So I’m 21. Which, as any mathematicians out there will know, makes me a 90’s Kid. This means loads of things; Men In Black 1, Fresh Prince, Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, footballers with short shorts that looked more like hot pants, The Spice Girls (well, that was more my sisters but much as my taste in music has evolved towards drum and bass, I’l admit to being susceptible to a bit of ‘girl power’, and I’ve been known to sing along whilst on a night out. Alcohol eh…) but most importantly Freddos. Little Cadbury’s chocolate Frogs. So imagine my confusion when the Caramello Koala arrived from Aimee’s ‘Straya package.
This is a koala. And not just any koala, it’s a giant koala. I loved my Freddos but only because they were so bite sized and cheap. 10p back in my day…children these days are paying 20p which is a scandal far bigger than MP’s expenses or Libor rate rigging from Barclays. 20p. For a Freddo. It’s outrageous if you ask me. But enough of my ramblings… for the time being.
The Caramello Koala is a pretty simple concept. It’s a Koala shaped product. Filled with caramel. Or as Cadbury better describe it ‘Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate with smooth flowing caramel’. I have no idea why international Cadbury franchises use the word ‘caramello’ for all of their caramel products whilst Cadbury UK stick to good old ‘caramel’. I’ve seen Caramello branded products from Cadbury Ireland, U.S, Canada and Australia now. It actually works with this particular product because ‘Caramello Koala’ rolls of the tongue nicely. But in general…why not just call it Dairy Milk Caramel?
Whilst it looked delicious, this particular Koala arrived looking a little like road kill. Well, I think Koala bears spend their time climbing trees and stuff, so maybe not road kill. But it had definitely been punched in the head. Which made it A) messy but B) more inviting with golden caramel spilling out from its little Koala skull.
In general, these types of products are great and whilst they’re obviously not clever or sophisticated concepts, I really like them. I mean, it’s chocolate with a caramel centre in the shape of a koala bear character? How can you dislike that?! I like the Freddo-esque novelty shape to it and I was also pleased to see that Cadbury Australia have stuck to the traditional Cadbury look on the wrapper; their Cherry Ripe reviewed on Tuesday didn’t tie in with the Cadbury brand at all but we’re back to the tried and tested ‘Cadbury Purple’ here.
The size was a little unusual. I mean, these are obviously aimed at kids. So the Freddo (both the Australian version and our British one) is about 12.5-15g if I remember rightly. These behemoth of a koala hit the scales at 40g which makes it pretty big snack for a small child. So I’m inclined to think that these giant Freddos and Koalas are aimed at ‘big kids’? I’d buy one if they were available here; call me immature, but I’d much prefer my 40g of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk to come in the shape of a comedy animal than just a rectangular bar. Although koalas are obviously Australia’s famed animals, so we’ll have to decide on a new one for Britain. Badgers? Voles?
Cadbury’s caramel, both in England and here with the Australian version, has a very full on buttery smell…so much so that it is identifiable from smell alone. I knew from the moment I opened this packet that this was a Cadbury’s caramel product, it really is so recognisable. The intense sweetness is there too, and it really does have an indulgence about it. The milk chocolate though was a little different here in smell-the Dairy Milk from Australia was sweeter and a little more ‘artificial’ to my senses.
Some products I review really end up surprising me. Cadbury’s Caramello Koala was not one of these! It is absolutely exactly as I had expected.
The caramel is a fantastic texture as the photos show, being sticky and slightly gooey but not runny enough to pour into your lap and all over yourself. The perfect caramel consistency in my opinion. It tastes no different to Cadbury UK’s caramel either, with a lot of sweetness and some toffee flavour to it.
There is a slight taste difference between our British version and the Aussie koala here though, which is the Dairy Milk chocolate. The melt here is really odd, with an almost ‘waxyness’ to it initially. This Australian stuff obviously has a higher melting point (presumably to deal with the higher temperatures…it’s currently 3 degrees outside here in England. I suspect it might be a little higher in Oz) and that means it doesn’t melt as quickly in the mouth. The Australian Dairy Milk also tastes a little more creamy than our very milk dominated stuff… I didn’t check the ingredients here but it wouldn’t surprise me if there were a fair amount of whole milk or cream or something.
Aimee wrote in the note accompanying the Cadbury’s Caramello Koala that she sent me that she had never really met anyone who disliked them. And I can fully understand why. They might not give me the nostalgia that a British Freddo does, but they’re fun and a cracking little novelty product. Kids are always going to go crazy for these, and 40g was a decent serving size for an adult like me to indulge in one too.
The chocolate wasn’t as good as British Dairy Milk, nor was the caramel remarkable. But they’re good enough to make these a tasty and moreish sweet treat, and something that I enjoyed eating. And, in homage to my childhood, I made sure to bite the koala’s head off first. It just wouldn’t be the same any other way!
Tomorrow is the last day of Australia Week. I don’t know how I’m going to live after it. I might need to play Waltzing Matilda on a continuous loop for the next 6 weeks of my life.