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Oh you remember the adverts, how could you not? The man always dressed in a dinner jacket skiing over perilous pistes and swimming through shark infested waters and almost coming a cropper with a laser between the legs (or was that James Bond?). Anyway it seemed nothing would stop this man from delivering his precious cargo. And what, pray tell, was this precious cargo? Was it a human heart being rushed for transplant? The nuclear launch codes? What was it? A box of chocolates! But not just any old chocolate but Cadbury’s Milk Tray! And why did he go to such lengths to deliver a box of Milk Tray? Because the lady loved them. Or so we were told because he never stuck around long enough to see her enjoy them.
But I digress. Christmas has been and the goose that we plumped up nicely has made us fat, so as we struggle to both literally and metaphorically tighten our belts there will be no more pennies for the old man’s hat. Also there will be no more pennies for chocolate treats. Well actually there will be but this cold winter weather makes popping out to the shops unappealing so I was forced to raid the boxes of chocolates we got given as presents.
Due to my father’s profession he gets a lot of boxes of chocolate and biscuits and bottles of wine and so on at Christmas. This year he got given a mammoth box of Cadbury’s Milk Tray. It was nearly a kilogram in weight. However if Santa did not leave a box of Milk Tray under your tree you can easily pick one up in any supermarket, petrol station or your local branch of Woolworth’s. The boxes come in a wide variety of sizes so there is sure to be one to fit everyone’s pocket. Although personally I feel the 907gram one is a bit too big. The more average sized one of 454grams costs Ł3.98.
But enough about price. The box itself is a rather pleasing mix of silver and purple which looks a lot posher. Top marks for the box Cadbury’s but did the contents live up to my expectations? When you open the lid you are greeted with purple tissue paper which you fold back to reveal the cardboard sheet covering the chocolates and the “chocolate guide”. Remove the cardboard and there are the chocolates. As I mentioned earlier we did get a mammoth sized box so there were four of each variety and two layers. A total of 96 chocolates.
smell that these chocolates give off is minimal and dominated by the stronger flavours in the box such as orange. I was quite disappointed that they did not have the familiar sweet Cadbury’s smell. Oh well, I thought, so long as they taste good.
Strawberry Kiss: “strawberry filling with vanilla flavour fondant cream”. This chocolate is imaginatively shaped like a strawberry. Biting into it reveals there to be two layers of filling, one is red and one is white. The overall taste could be described as very sweet, the strawberry taste was of the artificial kind with none of the slightly dry tartness of real strawberries. As for the chocolate it tasted quite bland but I assumed that it was just being overpowered by the strawberry. Incidentally my mother thought that this one tasted like sick. But I thought it was perfectly edible perhaps even bordering on quite nice.
Mocha Mystery: “coffee flavour milk truffle in a dark shell”. This is a shell-shaped chocolate (do you see what Cadbury’s did there? Are you impressed? Me neither). As you bring it to your mouth you get a distinct whiff of coffee. This time you can definitely taste the chocolate, the bittersweet sharper taste that you get from dark chocolate. The filling tasted of the burnt sugar smell of freshly made instant coffee. The flavour was not too strong but was very pleasant all the same. The overall texture was smoother than normal Cadbury’s chocolate.
Caramel Heart: “luscious soft caramel encased in a milk chocolate heart”. This chocolate is heart shaped but has little lines running down the centre. I let this one melt on my tongue, desperate to see if it would taste of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk. To be honest it did not. The chocolate was at the same time blander and more floral than the usual Dairy Milk goodness. When it had melted it released the caramel which was very runny and smooth. The caramel tasted very sweet and slightly creamy.
Orange Truffle: “smooth chocolate truffle flavoured with tangy orange”. This little chocolate was shaped like an orange segment and I was not surprised by this. The orange smell was quite strong and artificial like orange room spray as it went straight up my nose and stuck to the back of my throat. Any stronger and I would have been coughing. The taste of this chocolate was dominated by the orange flavouring which was not bitter or tart or “tangy” but very sweet, like sherbet. The chocolate’s only function seemed to be to add texture which was slightly claggy and not very smooth. This chocolate also seemed to be dotted with little gritty pieces.
Caramel Charm: “luxurious chewy caramel”. This chocolate was square shaped and drizzled with white chocolate. I let this one melt on my tongue. The chocolate again seemed to be rather flavourless however the caramel had a pleasant butterscotch taste to it and it was chewy as promised.
Fudge Dream: “vanilla flavour fudge drenched in milk chocolate”. This was a rectangular shaped chocolate which was also drizzled with white chocolate. The chocolate of this sweet had absorbed the other flavours such as that of the Orange Truffle and Mocha Mystery. The fudge inside this chocolate was rather tasteless. The only taste I could detect was sweetness, the refined white sugar sweetness. I was a little disappointed.
Hazelnut Caress: “roasted hazelnut hugged by soft caramel”. This chocolate was heart shaped but had a little “m” and “t” on the surface to distinguish it from the Caramel Heart. Again the chocolate was rather bland and tasteless. The caramel was very runny and tasted very sweet and a bit like burnt sugar. The nut was a little soggy which may explain its less than overpowering flavour. When you roast nuts their flavour should intensify. This hazelnut clearly hadn’t been roasted for long enough.
Hazelnut Heaven: “whole roasted hazelnut whirled in milk chocolate”. This chocolate was round but had a spiral of chocolate leading up to a peak at the top. The texture of the chocolate was claggy like Dairy Milk but it did not taste like Dairy Milk. There was a faintly minty kick to this one. This time the nut was crisper but again the flavour of the hazelnut was not as intensely woody and sweet yet savoury as it should have been if it was a roasted hazelnut.
Honey Love: “honey flavour caramel”. This chocolate is shaped a little bit like a beehive. The caramel in the centre was runny and smooth and had a distinct taste of honey. It did not taste artificial but it tastes just like real honey; the almost fermenting
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sweetness of the concentrated sweetness of wild flowers. This was one of the better ones in the box.
Eastern Delight: “exotic Turkish Delight locked in milk chocolate”. This was a square shaped sweet with a sort of sunburst pattern on the top. The chocolate was quite thick meaning there was very little Turkish Delight. However the floral-sweet taste of the Turkish Delight still managed to dominate the chocolate. Not the best Turkish Delight available but adequate if there is nothing better.
Nut Secret: “hazelnut in milk truffle in dark chocolate”. This chocolate sort of looked a bit like a nut still in its shell. The dark chocolate gave it a lovely rich bittersweet cocoa taste. The chocolate was also smoother than the milk chocolate and the nut was very crisp (if still a little bland) . Overall this was another one of the nicer ones in the box.
Soft Whisper: “smooth hazelnut praline”. This was a long thin chocolate with ridges along the sides and top. I had saved this one fro last because I love praline. However this one tasted of orange. I could not detect any of the lovely sweet-nuttiness of praline. All I could taste was orange.
Overall I was sorely disappointed with Cadbury’s Milk Tray. The chocolates are bland and unimaginative in nearly every way possible. To be honest a box of Roses would have been nicer because they come wrapped so there is less flavour transfer. It is not that the chocolates are inedible but it is just that they are so bland and tasteless that it is not all that enjoyable to eat them. Afterwards I felt cheated. I knew I had eaten chocolate but my tongue was telling me that I hadn’t.
Clearly I do not think that these chocolates provide value for money and I would not buy them for myself or as a gift (unless they had specially requested Milk Tray). There are so many nicer chocolate out there and they are not all that much more expensive than these. So why would anyone buy these?
I am of the opinion that the people who receive Milk Tray are usually women and the chocolates are usually accompanied by a bunch of flowers that stink of petrol and a card that says “Happy Anniversary Big Tits” or something equally tacky. You just know that the giver will be spending the night on the couch in his parent’s house. Despite what the Milk Tray adverts say, the Milk Tray men have not gone to very much trouble at all and neither it would seem have Cadbury’s.