Ahhhhh, the classic Curly Wurly. ‘Back in the day’ when I was a little boy, Curly Wurlies were the most sought after bar going solely because of price. There was the Freddo and Chomp range available at 10p. And of course the full sized bars like Mars and Snickers- at 40p+, these were a luxury option rarely possible on a limited pocket money budget. But the Curly Wurlies cost about 20-25p, leaving you with a tough decision on how to spend your pennies. So screw you George Osborne- you don’t truly know what tough financial decision-making is.
It weighed 26g, and Cadbury describe it very simply as ‘milk chocolate with a caramel centre’. Somehow that doesn’t quite capture what the Curly Wurly is all about!
The first thing I noticed after buying this was that it was DEFINITELY smaller than Curly Wurlies were when I was growing up about a decade ago. And I know that everyone always says that about every bar of chocolate that they ate as a child, and normally I would suggest that it is in fact because your hands have grown rather than the bar has shrunk…but this was tiny.
Then again perhaps my perceptions of what a normal sized Curly Wurly should be are warped. Below is a picture of one me and my sister made last year (we make a lot of giant versions of chocolate bars and cakes- my ‘about me’ section explains it a little more). It’s fairly big as you can see…
It goes without saying that the Cadbury’s Curly Wurly looks brilliant. Although the outer wrapper is merely basic and functional, it’s obviously all about the inside shape- it’s totally unique and I’ve never seen another company even attempt to rival the Curly Wurly. What would be the point? It would never be a success as the Curly Wurly is so famous that, regardless of how nice the rival tasted, it would always be a ‘knock-off’ to consumers.
The Logo is very familiar. Seeing it, for me, was like seeing an old friend. Decades of children have probably experienced the magic of the Curly Wurly though, not just my generation. That’s because the bar has been on sale in Britain for more than 40 years, and in that time has become available in a handful of other countries too (although not the U.S for some reason.)
The bar’s price and appearance are probably its strongest points when it comes to selling it. You can still go and buy a Curly Wurly for less than 30p in many shops, and for that handful of loose change you get a fair amount of chocolate presented in a far more interesting way than the only other snacks in this austere price range (I’m thinking Chomps, Freddos, Space Raiders, Flumps, Cadbury’s Fudges, Refresher bars).
I normally pushed the boat out and went for a Curly Wurly even though you could have a Chomp bar (which is exactly the same thing from Cadbury- caramel covered in milk chocolate) for half the price. Chomps were just so boring.
The biggest negative about Curly Wurlies, without doubt, is that they are a nightmare to eat. The caramel centre is much more like stringy toffee, and as you bite and pull your mouth away from the bar, it ‘follows you’ so to speak. It is crazily stretchy and that poses a problem. The problem is, whereas the caramel can expand and stretch very easily, chocolate doesn’t do that so well. Meaning that the chocolate flakes off, as many of these pictures show, and end up in your crotch/pockets/shoes. It showers EVERYWHERE.
The taste isn’t particularly amazing but very much ‘fills a hole’. The Curly Wurly is incredibly basic and simple- the outer coating (which is very thin indeed) is Cadbury’s ‘secondary’ milk chocolate, lacking the same strength of flavour as their Dairy Milk. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t something you’ll get excited about. And then inside that mediocre milk chocolate is the (equally thin but very stretchy) caramel centre. The ‘caramel’ tastes far more like toffee than caramel- it has a darker, more burnt taste.
Curly Wurlies don’t have any depth of flavour or hidden tastes- they’re definitely suited to children and adults with plainer palates.
But overall, Cadbury’s Curly Wurlies are still loveable bars of chocolate. They are original and have much more character to them than their low-budget competitors. The taste is fairly average but eating a Curly Wurly is more like an experience and the taste is only part of that experience. You get to do things that you wouldn’t with any other chocolate bar- experiment with methods of eating it to avoid getting chocolate in your crotch being the main one. I’l save you some time on that one- I’ve eaten hundreds of Curly Wurlies in my 21 years on this earth, and I’m convinced that it can’t be done!
It isn’t just a bit of fun though. It’s an effective snack. It might only weigh 26g (half of a normal chocolate bar) but it tastes ages to eat because it’s so chewy and stretchy and that satisfies your brain as much as your stomach- my brain always thinks “Dave, you’ve been eating this for ages now, you must be full mate”. It’s the opposite of the Milky Way which is gone in a flash.
I remain a big fan, and think a lot of other people (from all age-groups) are fans too.