My roommate and her sisters still make Easter baskets for their parents, which is how I found myself standing in the pastel world of Easter candy recently. As my eyes ran across the egg-shaped chocolates on display, I realized that I knew all of them, from the “can something this sweet still be legally called peanut butter” goodness of a Reese’s peanut butter cup to the “will eventually get stuck in my teeth” texture of a Butterfinger to the general sugarbombs of the plain chocolate bunnies. To the shock of no one, the guy who writes about desserts on the regular knows his candy bars.
Or, at least, I know my American candy bars. But I have heard rumors for years now that there were candy bars in other parts of the world, different from our own, ones that didn’t lean quite so hard on sugar. With Easter coming up, and wanting to contribute something familiar yet different to baskets being handed out, I decided to dip my toe into the global world of candy bars in the safest of manners.
British Isles at 2366 Rice Blvd. is ready for Easter. British candy companies go big in a way that I can’t say their American counterparts do, and I was impressed by the number of gigantic mass market eggs available for purchase. Still, I was looking for a variety, which meant grabbing a few different options that I’ve been working my way through this week. If you’re looking for something different to stuff into baskets this year, here are a few places to start.
Listen, you probably don’t need an “entry-level” option when it comes to candy bars of all things, but if you know someone who might be a little picky about things with unfamiliar names, go with this bigger version of the standard Kit-Kat bar. It’s provides a good point of reference for the differences between the chocolate of American bars versus their British cousins; the chocolate is less sweet, which makes for a more chocolate-centric bite.
Cadbury Dairy Milk Egg 'n' Spoon with Oreo
The most fun of the snacks I tried, these eggs come in a four-pack egg carton with a pair of spoons. Inside the chocolate shell is an Oreo mousse that you use the spoons to scoop out. It’s whimsical and unique, because the mousse has a fine grittiness to it; it takes a bite or two to get used to—but it’s not bad, just different.
Think of a Butterfinger bar. Now remove the peanut butter. That’s essentially what eating a Crunchie is like. The texture is really nice, with a crunch that it completely different from bars that have cookies or crisped rice in them. The core is a honeycomb toffee, but to me it doesn’t really add much flavor to the party. Still worth checking out, if for no other reason than it’s a sticky crunch experience that won’t leave you picking at your teeth for half an hour after.
One of the most interesting candy bars I’ve ever come across, but I’ll confess that I picked it up largely because of the very British name. It does live up to the name, as it features two levels under its chocolate exterior; the bottom level is made up of cereal pieces and the top level is nougat. Now, odds are you’ve experience bars that had these components individually, but when combined it creates a bar that has a lot of interesting things going on at once. The flavors and textures balance against each other surprisingly well–the chocolate not being super sweet certainly helps–for a bar that is different but most excellent.