I was in London last week, and couldn’t resist a visit to Cyber Candy. Granted, there are similar places doing the ‘foreign candy thing’ dotted around, but there is something about the lay-out in their Covent Garden store which excites me. There is a simply amazing plethora of new and eye catching products from all over the globe which the UK has never had on our shores.
One such bar, produced by Hershey’s, is the Zero candy bar.
It was more the description which made me buy this bar than the wrapping. Billed as ‘Caramel, peanut and almond nougat covered with white fudge’, it was a bar very different to anything I’ve seen in the UK. I also wanted to know what the devil ‘white fudge’ was, and what it was doing around a chocolate bar.
The wrapper itself was pretty plain and unremarkable. In fact the dull silver wrapping gave it almost a retro look. Regardless of what I thought, the Zero has been around since 1934 which is normally the sign of a fairly popular chocolate bar, so something about the Zero must be good!
Cracking the wrapper open released some of the sweetest smells I have ever experienced in my life. I mean…WOW did this stuff give off some sugary scents. I was practically high just from the fumes!
The look was extremely unusual. How often do you see white chocolate/fudge covered bars in the UK? The escaping sticky caramel coupled with the snow white fudge gave it a very attractive look in my opinion. I’m assuming that it wouldn’t normally be this battered but it has travelled thousands of miles so I’l cut it some slack.
Moving on from the striking look; the taste. As you’ll see from the picture below, there was a layer of nougat with some peanuts within, topped with a layer of caramel and then covered in the white fudge.
The caramel looks gorgeous is the photos, and the texture was fantastic. Really sticky and chewy, which is perfect for the overall bite of the bar. Sadly it doesn’t have much flavour really, just a little sweetness. As I say though, the strength of the caramel is in the chewy texture that it gives to the overall bite of the bar.
You get the soft white coating, the sticky caramel and then the slightly softer nougat which melts away in your mouth. You SHOULD get the crunch of peanuts as well, but we’ll love onto that later…
The nougat was decent. Nothing more, nothing less. It was much like a Mars Bar in both consistency and flavour- pleasantly chewy and then gently melting away. The nutty taste wasn’t particularly strong but it came through with the other flavours.
You’ll see in the photos some peanut pieces within the nougat. These were without doubt the worst part of the bar. Had they been executed well, they would have offered a nice crunch, but they were soggy and utterly flavourless. Urgh.
Finally, the ‘white fudge’ covering. I’l be honest, I thought this was going to suck before I opened the bar up. I was surprised- it wasn’t outstanding by any means, but it was creamy and nowhere near as sweet as I feared it would be. I thought it offered a nice change from the usual coating on chocolate bars, although I gave part of the Zero to my brother to try without telling him exactly what it was, and he thought the ‘white fudge’ was actually Milky Bar chocolate!
Overall, it was an interesting experience to try the Zero. Love it or hate it (I was somewhere in-between) it differs to anything that UK chocolate companies offer. It was closeto being a damn good bar, but the peanuts and caramel let is down slightly for me. Had the Zero had fresh, crunchy peanuts and a better developed caramel flavour, it would probably have been one of my favourite mass produced bars I’ve ever tried. As it was, the Zero was alright but nothing better. Almost, Hershey’s, but not quite there.