November 19, 2004
Does any of you other norwegians know why "our" milk chocolate tastes so different compared to any other milk, regardless of quality? I love a big bar of milkchoc from time to time, as candy, but only the norwegian one. The latest milk I ate, was Cluizel, and to me it tasted just like any other Nestlé or whatever brand you might think of.
Is it because of the milkpowder used in the production? (It can not be the beans, the norwegian dark chocolates are not that pleasant...)
September 30, 2004
While I don't know which you're talking about, you can be certain that if your processors are using local milk powders, that can have a huge influence on the flavor of your milk chocolate. What you feed y your cows has a direct influence on the flavor of their milk. Again, not knowing Norwegian agricultural practices, but if your cows are traditionally pasture fed, this can accuentuate the differences even more...feel free to send me one and i'll more thoroughly evaluate 8-)
August 1, 2006
Also, it depends on how the dairy was added to the chocolate. There are traditionally three methods of doing so: 1. adding whole milk powder; 2. mix liquid milk and sugar, concentrate it to 90% solids, mix it with cocoa solids, and then finish drying it into a dense mass; the milk proteins and sugars take on a cooked/caramelized flavor unattainable through regular drying; 3. some manufacturers will add enzymes to break down milk fat which results in a cheesy and slightly sour taste.
September 30, 2004
I'm assuming that no one in Norway has crumb capabilities, but that may be wrong - I'm not familiar with anyone there that does, but then again, I've not seen it all 8-) The standards of identity for milk chocolate allow the use of all sorts of milk types, from buttermilk to nfdm to wmp to scm to cream powder and so on and so forth. It may be that local preferences dictate the use of a milk source not traditionally used (buttermilk, for example). Depending on local labelling regulations (and if any of it is exported), that may or may not be clarified on the ingredient label. lipolytic enzymes are allowed in some places, and not in others, and can be difficult to control, so i'd guess that your smaller production houses aren't going to want to go there, but it certainly does create a unique flavor. if what you're tasting is similiar to hershey's milk chocolate, then you may have what is either an enzyme treated milk or an acid treated milk source (the same flavor can be created in the crumb process, but i really doubt your local folks are doing this).
My guess is that it's either nfdm+amf or wmp made from cows just eatin' the local grasses. Or they're adding a flavor.
May 21, 2004
I know that "Freia" (now actually a branch of Kraft/Phillip Morris/Altria) uses different recipies for the pure milk chocolate and for the milk chocolate in chocolates with fillings and biscuits.
They use whole milk powder. Some years ago, they wanted to cut costs and tried buttermilk and skimmed milk powder. The colour changed a little bit, the press found out they had altered the recipe and they had to go back to the original.
The Freia milk chocolate is quite implemented in the Norwegian culture. But with the sell out to Kraft/Phillip Morris/Altria, I think they have to increase the advertising budget to maintain that position..
August 1, 2006
The color probably changed due to the lower fat content of the milk. If you look at a jug of skim milk or low fat buttermilk, the color will sometimes appear green, but it will always appear more transluscent (not whiter) due to the removal of butterfat. I don't know how its powdered counterpart would change the color of chocolate, but this is just an assumption. Also, I find nonfat powdered milk to be a bit twangy anyway, perhaps sour in overall flavor.
November 19, 2004
This weekend I finally tried a "foreign" milk chocolate that didn't taste like every other foreign milks :) This amazing bar was Cluizels Marlumi lait, and I just loved it! I cannot say it tastes anything like the Norwegian Freia mentioned above, because it is of so much higher quality, but it totally lacked the flavour I have always found in milk chocolates that have not been Freia. My palate must have developed a bit since I tried the Cluizel milk mentioned in my first post (must have been Mangaro), so now I am really eager to try that one again!
May 21, 2007
Legodude is right about the milk powder. I recently was on a company visit to Freia in Oslo, and according to the guy who showed us around, Freia's use of milk powder is the key to that special Freia taste most Norwegians love so dearly. It certainly sets Freia milk chocolate apart from Swedish Marabou milk chocolate (very caramelized taste), and most others I've tasted, although I wouldn't necessarily say it's objectively superiour. I suspect it's a cultural difference, mainly... or a habit, so to speak.
November 30, 2007
The quality of Norwegian dairy is just better and tastes better in general, this would be the reason that Freia has better taste than certainly most mass market chocolates from elsewhere. It can't be enough to be better than fine milk chocolate, however.
The Cluziel are great and there are many others, Santander, Slitti Latte Nero, for example. Have you tried Bonnat Java lait?
Even if fine milk chocolate is still better than Freia, it would be fascinating to see what would happen if one of the top chocolate houses of the world did use dairy from Norway, now that would be something.