Wednesday 27 August 2014

Nestlé Smarties

Product name: Nestlé Smarties
Purchase details:
£1.00 for a multipack of four tubes (Tesco)
88 per half tube (176 per 38g tube)
Country of origin:

Back in my day, Nestlé Smarties came in a smooth, cylindrical tubes with different coloured plastic lids that had a different letter of the alphabet on the inside...I loved them! In my opinion, they’ve never been the same since the packaging became a hexagonal cardboard tube with a flip lid. Things have changed even more for my Mum, though, as apparently she used to buy them loose when she was a girl!
As for my childhood, I always loved sucking on the sugary shells of each sweet until they became soft, and almost papery, on reaching the chocolate centres. The last time I had Smarties, though, they just didn’t taste the same.

On this occasion, the ‘milk chocolate (65%) in a crisp sugar shell’ featured the same fun branding as the Sharing block, and the packaging also boasted the ‘best taste ever!’...I wasn’t convinced.

I’d never realised before that Smarties actually come in all the colours of the rainbow. I remember being gutted when the blue ones were discontinued for making kids hyper, a few years ago, as they were my favourite. Thankfully, they’ve since been brought back, and I was impressed that, as well as containing no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives, the wrapper listed the natural colourings that had been used instead. For example, the blue ones now contain spirulina which, apparently, is a seaweed.

The positive aspect of the newer tube opening mechanism was that it prevented too many sweets falling out. However, I did sometimes have to shake it a bit to get any out at all! What really gutted me, though, was that the Smarties had absolutely no smell – they used to have a lovely aroma. At least they didn’t smell bad...

On eating the Smarties, I was pleased to find that things improved. The texture was the same as it used to be – to suck, they were initially a little rough, but the shells then became smoother and released more of a sweet flavour before reaching the milky chocolate that was part of Nestlé’s Cocoa Plan. They were enjoyable to chew too, with the shells having a nice, dull crisp, and the chocolate being surprisingly chunky.

The aforementioned flavours were also how I remembered from childhood – yay! I’ve often wondered, as I’ve got older, if I’d imagined the orange flavour in the orange coloured sweets, but there was definitely an element of this there too, although it wasn’t strong enough to be detected when eating with the other colours. Whatever colour was being consumed, the Smarties were all really sweet, and they were great on their own and in handfuls. They were more hard work to eat when eating a few at a time, due to the increased quantity of shell, but it also made the chocolate more enjoyable as it felt like it was melting amid the crispiness.

As much as I enjoyed this bit of nostalgia, I’m fully aware that Smarties aren’t exactly a superior confectionery product. However, these were so good, addictive and really satisfying – a tube may only have weighed 38g but the bite-sized pieces meant they took a lot longer to eat than a bar of a similar weight, so it automatically felt like a larger snack.

I think I’ll stop snubbing Smarties. I’m not convinced they taste the best they ever have, but they’re certainly a lot better than the last time I tried them.

Appearance: 8.5/10
Overall score:

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