The Cadbury Starbar has a bit of a reputation amongst many of the food bloggers that I read. I’ve seen a few negative reviews, but by and large it would be fair to say that the Starbar has a bit of buzz around it. Which is slightly odd because it isn’t a bar which is especially popular amongst my friends and family. In fact most people I asked didn’t know what it was. But bloggers are often bang on the money with their tips (me included…I hope!) so I thought I’d give the Starbar a crack.
They are actually fairly widely available. All supermarkets and most newsagents will have these in stock…but they seem to have more of a small and fiercely loyal fan base rather than a wide and casual one like a Mars Bar or Twix might have. Other bars which fit that description are stuff like Drifters and Double Deckers. Basically I think it’s the kind of thing which you don’t see many people pick up, but the people who do buy it are probably ‘regulars’.
To be precise, the Starbar is ‘milk chocolate with caramel and peanut centre’. So flavours that I’m pretty big on. The thing which struck me about this was that Cadbury don’t tend to go in for peanuts. Their product range is dominated by caramel and peanuts (all nuts really) are quite rare to find.
This 49g bar is quite a simple concept, and very similar to the Boost bar. It’s a cylinder shaped product, with milk chocolate covering a caramel swirl with a soft centre inside of that. The obvious difference of course, is that a Boost is biscuit and truffle centred, whilst this has peanuts and a nougat type middle.
And the Boost comparisons go further. The shape is identical; long and (unusually) round and it is very similarly sized. You don’t see many chocolate bars in the Starbar/Boost shape… companies seem to stick to the longer and rectangular shape instead.
The wrapper is quite nice. It’s a very obviously theme which ties in with the name…Starbar by name, and unsurprisingly the packaging features stars and the like. The colour of the wrapper (luminous orange) is the unique part though. I hardly ever see orange coloured wrappers on chocolate (apart from on orange flavoured bars) and it kind of works in setting the Starbar apart from the crowd aesthetically. The look as a whole is a bit retro and not unpleasant on the eye.
As a flavour combination, the caramel and peanut partnership is much more used in America. We don’t tend to get nearly as many peanut based bars in England…this displeases me. And means that to buy most of the chocolate bars that I really like, I have to pay twice the price and get them from an import shop. Boo.
Cadbury’s Starbar smelt gloriously peanutty. Cadbury’s products are often sickly because of the chocolate (which is so light and milky in nature) but the Starbar was dominated by the slightly savoury nutty aroma. The chocolate was very much secondary to the nuttiness, whilst there wasn’t even a hint of the caramel element.
The textures to this bar are mother freaking awesome. Cadbury decline to mention anywhere on the packaging that there are rice pieces in the centre of the Starbar too, and their crispiness combined with the crunch of the dry whole peanuts is great. They contrast really nicely with the soft middle…which is much lighter than the dense centre found in the Boost. On top of ALL of that, you get the chewy and stringy caramel which is decent too.
So it’s fun to chew it to and eat. I’l definitely give it that.
The flavour isn’t quite there though for me sadly. The chocolate is Cadbury’s standard chocolate; high on milky tones but low on chocolate taste. The nuts are ok- salty and a nice savoury contrast to everything else in the bar. The caramel’s texture is brilliant but it doesn’t really taste of anything at all! As a whole, it is not really bad per se, but it didn’t excite me at all after the temporary thrill of the crispy rice bits had died down.
I just feel a little bit cold towards the Cadbury Starbar. The flavours are right up my street in theory, but in reality they were a little bland and dull. With some ‘cult’ chocolate bars like the Wispa continues to be, it’s very easy to understand why people are so passionate about it. With the Starbar though, I don’t get it. I’d rather have a Snickers which offers a lot of the same flavours but has more of a wow factor to it.
It’s a blogger’s favourite I think, but it didn’t do much for me. I’m not going to buy many of these or the Boost in the future. By the way, regarding the Boost/Starbar thing, I could have sworn that there used to be a Peanut Boost. That is essentially a Starbar! I’m not sure if they ever ran alongside each other, but I’m sure I remember a Peanut Boost existing. Maybe I am just going a bit mental though. Please put me out of my misery if you know the answer either way…