Posted by: scribe9 | November 21, 2009

Chocolate news

New Zealand is one giant sweet tooth. It has one of the highest per capita rates of sugar ingestion (tasty turn of phrase, huh?) in the world. Everywhere one turns is sugar—in the flavored milks (I haven’t tried lime yet), in the bakeries (ubiquitous, serving all kinds of cakes and pastries including layered bar cookies called “slices”—a well-made caramel chocolate slice is Nirvana), in the stores (cookie and candy aisles beyond an American’s wildest dreams), no doubt in large part because of the British heritage; if memory serves, in Beard on Pasta (my copy’s back in Portland, so I can’t consult it right now), James introduces an English macaroni pudding by writing “You can trust the English on sweets. It’s really good.”

The British heritage includes Cadbury bars (not the same in the US as elsewhere), so I noticed when Ferrero spA, the Italian confectioner that’s made a mint with Ferrero Rocher, Nutella (to which my late mother was and youngest daughter is addicted but not I, even having grown up in the filbert capital of the world—Eugene, Oregon (where I walked to grade school under a row of filbert trees, and attended a high school built on the site of a late filbert orchard), for those of you out of the loop—and I don’t do hazelnuts if I can possibly avoid them), TicTacs and assorted other candies, decided to try, with Hershey, to buy Cadbury.

 As I suffer considerably from nostalgia (doesn’t that sound a lot like neuralgia?), I have never quite forgiven Hershey for abandoning its thin milk chocolate bars, which melted quickly and made great S’mores possible. (Now that you can’t get them, I recommend my mother-in-law’s alternative—put the roasted marshmallow inside a split fudge sandwich cookie.) There’s plenty of Cadbury available here, but I haven’t bought any yet, since most of it sounds too milky for my dark-chocolate tastes. And if you think I’ve become a chocolate snob, rest assured I have relapses—Tim Tams (a chocolate-coated sandwich cookie from Australia) were my respite (and downfall) during the first few weeks of setting up housekeeping in a new hemisphere. They’re available from Pepperidge Farms in the US for the next few months; they may become your guilty pleasure, too.



  1. Kraft just tried a hostile take over of Cadbury, which failed, but now Hershey is also contemplating a take over. Meanwhile, our cupboard is stuffed with Tim Tams, to which Whitney has introduced to all of her friends. Of course, hot chocolate is a must for dipping.

  2. Don’t stop at dipping: nibble off opposing corners, and then suck the hot chocolate (or coffee, which is, I believe, how the tradition started–I suppose you could use milk, too) up through the Tim Tam, dissolving the creamy innards.

  3. Thanks to my sister Marilyn, who found the exact quotation from James Beard: “You can trust the English when it comes to sweets – it’s awfully good.”

  4. Amy – you’ve got to try the cadbury chocolate — just one bite. the milky-ness is really quite good. The UK allows more milk in their milk chocolate than does the rest of the EU and i really think they are onto something. Cadbury makes a foil covered Easter Egg that is to die for. And, try the Australian “minty’s” – wonderful!

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