I haven’t done a review for a little bit- Christmas got in the way. But I’l try and make up for that by doing daily reviews this week…in the form of Australia Week! I have an Australian reader, Aimée, who has recently moved from her homeland over here to the UK. She very generously and thoughtfully brought over some of Australia’s chocolate for me to try, and that is what I’l take a look at every day this week. Starting today, with Nestle’s Violet Crumble bar.
Before I forget to, Aimee is actually now running her own blog dedicated to her thoughts on British stuff having moved here. So I’d thoroughly recommend a read of An Aussie In England…which is why I put it in my blog roll on the right hand side of the page funnily enough!
Anyway…the Nestle Violet Crumble. It’s essentially an Aussie version of a Crunchie bar, with a honeycomb centre being coated in milk chocolate. Very simple concept, but a combination that can certainly succeed- as proven by the many decades that Cadbury’s Crunchie bar has been around here in England. Aimee tells me though that the Nestle version over in Australia is actually more popular than the Crunchie (they have both available to them unlike us Brits) which makes it very odd that Nestle UK have never tried to release the Violet Crumble in Britain. I guess Cadbury’s Crunchie bar is so well established that they don’t even want to bother competing with it.
The Violet Crumble is a 50g bar, and is described by Nestle Australia as ‘deliciously shattering chocolate coated honeycomb’. I can safely say that the description is a first- never have I seen a company so proudly refer to one of their products as ‘deliciously shattering’ before! I think that’s probably because shattering is a word which has negative connotations for many people- if we’re playing word association, when I hear shattering, I think of broken windows/broken dreams etc. Most companies seem to pick words with positive connotations- luxurious/indulgent/velvety/silky or whatever. So there you go- Nestle Australia…thinking outside of the box.
The name doesn’t do a lot for me personally, but I liked the wrapper on the Violet Crumble. I’m assuming that the name was chosen because the wrapper is violet coloured and the bar crumbles when broken? Straight forward enough there then. The first thing that the name made me think of though was those horrifically bad but somehow successful British sweets- Parma Violets. If you’ve never tried them…don’t. They resemble dishwasher tablets in texture, and (although I’m yet to eat a dishwasher tablet, even whilst drunk) probably taste too.
The bar itself looked exactly like a Cadbury’s Crunchie from the outside- dull coloured milk chocolate in an imperfect rectangular shape. But when broken in half, immediately a major difference became clear as the centre to the Violet Crumble is less golden and more yellowy in colour. As well as that, the texture appears to the eye to be more chalky and less crispy. And to be frank, I think the inside of a Crunchie is far more appetising than the centre of the Violet Crumble.
In terms of smell, Nestle’s Violet Crumble was definitely sweeter and slightly more malty than its Cadbury’s counterpart, whilst Nestle’s milk chocolate was also far less prevalent than on the Cadbury’s bar. I’d probably say that there is far more emphasis on the honeycomb aspect from Nestle than Cadbury. Cadbury’s Crunchie seems like a chocolate bar with honeycomb whilst Nestle’s Violet Crumble smells like a honeycomb bar with chocolate if that makes sense.
The pale yellow middle didn’t look all that great, but it tasted significantly better. It has a buttery and toffee flavour that the Cadbury’s Crunchie doesn’t. Cadbury’s honeycomb attempts produce a much blander, plainer taste whereas Nestle’s honeycomb is packed with much more flavour and is much more enjoyable as a result.
On the negative side of things, Nestle’s chocolate is definitely inferior to Cadbury’s stuff. The Violet Crumble chocolate coating has a few milky notes to the taste, but is what you’d politely describe as ‘subtle’ (or impolitely as bland!)
Finally, of course, the texture to these honeycomb bars is crucial to their success. And the Violet Crumble replicates the Crunchie consistency- super dry and crispy which makes it a pleasure to bite into.
I’l admit to actually being a little taken aback at how much I enjoyed Nestle’s Violet Crumble bar. I certainly didn’t think it would top Cadbury’s Crunchie (I tend to favour Cadbury’s products over Nestle on the whole) but for me, Nestle actually beat Cadbury on their honeycomb offerings and I can fully understand why Violet Crumbles are so popular in Australia. There is much more flavour from the honeycomb from Nestle’s version, with plenty of lush toffee coming through.
It isn’t an outstanding bar of chocolate- the milk chocolate is pretty anonymous really, but Nestle have certainly got a very solid and satisfactory bar here. I’d definitely buy it again and if I saw it alongside the Crunchie bar, I’d be more inclined to eat a Violet Crumble.
Today is the last day (and last review) of 2012. I’l have another review tomorrow (which is, of course, technically NEXT YEAR!) as part of ‘Straya Week.