Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Tunnock’s is a Scottish biscuit company located in Uddingston (outside Glasgow), Scotland. They make a wide variety of baked goods but those in North America are probably most familiar with their teacakes (a digestive biscuit with a marshmallow on top, covered in chocolate) and their Tunnock’s Caramel Bar. I got this bar from my friend Ernesssa, who went to Scotland a few months ago. I liked it a lot so when I saw a package of four at Cost Plus World Market, I thought I’d buy it again so that I could do a complete review and see if the Scottish & American versions were different. (Turns out both are made in Scotland, though Tunnock’s has a factory in Canada.)
The only difference, as far as I could tell, between the American & Scottish was the packaging. The Scottish ones, shown here, are in a simple thick foil wrapper. The package I bought in Cost Plus has a big more substantial wrapper. It was a light mylar sleeve and then the four bars were sealed inside another larger mylar sleeve. The Scottish version was easier to unwrap and reseal, though I don’t think it was nearly as airtight as the American one. I was concerned that my Scottish-purchased one was a little stale.
The bars are large and rather ordinary looking. Each is about four inches long and 1 inch square. The chocolate coating is quite thin and light, the waffle pattern of the wafers can be seen.
It’s five layers of wafers sandwiching four layers of caramel then a thin coating of milk chocolate.
Beefy and substantial looking, it’s an odd mix. The wafers are light and airy, so the bar is much lighter than it looks. But the caramel between the layers is like a glue that keeps it all intact as long as possible, no flakes escape here.
It’s sweet and only slightly milk and cocoa-ish. The chocolate coating is creamy but doesn’t contribute much flavor. The wafers are basically airy and have a lightly malted flavor, but not much else. The caramel filling is kind of like a penuche or clotted cream fudge. It’s not gooey or chewy, but does create a little bit of a softer texture. The wafers aren’t exactly stale, but they’re not dry/crispy like some other wafer bars. At first I thought that was a bad thing, but I found I liked it quite a bit, it was just a little bit more textured than a wafer ice cream cone.
It reminds me of cereal bar - you know, one of those bar cookies that you make at home, more than a candy bar. For something that’s only one ounce, it’s satisfying. So for folks watching their calories, at only 130 per bar, they’re a good option - only 5 grams of fat, which isn’t bad for a chocolate combination bar.
I don’t know if I’d go out of my way to get these again, but I understand why they’re one of the top ten bars in Scotland. They’re different from KitKat, which has more chocolate and less crisp, and the lightly toasted caramel notes add a different dimension from other more caramel-focused bars like Mars (Milky Way). I love the packages and motifs for their whole product design. I don’t think I could resist buying all of Tunnock’s products at this point, just to see how each is done.
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.