Ireland is the place to go if you love milk chocolate.
The New York Times published an article last week praising Ireland’s delicious chocolate and calling the milk variey a “source of intense pride” for the country.
From Butlers to newly emerging chocolatiers to Cadbury bars sold on every corner store, the secret to Irish chocolate is Ireland’s creamy and luscious dairy.
“For the Irish, chocolate will always be milk chocolate, and we would really only think to eat it from local names,” said John McKenna, who co-founded the Irish Food Guide, a book and website on the country’s cuisine.
In 2011, the Irish Food Board, a division of the Department of Agriculture, conducted an industry-sponsored study on Irish people’s attitudes about chocolate. Research showed that the population prefers the taste of Irish chocolate in part because they use the best-quality milk.
David Owens of the Irish Food Board told The New York Times that Ireland’s dairy cows benefit from “extremely green grass” which grows in abundance due to the country’s year-round temperate climate, resulting in the cow’s milk being more cream-colored than white and especially rich.
While nearly all Irish chocolatiers import their solid chocolate from Belgium or France, the key ingredient in their recipes is the “decadent” Irish dairy in the form of milk powder, cream or butter.
Colm Healy, ownder of Skelligs, a chocolatier in the south of Ireland, told The New York Times: “The Irish touch makes it smoother and more chocolately, just like Irish people, including me.”