Since Kraft recently bought Cadbury, I’m extremely worried that the Flake bar will start tasting like American cheese, so I decided to stock up while I was in Scotland a month ago. It was ’bout time for a tasting:
Wispa & Flake bars are basically textured Cadbury chocolate. It just goes to show what a difference texture makes, because I’m not a huge fan of plain Cadbury chocolate, which they sell in the form of the Dairy Milk bar. I think it’s too rich, milky, and it has a tinge of raisin flavor. Wispas & Flakes solve this problem by making the chocolate lighter.
Wispas are full of tiny little air bubbles, which somehow produce a light and silky chocolate taste– almost like a meltaway. I adore them, but they are pretty hard to get in the U.S., so my aunt kindly brings me yearly stocks of them, which I gobble up faster than I care to admit. The only person I’ve ever shared them with is my chocolate-crazy niece, Maddy, who eats them in quiet reverence at the tender age of seven. Well done, little one! For some insane reason, Cadbury stopped making the Wispa in 2003, but a public outcry caused them to come back “for a limited time” in 2007. Then after more squirming and rage from the public (why must they play with our minds with this whole “limited time” thing?!?!?!), the world gave a great sigh of relief when the Wispa was brought back permanently in 2008.
Flakes are made of bark-like ribbons. Buying an intact specimen in the store, far less keeping that way across the Atlantic, is almost impossible, but somehow the one in the photo made it, that is until I ate it. It must be pointed out, by the way, that a soft serve ice cream cone in Britain without a Flake sticking out of it is like a kitty without fur: naked and sad.
Double-Decker bars get their name from the iconic British double-decker buses. They have a layer of crunchy, chocolatey biscuit, and a layer of nougat. I do get that hint of raisin flavor somehow, but I like it here.
The Crunchie claims to be a chocolate bar filled with a honeycomb center. Since chewing on wax is out of the question, the next best thing is chewing on something called a honeycomb, but is actually a super crunchy, tooth-achingly sweet, golden candy. Thank goodness for the nice amount of chocolate coating to provide some balance.
While doing a scotch of research for this post, I discovered that Kraft also owns: Lu (makers of the wonderful Petit Écolier chocolate biscuits), Côte D’or (the Cadbury’s of Belgium), Marabou (the Cadbury’s of Sweden), Milka (the Hershey’s of much of Europe), and Toblerone (the triangular-shaped Swiss chocolate bar with crunchy bits of nougat). Kraft’s all like, “Bring it, Nestlé.”
I also would be remiss if I didn’t write a quick word about Britain’s love of biscuits, which are often a chocolate & dry cookie combo and can be eaten at almost any time of day, but most often make an appearance at tea times. Digestive Biscuits, a deceptively healthy sounding example, are my favorite. They’re simply delicious. You can get them without chocolate, but why would you? They’re like wheat cookies or something– still sweet, but also a bit worthy, as my mother says.
Yes, it had to be done. I had to try a deep-fried Mars bar. Even though I’ve been coming to Edinburgh all my life and have never seen one, all my American friends kept telling me that Scottish people love these things, so I was on a mission. Here’s what you do: find a chippy (fish & chips joint), ask them kindly, and they’ll run out from behind the counter to grab a still-wrapped bar from their candy stash, which they’ll then open up, dip in batter, deep-fry, and present to you for your immediate consumption, all for around £2.
Well, I loved it. I was afraid it would taste fishy or sausagey or be tainted by some other flavor from the pile of assorted deep-fried shapes you see on their warming tray, since I’m guessing they’re all dipped in the same batter and oil. But it didn’t. No hint of fish or meat at all. I was also worried that the bar’s insides would become like molten lava, but my worries on this front also faded the minute I took a tentative bite. The inside was pleasantly warm and melty. The thin layer of batter had a nice crunch– not too greasy and it immediately adhered itself to the roof of my mouth along with the oozy caramel. So I don’t suggest trying to carry on a deep discussion about Existentialism or the many iterations of the health care bill while you’re eating. Just enjoy.