the bastards would never get them to label their delicious diversity of delectable distinction as a ‘chocolate-flavoured candy’, so they licensed Hershey of Pennsylvania (shudder) to produce a form of Dairy Milk without vegetable fats for the US market – a product that ought to be taken in the hands of the many and disfigured in a dramatic manner.

And so it is that if you ever find your life that little less fulfilling or delightful, you should look no further than your nearest form of government. Thankfully, I’ve prepared rations for this state of affairs gleaned from my visit to the UK on Sunday – a suitcase full of Cadbury’s Fruit & Nut, which I’m about to make a hole in right now. Thank God.

“We will fight them in the dairies,” that’s what I always say.

John Wright