A lot of the stuff I’ve reviewed recently (Mars, 3 Musketeers, Reese’s stuff etc) is well known if not legendary. Today I’ve got something right at the other end of the spectrum, in the shape of Cadbury’s S.M.S bar. I had literally never heard of this in my life before- I thought that an S.M.S was a type of text message?! But here we go- a review of Cadbury’s S.M.S bar.
So, the S.M.S is from North Africa- Egypt to be precise. My Dad happened to be visiting the area last month (brave given current political events!) and came back with this for me as he knows I’m a chocolate nut. I have to be honest, I have very little knowledge regarding the S.M.S. And by very little I, in fact, mean zero. Even most of the wrapper was pretty unhelpful given that it was largely in Arabic…which isn’t my strongest skill.
Using the pictures and description though (which was in English thank God) my initial thoughts was that the S.M.S was some kind of Egyptian Time Out bar. It was ‘biscuit wafer with cream, coated with Cadbury’s Dairy Milk family milk chocolate’. The immediate thing which stuck out from that though was that this is covered in Dairy Milk chocolate. Cadbury UK cover and coat their bars in their secondary milk chocolate which is so disappointing. Here though, it is proper Dairy Milk being used…well, Cadbury Egypt’s version of Dairy Milk anyway, bearing in mind that different global regions of Cadbury have different recipes.
Out of the wrapper, this did appear very much like a Time Out bar- a wafer interior coated in milk chocolate. Which was fine by me as I’m a bit of a Time Out fan and the wafer/chocolate combination can work nicely if done well. So, effectively, this was an Egyptian Time Out. The difference I saw visually between our English Time Out bar and this was the colour of the chocolate- this was a VERY light and pale colour…our version is darker and more traditionally chocolate coloured. I don’t really like anaemic looking chocolate so the pale look wasn’t all that appetising for me.
And whilst we’re on appearances, the slogan on the bar confused the hell out of me. ‘3ALY BALY’ was the message on the front of the bar…I have absolutely not a sausage what this meant and still don’t! Nor do I ‘get’ the name S.M.S- S.M.S is a type of text message I think? Which is a very odd thing to call a chocolate bar after; what would you think of if you bought a bar called the ‘Post’ bar or the ‘E-mail’ bar. It’s just odd for me! Different cultures though, so I’m presuming that it makes sense in Egypt!
One thing to remember about Cadbury’s milk chocolate is that it varies immensely from region to region. Cadbury UK is obviously the particular recipe that I am most used to, but having tried the same brand’s chocolate from Australia, America and Canada, I can definitely confirm there is a huge difference in flavour. Ours is sweeter, whilst Cadbury’s America (which is actually produced under license by Hershey’s I think) produce a slightly more milk dominated taste to theirs. Egypt, as part of an entirely different geographical area will have its own recipe and that’s probably what I was most interested to try.
And it smelt radically different. I mean, radical is perhaps a bit of an exaggeration- it didn’t smell of human hair or an ancient tapestry or anything. But in chocolate terms, this was significantly removed from Cadbury UK’s milk chocolate. It smelt much more creamy, and quite a bit less sweet. It was lighter and more delicate too- all in all, it was actually the most attractive smelling Cadbury’s milk chocolate I’ve ever smelt.
Now, the best part about the flavour is probably the chocolate too. But I’m delighted to report that Cadbury’s S.M.S bar is all-round a pretty handy bar of chocolate- Cadbury Egypt have done a very good job with this.
The wafer is dry and super crispy in texture- much like a Kit Kat Chunky, there are multiple layers of wafer sandwiched together (this is only 35g though- very lightweight and more airy than a Kit Kat Chunky). Each layer is sandwiched with a chocolate cream which is soft and slightly moist… making it an excellent foil to the dryness of the wafer. The chocolate cream itself is not too heavy on flavour- more of a soft sweetness than anything else.
And the ‘Dairy Milk family milk chocolate’ is top notch for me. The outer layer of it might only be relatively thin, but it packs much more of a flavour punch than any other Cadbury milk chocolate. The dominant taste is more like Galaxy chocolate here in England- extremely creamy and nowhere near as sweet as ‘normal’ (by that I mean British) milk chocolate. I really, really enjoyed the different recipe for the milk chocolate here.
So, the Cadbury’s S.M.S bar, courtesy of Cadbury Egypt (and my Dad!). My initial thought was that the S.M.S might be like a Time Out bar, and it is fairly similar- the wafer and coating differ in flavour but the concept is essentially the same. The chocolate element with the S.M.S is significantly better for me though, meaning I’d much rather pick up an S.M.S than Cadbury UK’s Time Out. The only slight problem with that though is the thousands of miles between Norwich and Cairo. I’m unlikely to just stumble into a shop and find one of these unfortunately.
I don’t want to build the S.M.S up TOO much either. I thoroughly enjoyed it and have no hesitation recommending it…but it is only wafer and milk chocolate. So (in the event anybody happens to find one of these) don’t expect mind blowing flavours. It is a simple concept executed very well…nothing more and nothing less. You’ll probably enjoy it but there is a limit to how spectacular a wafer/chocolate combination can be!
So, here ends my first review of a product from Cadbury Egypt. Hopefully, given their very pleasant take on Dairy Milk chocolate, it won’t be the last.