We’re all products of the environment that we’re raised in. This means passing on traditions, beliefs and opinions, but also passing on interests and passions. The Nestle Caramac is a bar that my Dad has always had a bit of a taste for. He has never been one to chow down on a Mars bar or a Snickers; but he has a penchant for the Caramac. I’m also (on an unrelated note) fairly certain that the Caramac isn’t a bar which is well known outside of the UK so this might be new and interesting for some non-Brit readers especially.
I’m also aware that I keep mentioning the Caramac when I’m trying to describe things… I’ve written the phrase “it’s like a Caramac” quite a few times in other reviews, so I thought it was about time that I actually reviewed the Caramac itself. Otherwise my comparisons are a bit redundant for those of you who have little idea what…the Caramac actually is.
The Caramac is described, very simply as ‘The Caramel Flavour Bar’. Is it a chocolate bar? Well, I’m not entirely sure! There sure as hell isn’t any cocoa in it- it’s essentially just sugar, vegetable fats and sweetened condensed milk… so chocolate purists, look away because the Caramac is basically an insult to what traditionalists would call chocolate. But even though this doesn’t have any cocoa solids (or even cocoa butter like white chocolate does) it is sold as if it’s a chocolate bar and alongside normal chocolate products…so I’l proceed on that assumption.
One other interesting thing about the Caramac, is that it only contains 173 calories. I’ve never noticed this before, and I don’t tend to look at nutritional information on bars; only the ingredients list. But since the Cadbury’s Crispello, I’ve found myself looking at the calorie content a little more to see how chocolate stacks up relative to other bars. And 173 calories is low for a chocolate (or even ‘chocolate’ in this instance!) product. I’m not saying that the Caramac is healthy or anything (it’s quite obviously diabetes in a packet) but it’s very thin and ‘light’ in calorific terms.
The Caramac is instantly recognisable to me. It has been a brand which has knocked around my house for a long time and I find the colour scheme incredible distinctive. There is no explanation of what the Caramac is on the wrapper, and no suave tagline that most bars seem to have. Nestle are obviously confident that that the bar is well known enough that people will buy it on reputation alone.
As you can see, it’s an extremely thin bar. It’s probably half the thickness of a normal chocolate bar, and there is a reason for that- the Caramac is probably one of the sickliest things you’ll ever encounter. Seriously. It’s best described as a weird fusion of white chocolate and an uber sweet caramel flavour (giving the bar its name) and if this was much thicker, it would move into the ‘inedible’ category on sweetness alone.
It doesn’t smell anything like any chocolate bar I’ve ever eaten before that’s for sure. It has an intense and overwhelming sweetness to it, as well as some super sweet caramel notes. But there isn’t the creaminess that white chocolates normally have either. The Caramac’s smell is utterly unique to me, and immediately recognisable. Is it likeable… urm, I’m not sure. It’s sickly as sugar but strangely enticing.
I earlier described the Caramac in my own words as a sort of fusion between caramel flavouring and white chocolate. Having tasted it, I stand by that.
It has a rough, almost grainy melt to it. It is incredibly sweet- even sweeter than I remembered it being. After a single piece, I was craving something savoury! It’s got a faintly buttery aftertaste to it, but in the main the Caramac is a quasi- white chocolate. By that, I mean that the dominant flavours are creaminess and sugariness. It is very similar to eating a paper thin white chocolate bar, but with the vanilla tones normally present in white chocolate being replaced by a slight caramel taste.
The best comparison I’d offer for the Caramac is that it’s almost a Milkybar with some caramel flavouring thrown in.
Look, if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you need to run about 100,000 miles away from Nestle’s Caramac. It is without doubt one of the sweetest bars of ‘chocolate’ that I’ve eaten in my life. It’s also basically an insult to real chocolate products; it’s a crude mix of vegetable fats, sugar and condensed milk. The closest that the Caramac has ever got to a chocolate bar is probably sharing a van with one when being transported.
I should absolutely hate it. But, despite all of the above information, I don’t. I think of the Caramac as a guilty pleasure. The Caramac will assault your taste buds and probably out you on your way to diabetes. But every now and again, I think that everybody craves something crap. And the Caramac is exactly where I’l be turning when I want to pig out on some sickly sweet ‘chocolate’.