Saturday, February 15, 2014

Candy from the Antipodes

One of my first friends from my first year of college was a gentleman nicknamed Kroger, called such by my mother because he introduced me to the fluorescent-lit college paradise of the Main Street Kroger.  A half aisle of produce, two aisles of canned goods and soups, one aisle of frozen dinners, one aisle of frozen sweet treats, one aisle of chips and crackers and three aisles of pop and beer.  Quite the place.

Anyways, Kroger and I have stayed in touch as he has gone on to fame and fortune as a film composer and I have stayed in grad school.  We love to send each other bizarre packages through the mail, which have at various points included champagne, sardines, a feathery princess wand, Panda Licorice, a Genewiz plushie wizard (they're the company we use to sequence DNA), tea, and braised eel.  Because we could. We each have slightly sadistic one-upmanship streak about us with regards to sending the grossest canned fish we can find.  I still don't remember how that started. 

The latest package from him was slightly more tasty than some of the canned sea critter we've sent back and forth---it was chocolate from his honeymoon in New Zealand!  And my main question is...why does American Cadbury chocolate taste so inferior?  Between my Cadbury favorites from England and these ones, wow.  So much better.  I could wax rhapsodic about Flake and Wispa bars all day long.

(as a disclaimer, my friend that has been to Australia was disappointed in their Cadbury chocolate, but she was raised purely on the British stuff, so she has much more sensitive tastebuds than I)

So, without further ado, an excessively detailed post about chocolate from New Zealand (because I totally missed the boat when it came to reviews of my favorite European chocolates)

Moro Gold
Smooth textured chocolate flavoured centre with crunchy biscuit pieces surrounded in caramel.  All covered in Cadbury Milk Chocolate.

Simply put, this is a classed up Twix bar.  It was quite sweet, but it didn't have the chemical aftertaste that sometimes come with American chocolates.  I loved 3 Musketeers with the best of them back in the day, especially frozen in the front seat in the ice cream bucket between the driver and passenger side of my '89 Caprice.  But after tasting one a few years ago, all I could think was, "This is not as good as I remembered it."  If you don't think you like milk chocolate because it's too sweet, or Cadbury's because you had an unfortunate incident with one too many Cadbury Easter Eggs, this may not be the right bar for you...but keep in mind, Cadbury's from across the pond (or the very large pond?) is really quite different from the American version.  This particular bar also has a pleasant crunch, more like super-crunchy and airy rice crispie balls than "biscuit pieces," and they definitely aren't biscuits as in cookies.  Bonus? The caramel ring is delightful.

Moist tender coconut in milk chocolate

Similar to a mounds bar, a Bounty has toothier coconut in the center.  The milk chocolate, also far superior to American milk chocolate, is slightly sweeter than I would expect it to be.  While I am a sweets girl all the way, if there's too much of it without any variety in texture, it's just a bit unbalanced. 

A fistful of caramel, nougat and Cadbury milk chocolate

Similar to a milky way, transport made the caramel gush out the sides, changing the experience a bit.  But the flavors were great, also sweet, but wow, I still can't get over the chocolate!

Chokito  (Nestle)Chewy caramel fudge, crunchy balls and loads of chocolate

The only Nestle of the bunch, it reminds me of 100 Grand Bars (also made by Nestle).  But the caramel is chewier, and the crispy bits are inserted into a layer that's completely smoothed over.  I loved the combination.

Thin crispy shells with a creamy chocolate flavoured filling, covered in Cadbury milk chocolate

A Kit Kat-ish sort of concoction, Crispellos are little bites of light and crispy chocolate.  They're quite airy for being covered in chocolate...somehow it doesn't de-crisp the crispy layers (thanks chocolate-specialized materials scientists).  The texture makes it really a wonderful surprise.

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