Monday, May 12, 2003

Three colours brown

‘Ow.’ There’s a dull crack as you bite into the chunky Kit-Kat. It leaves you exploring your mouth, hoping it was the bar that broke. As your tongue moves about, you can feel that the texture’s clammy, the smell’s greasy, and the flavour’s rough. It’s not quality chocolate by any means. You try the white chunky Kit-Kat next; it’s got that Gold Bar lard-leavened-with-sugar flavour, somewhat like uncooked cake mix. On the basis of the Chunkies, you decide to skip the normal Kit-Kat.

It’s not that there isn’t a lot of chocolate there, but the chunky design is just a Yorkie for the modern age. The advantage of the Kit-Kat was always the Tunnocks-type crispy wafer at the centre, which encouraged liberalism in the eating experience; you could lick it, chew it, or simply chomp it. Drowning it in cheap choc is singularly cynical.

First of all, the coating tastes too fatty; it’s that traditional British chocolate left over from colonial days that the EU tried to ban. They said it wasn’t chocolatey enough. I have to admit I’m on their side. On the back of the packet it doesn’t even say what proportion of vegetable to cocoa fats there are. Good chocolate is 70% cocoa or more – we dread to think what’s in here. It’s undoubtedly not organic. There’s even an ethical question over the prices that Nestlé pays developing-world suppliers for its cocoa.

If you’re paying 45p for a snack, you can’t expect much. However, when you remember that you can get two pieces of organic fruit for the same price and they’d leave the palette cleansed, the eater improved, and some money in the producer’s pocket, even 45p is a high price to pay. If you want chocolate go expensive, go organic, or go traditional; avoid the chunky.

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