a reason to eat caramel, british candy review, british sweets, caramel anything, deep fried mars bars, mars bar

Bag of Limey Treats pt.3

Milky Way please meet your more mature doppelganger–the original Mars Bar. This chocolate bar, filled with my favorite sweet treat duo of caramel and nougat, was one that seemed vaguely familiar to me from convenience store shelves growing up. The bar I had seen, however, had the added dimension of almonds where this UK import was nutless. Not being one who grew up liking almonds or whole peanuts messing with my caramel or nougat, I leaned more towards things like Charleston Chew and 100 Grand, shunning Snickers and the US Mars bar(which would later be renamed Snickers with Almonds).

It wasn’t until my mid twenties that I had heard of the phenomenon that would propel the original Mars bar into it’s cult status and turn it into a staple of American fairways: battered and deep fried. First becoming popular in Scotland, it took several years before Americans would be snatching them up by the armful at county and state fairs. The deep fried candy bar would be the precursor to deep fried Twinkies, cheesecake, Oreos and even deep fried butter. God Bless Texas, huh?

While I did think, for a microsecond, about having this bar tempura battered and fried, I thought it best that this virginal Mars experience was best kept intact and unadorned. And while my munchies would have loved the added salt and oil leaving it as is was the best decision because, so far, it is the best of the bag.

The nougat is a bit darker, lighter and creamier than the one in the American Milky Way. The caramel, richer, more akin to a dulce de leche than any caramel filling I’ve had in an off the shelf chocolate bar. The milk chocolate, like the previous ones, was less sweet than their American counterparts and I find it funny that this bar was created to actually be a sweeter alternative to the US Milky Way bar.

Splitting the bar with the Missus left me pulling my half apart into tiny chunks so that I could savor every last morsel. It’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed a simple candy bar as much as I enjoyed this one and, while novelty seems to have revived it’s popularity, to have it in any other form seems like a true waste of a simple pleasure.

british candy review, british sweets, freeport maine

Bag of Limey Treats pt.2

Just so we’re on the same page, Yorkie candy bar is NOT for girls or women in general. It’s right up there with ‘Men’s Pocky‘ as being one of my favorite gender specific snacks.

Being a lesbian it can rightly be assumed that I enrolled in a few women’s studies classes in college. So, with it once being a major, I immediately delved into the symbolism of and choice of such labeling and gender specific packaging.

“So, if it’s not for women, does that mean that you need balls to eat it?”
“Will this bar contain something that only brave men dare eat like ghost chilies, fermented shark fin or boogers?”
“Are the cows treated with testosterone? Is the wrapper treated with BPA? Will I grow a little beard?”
“Are there no women in York, England?”

What did it all mean? I hadn’t read the ingredient list so I didn’t know the contents outside of the chocolate. And it wasn’t until I peeled back the wrapper and found it to be no more than chunks of milk chocolate that the disappointment set in.

What was this? Where was the man sized fete to tackle? I call shenanigans!! Surely there was meant to be more to it, like the bitter chocolate of Men’s Pocky. But, no. Nothing but plain old milk chocolate from Nestle.

Sure, the flavor was better than a Hershey’s bar, and much less sweet than most Nestle made bars I’ve had, but for all the hype and humor of the bars gimmicky wrapper I expected a bit more from it’s contents. But, in the end, the only thing unique or interesting about the bar was the wrapper.

british candy review, british sweets, candies of the world, freeport maine, weird foods

Bag of Limey Treats pt.1

Kippers. HP Sauce. Jammie Dodgers. Weetabix. Being a reader of Olive and Good Food magazines, I find myself marveling at odd British food things as much as I do odd Asian goods like shrimp crackers, musk mellon candy and durian flavored anything. In Portland there are at least five Asian Markets for me to stand in the aisles for hours, trying to figure out what exactly is in the plastic package. Sadly, though, I have to travel to Freeport to find the closest British goods store in the area.

Located on upper Main Street, just past ‘The Boot,’ sits Bridgham and Cook, Ltd. Far from the loud chain outlets that line the main and side streets it, right down to the smell of tea and splattering of plaid, reminded me of my paternal grandparents house in NY. The fiddle and pipe music coming out of the speakers was a nice, quiet contrast to the eurohouse shite we were met with at The Gap–but, that’s the beauty, and point, of this store as it is unlike everything else sitting on that stretch of Freeport. It feels like walking into a completely different, and welcomed, world.

One noticeable difference between my grandparents house and this shop, outside of the retail area being one singular, smallish sized room, was that my grandmother NEVER had an entire wall dedicated to candy. They do. While we went there to pick up some pickled onions–a recommendation from an older British woman I know–we left with a bag full of nothing but candy.

Familiar names like Cadbury and Nestle was scrawled across nearly every box on their shelves. It was only the varietals that were unfamiliar to me. Tiffin? A Chocolate bar NOT for women? The bar that was at the root of the insanity that is deep fried candy? Well, let’s start with the Tiffin, shall we?

Generally a slang word for ‘a light meal’ or, as I know it better the general term for one of those fantastic lunch tins they use in Indian, the Tiffin bar tasted exactly how one would imagine a milk chocolate bar, with raisins and crunchy cereal(biscuit) nuggets, would. Only, because this isn’t a bar produced by Hershey–and isn’t part of the Kraft takeoverit does taste a wee bit different than the Cadbury Fruit and Nut bar that I’m more use to.

The most noticeable difference is the lack of cloying sweetness that I normally associate Cadbury products with. And, I am a hater of the Cabdury Creme Egg, btw. The chocolate itself seemed of, if only a smidge, a higher quality base, too. The texutre of the bar slightly whipped or aerated though the only filling seemed to be the previously mentioned cereal bits. I think, between the pieces the Missus and I split, there were two raisins in the entire bar. Cheap British bastards.

Overall, it was a nice snack and a nice break from the bags of Easter candy that are already filtering into the apartment. And, with British candies apparently going through a renaissance of sorts, it seems fitting to start this mini-review series.

Next… the misogynistic chocolate bar.