Ok, just after waxing poetic about Italian pigs, there comes word from Kathy Gill that unscrupulous companies have petitioned the FDA to let them lace their product with the ghastly hydrogenated fats that other people are being forced to take out of their fast foods by consumers dead set on putting health foods into their mouths instead of the re-manufactured flotsam forced upon them by big companies.
The petition also allows them to adulterate the chocolate with “milk substitutes” instead of milk. Undefined of course, they don’t want to put this crap on the labels either.
Then let the FDA know, at least if you care what you’re putting in your mouth.
What I really don’t understand is that there is a poll on the site which indicates that about half the people who vote want this crap in their chocolate. How can that be? Lick a toilet bowl if you want crap. It’s cheaper, too. (I just realized, it’s free, like crap should be. Duh)
There’s an Italian side to all this, of course. Italian chocolate is purer than just about any other chocolate, as Kyle Phillips points out in “Surrogate Chocolate: A Study in Greed”
A while back I wrote that the EEU was trying to force the Italian government to allow the use of alternative vegetable oils instead of cocoa butter in chocolate — cheaper things such as palm oil. Well, the European Parliament has just passed a law saying that throughout Europe chocolate can be made with surrogates. This is pandering to industry at its worst, and as you might expect the artisan chocolatiers were up in arms, holding chocolate festivals in towns and giving out chocolates made with and without surrogate oils for people to compare. I didn’t go, but can say from experience that there is a difference: The industrially produced chocolates I’ve bought in the US, which does allow the use of surrogate oils, don’t taste as chocolaty as Italian industrially produced chocolate made with just cocoa butter and chocolate.
There’s also a health difference: many of the surrogate oils are rich in cholesterol, something cocoa butter lacks. Therefore the industrially produced chocolates that are cheaper to make are also by comparison unhealthy. This does mean that one stands a good chance of being able to distinguish cheaply made chocolate from the better varieties (which won’t have cholesterol unless they contain milk or some such) by checking the label for cholesterol, but it’s sad that one would have to. Artisan chocolatiers from a number of European countries including Italy and Belgium will be introducing a seal of quality for chocolate that doesn’t contain surrogates, but it’s quite sad that such a thing is necessary. Once again the EEU legislators worry more about industrial bottom lines than the health of the citizens who elected them into office.
I sent the FDA my two cents. If companies want to sell this stuff, it’s a free country, they can call it anything they want except chocolate, because what they’re proposing isn’t anything remotely close to being chocolate.