Christmas spent in Australia is an interesting affair. At the height of summer, we suddenly find ourselves indulging in a whole range of incongruous flavours – think full-on roast dinners in 35°C heat, boozy warm custards, and rich Christmas puddings.
Another thing that only rolls around this time of the year is the Advent calendar along with its 24 or 25 tiny chocolates which taste like no other chocolate you have had all year.
Turns out, there is a reason that Advent calendar chocolate tastes different to regular chocolate, and it has as much to do with the ingredients as it does your brain.
An enormous volume of chocolate Advent calendars are sold each festive season, and in order to produce them cheaply, manufacturers often tweak the recipe. In fact, chocolate in an Advent calendar is more like compound cooking chocolate than the chocolate you’d pick up in the sweets aisle. Not only is it more cost-effective, but compound chocolate more easily conforms to those little plastic moulds. Ultimately, it tastes less rich than regular chocolate, which would generally have more expensive fats and cocoa butter included.
However, this flavour change isn’t just down to what you’re eating. Sarah Dobbs at Mental Floss says how you’re eating the chocolate plays a huge role, too.
"With Advent calendar chocolate you know you only get one piece per day, so most people will take their time to savour it a little longer," she says.
"It tastes different because you’re paying more attention to it, basically."
The takeaway? If you’re craving a calendar that tastes like proper chocolate, it’s best to seek one out from an established chocolate brand like Lindt or Cadbury. If, instead, you love the seasonal dose of nostalgic holiday sweets, generic is the only way to go.
Recovering caffeine-addict and serial bruncher Eliza Murray feels most at home typing away in a cozy cafe with her re-mortgaged avocado toast nearby. When she isn't reporting on the latest Instagram-shattering glittery food trends, she can be found experimenting with new gin garnishes (hello strawberries!) or biting into an entire wheel of brie (no shame). She tweets @theothereliza