Monday, June 30, 2008
Nestle Crunch (Now Even Richer Milk Chocolate)
The Nestle Crunch was introduced in 1938, invented in Nestle’s Fulton, New York factory. The bar combines milk chocolate with crisped rice, which adds a crunch as well as a malted barley flavor to it.
When I was a kid I was a Krackel girl. I don’t know if I preferred the crisped rice and Hershey’s chocolate combination, the color red or simply couldn’t find the Nestle Crunch bar as often.
Later when I moved to the west coast Krackels became pretty much impossible to find, so I sometimes picked up the Nestle Crunch bar.
But then something happened, I’m not sure when, perhaps ten years ago ... the bars were utterly inedible. Bland, tastesless, waxy and too sweet. The crisped rice became less rice shaped and more like little spheres. So I stopped buying those, too. The last time I had a proper Nestle Crunch was about two years ago when I was photographing a bunch of candy bars and I was so underwhelmed I didn’t even bother to finish the bar.
Then in late 2005 or early 2006 the Krackel disappeared and besides the fringe budget candy companies or a sack of Hershey’s Miniatures, Nestle Crunch became the only crisped rice and chocolate combination bar. It is still in the top ten candy bar list, year after year, though it’s been consistently losing traction against the other top brands.
So I was quite happy to see that Nestle may have improved the bar, or perhaps just restored it to its former glory.
Since the new formula just came out, I was able to grab both the old and new versions for a head to head test.
The bars look the same, the molding is identical, the ingredients are even identical.
It tastes sweet, but kind of empty. There’s no real chocolate punch, just a hint of it. The crisped rice is great. It’s well dispersed, crunchy and has a slight hint of salt. But it’s not enough to carry the bland chocolate or overcome the lack of creamy texture.
While the bar is attractive with the big words CRUNCH molded into it, I prefer the old bar which was segmented (and I believe slightly thicker to accomodate stacks of crunchies). This can still be simulated with the snack sized bars.
This flipped over bar shows the size of the crunchies. (As a comparison, this bar shows what the old Krackel looked like.)
It smells about the same, maybe a little maltier, but I had to allow for the fact that the new bar was, well, newer, so freshness could account for some of the differences.
The texture of the chocolate did actually seem creamier, not quite as sweet and just a bit more chocolatey.
Still, it’s not a great bar, it could be, but Nestle needs to use their premium chocolate that they’re so well known for in Europe to make it outstanding. It’s better but not enough to get me to start buying it, but I’ll certainly take it when offered.
POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:30 am
Meticulously photographed and documented reviews of candy from around the world. And the occasional other sweet adventures. Open your mouth, expand your mind.