Sunday, January 4, 2009

In lieu of moose jerky…

In a recent jaunt to Canada, I decided to take in the local color, by which I mean the snacks. Nestlé ice cream was readily available, featuring some flavors I’d never seen. The most exciting of these was Rolo ice cream. Imagine Rolos in all their caramel-y goodness sitting deliciously in chocolate ice cream—the way God intended ice cream flavors inspired by chocolate-covered candy. Mmmm. While the nature of my trip did not allow me to try Canadian ice cream, I did walk away with a LOT of foreign candy.

A couple simple observations can be made: (a) Nestlé and Cadbury take over most of the candy section and many American Hershey products are nowhere to be seen. (b) They have many, MANY varieties of Kit Kat bars, including cinnamon. (c) Canadians have a strange fascination with air bubbles in their candy. (d) Coffee chocolate is quite popular, which I had no interest in trying. (e) Their candy bars are significantly larger in size. (f) Everything was in both English and French, so they had Original Skittles and Skittles Originaux!

Worth Trying
  • Mars Malteasers – Wonderful malted milk, covered in chocolate. I cannot stomach
    Whoppers, but these are great!

  • Cool Dark Zero – Also available in milk and white, the wrapper says this treat is “Cool filled dark chocolate.” It is my policy to purchase any product that is “cool filled.” Taste-wise it was like a Moritz Ice Square, only with dark chocolate. Another comparison would be a dark Lindt truffle.

  • Cadbury Wunderbar – The name and Viking-themed packaging made this product stick out as the most awesome. (Yes, even more awesome than the semi-holographic Cool Dark Zero.) It also was my favorite: caramel, peanut butter and a few crispy rice puffs enrobed in chocolate.

  • Cadbury Crunchie – Sponge toffee, which is not unlike honeycomb candy. It had a nice aftertaste similar to a golden brown marshmallow.
The Rest
  • Bounty – Chocolate covered coconut bar, not unlike Mounds, but with a delightful tropical-themed package!

  • Cadbury Sweet Marie – More or less a Baby Ruth.

  • Cadbury Mr. Big – Imagine a Baby Ruth—or a Sweet Marie—but with a wafer in the place of nougat, and less peanuts.

  • Nestlé Aero Peppermint – In addition to being a good source of bubbles, the package also advertises in bright red that it is a source of calcium! “Have you felt the bubbles melt? Laissez fonder les bulles…” Basically, it’s less chocolate in the same volume candy bar.

  • Nestlé Big Turk – To me, this was the funniest of the bunch. The front of the package is covered with words, but has no explanation of the contents except it has “60% less fat that the average chocolate bar,” which doesn’t exactly promise that the consumer will find chocolate within. Really this tagline should be used by more products (i.e. zucchini, kumquats, bottled water). It ended up being gummy candy with a thin chocolate coating, a treat known as Turkish Delight. A weird combo to me, not one I could delight in.

  • Nielsen’s Jersey MilkBeing an American, I associate the word "Jersey" with the city of Newark, not with cows. Thus, the humor of a company settling on the word “Jersey” for selling a candy is endless. This plain milk chocolate bar tastes like what I used to get from advent calendars leading up to Christmas.

  • Eat-More – This product of Hershey’s Canada wins the prize for most generic-looking wrapper design. It is a “Dark Toffee Peanut Chew,” which means it is bendable—perhaps even pose-able!—with the consistency of a Power Bar.
There was also something called Bridge Mixture which, like Big Turk, was less than clear on the package’s contents. It picture looked like chunky chocolate-covered peanuts, which is fine and good, until I saw no peanuts listed in the ingredients. I put the package down and walked away.

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