Thursday, January 19, 2006

Nestle Lion

I’ve seen these bars in Cost Plus World Market and other stores that sell UK sweets and it looked like a very complicated bar. Michal, my generous reader who sent me a huge package of candy that I’ve been slowly posting here, was good enough to include this one.

image

A Lion bar is creme filled wafers, caramel and crisped rice covered in milk chocolate. I don’t know if the photo does it justice (you can click on it for a larger version). It’s a very sweet bar with quite a bit of texture to it. The package exalts that it’s “Dangerously Better” but doesn’t say what’s better about it or what else it might be better than. It reminds me a great deal of the other Nestle bar, the 100 Grand, which doesn’t have the wafers in the center but the same sort of caramel and crisped rice.

It’s quite a tasty bar and because of the variations in textures, the different crisps, the saltiness of the caramel, it’s a really satisfying bar.

I’m glad I’ve had a chance to try it because I figure now it’s an easily identified bar no matter where I may be in Europe when I’m on the metro and need a little candy boost. It’s a solid, middle of the road choice for snacking.

I haven’t the foggiest why it’s called a Lion bar, but there are a lot of incongruously named bars out there and I shouldn’t start picking at them now. The official website for the bar is German, but the bar says that it’s manufactured in France.

Name: Lion
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Nestle
Place Purchased: gift
Price: unknown
Size: 45 grams
Calories per ounce: unknown
Categories: Chocolate, Caramel, Cookie, Nestle, Germany

POSTED BY Cybele AT 9:41 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. Just thought I’d mention, your uh, anti-hotlinking seems to be a bit overzealous. If one is subscribed to the LiveJournal feed and viewing the entries from there, rather than seeing the images of the candy, we see “This image belongs to http://www.candyblog.net”

    Comment by El on 1/19/06 at 10:29 am #
  2. I don’t trust my memory to be 100% accurate here, but I think I’ve seen this at Sainsbury’s. I think I’ll drive up there Saturday morning and see.

    Comment by Bruce Anderson on 1/19/06 at 11:51 am #
  3. Cybele's avatar

    El - thanks for the heads up. Livejournal changed the way they handle syndications and the new URL wasn’t on my safe list. I think I fixed it. (Let me know if you see any other problems with it.)

    Bruce - I can’t remember if I saw it at Sainsbury, but I know I’ve seen them at Cost Plus before. I wouldn’t say they’re worth a special trip, but I wouldn’t turn one down if someone handed me one.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/19/06 at 12:15 pm #
  4. Out here in CA you can find them at the 99 cent store or at Big Lots 3/.99! The only reason to go to those places is to discover new candy!

    Comment by Marc on 1/19/06 at 7:27 pm #
  5. In related news, today Nestle became the world’s biggest ice cream maker! They did it by buying Dreyer’s, if you’re interested.

    Long ago when TV was black and white a local kid’s show (Sherriff John) featured a “lion sandwich” that I demanded to my mom’s consternation. It had nothing to do with “lions,” either, but was pretty good.

    Comment by Russ on 1/19/06 at 10:58 pm #
  6. It’s called a Lion Bar because you’re supposed to snap chunks off the end, and where the caramel stretches, it’s supposed to look like the teeth of a lion roaring, while the shape of the bar is supposed to be the mane.

    I know quite how made up this sounds, but if you’d ever seen the old UK TV ad’s, you’d know…..

    Comment by Andy on 1/19/06 at 11:57 pm #
  7. Well, they surely did have them. I didn’t see them but then Grace spotted them. It reminded me of a 100 Grand Bar, as you said, but the caramel is softer and of course there’s the wafers to add a little extra crunch. It was quite good. If they sold these at Sav On or 7-11 I’d probably buy them more.

    Comment by Bruce Anderson on 1/22/06 at 10:28 am #
  8. Cybele's avatar

    Bruce - I saw them today at Cost Plus World Market, if you’re looking for an alternate source. I also stopped at the 99 cent store and didn’t see them ... the candy selection wasn’t very good today.

    Andy - thanks for the info on the adverts in the UK. I kind of thought that the whole thing looked like a paw ...

    Marc - I’ve sworn off candy at Big Lots, but I’ll probaly check out Dollar Tree on Tuesday night, their stuff is usually fresh and cheap.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/22/06 at 6:14 pm #
  9. Whoa!  I just wrote about this candy bar myself, including photos, because I discovered Lion prowling about Romania.  BTW, I agree with your 100 Grand reference!

    As for the naming of Lion, I speculate that it is a reference to Nestle’s massive operations in Africa.  At least, as the original source for the name anyway… as I doubt they’d *really* want too much focus down on the Ivory Coast.

    I’m not normally partial to chocolates, but since your blog mentions the texture I find myself imagining that this could be the reason I enjoyed Lion.  Plus the caramel.  Fairly yummy stuff.

    Fun site; thanks!

    Comment by Romerican on 1/24/06 at 3:47 am #
  10. WHER CAN I PURCAHSE 110 LIONBARS ASAP?!

    Comment by tRACY kOLKER on 2/01/06 at 11:11 am #
  11. I know that nestle changed the name of its ‘lion bar’ in the past. What was it called before?

    Comment by Ben on 2/03/06 at 2:01 am #
  12. I know it was changed for advertising purposes within the EU, but thats is.

    Comment by Ben (again) on 2/03/06 at 2:04 am #
  13. I’ve lived in France for 5 years now, but never tried this candy bar. I guess I will now. But for your reviews of French candy, I could send you a smattering of a few other unquestionably French bonbons. Vichy mints, for example. And Nougats. And honey drops…

    Comment by Cree A. on 2/03/06 at 10:19 am #
  14. I was in my very run-of-the-mill small-local-chain midwestern grocery store tonight, and noticed they now have a section about 4 feet wide dedicated to British food. And they have at least 4 candy bars - this Lion bar, the toffee crisp (all beyond their expiration date), violet crumble, and a Nestle Kit Kat. I couldn’t remember details on your reviews, so I picked out the Violet Crumble for the novelty of it - and novel it is! Next time I’ll try the Lion Bar (and growl when I pull the caramel :^).

    Comment by Tricia on 3/12/06 at 6:37 pm #
  15. It used to be called the Big Kat.  (Or Big Cat, can’t remember)

    Comment by emily on 5/03/06 at 6:05 am #
  16. I am a dedicated anglophile and had this candy bar for the first time while in London this past April.  It is my new favorite chocolate and now that I am back in the states I am trying to find the cheapest, quickest supplier.  Any ideas?

    Comment by Rebecca on 6/20/06 at 3:55 pm #
  17. Love it! It has the perfect amount of soft crunch for a really unique candy bar! The best and most delicious of all chocolate bars.

    Comment by Jane on 7/20/06 at 10:51 am #
  18. I subsisted on these during a 14 day hiking trip around Scotland.  They were just the best candy bar.  Since I came back, I cant find them in the USA anywhere. Our World Market doesn’t carry them but that’s probably for the best.  I was addicted to them in Scotland.

    Comment by Stacie on 10/25/06 at 2:59 pm #
  19. I’m English living in America, and I agree Cost Plus/World Market is a good place to go for UK candy.
    I was also going to say the bit about the bar breaking and trails of caramel look like a lion roaring hence the name.

    Cybele I love your site, I’ve been on it for 3 hrs at work (i’m a candy buyer so i’m allowed!).

    Comment by Kirsty on 12/28/06 at 8:59 am #
  20. I have heard many times that it is called a Lion bar because it looks like a lions turd.

    Comment by liam on 1/08/07 at 7:18 am #
  21. Thats just silly and not remotely true!

    Comment by Kirsty on 1/09/07 at 10:30 am #
  22. I had one of these today for the first time and found it rather tasty. Though the caramel was pretty chewy; was not expired so not sure why it was so chewy as a previous commenter said it was soft! Regardless, I’d buy another one if on sale, but probably not at the price I paid ($1.19).

    Comment by Carrie on 4/25/07 at 12:31 pm #
  23. Hey Guys

    I’ve lived in kuwait all my life and Lion bars have always existed here and been pretty popular as well. But 2 years ago they changed the recipe for it and came out with the new Lion bars which are currently in circulation. I have to tell you the new ones suck compared to the “classic” lion bars as I like to call them. I wish they’d bring the old ones back!!!

    Comment by Sree J on 6/03/07 at 3:33 pm #
  24. This has been my favoritest candy bar for a few years now. However a visiting buddy from Bristol has informed me that this bar is terminated now and were not able to be found for this visit :(

    I’ve contacted Nestle about this and of course being giant corporate A-holes they ignore the wee cosumer. Anyways, I think the boxes of Wagon Wheels and Double Deckers will hold me over! If you have information on the Lion Bar, lemme know!

    Comment by Mark on 9/12/07 at 8:46 am #
  25. I was just in Holland and they have Lion stuff everywhere. There’s even a Lion cereal!!!

    Comment by mark on 10/27/07 at 12:19 pm #
  26. They are about a 1.20$ US at the grocery store I live near. They seem to be pretty fast moving too, as its pretty rare for me to find the shelf even half full, and I am there at least once a week.

    Comment by shane on 9/24/08 at 3:10 pm #
  27. For those of you who live in Michigan, you can get these in the international foods aisle at Meijer.

    Comment by Michelle Potas on 11/01/08 at 8:16 am #
  28. I was in a board school in England 10 years ago, and I remember I LOVE this chocolate bar. Spend the next 10 years looking for it everywhere in Vancouver, but then I had concluded that “Mr.Big” is actually a really similar thing…couldn’t say exact because I can’t say for sure.

    Comment by vivian on 10/01/09 at 9:22 pm #
  29. I Used to get this candy when i was young in Jordan , its hard to find here in Dallas. i hope someone can provide picture of the classic Lion Bar it used to be better back in the day !!!

    Comment by Ahmed Hendawi on 10/07/09 at 4:02 pm #
  30. A British friend said they are called Lion Bars because they roar when you bite them with your molars :D

    There are a couple stores in San Francisco, that I’m aware of, which carry them all the time - a corner store on Valencia and 18th and Miette in Hayes Valley.

    Comment by caseoftornados on 1/02/10 at 8:58 pm #
  31. I grew up eating the classic lion’s bar while growing up in Doha! The new Lion’s Bar SUCKS!! I want the original back…please…...

    Comment by giveme-the-classic-lion on 3/01/10 at 7:52 pm #
  32. This looks extremely like a Mr. Big bar.  I love it!

    Comment by Adam Cox on 9/23/10 at 11:10 am #
  33. I was just in Portugal for a couple of weeks, and after I told her that I think they’re the best candy bar ever, my mother in law bought me 6 to bring back with me.  Unfortunately I had to share with my kids, lol, so now I am dying to find them in Canada.  If anyone knows where I can locate them in the Hamilton, ON area I would greatly appreciate your info.

    Comment by Maria on 9/29/10 at 1:09 pm #
  34. I picked up the Lion bar in the Cologne, Germany train station during a recent trip. For days I couldn’t remember what it reminded me of until I recalled the “Mr. Big” candy bar endorsed by Shaquille O’Neal back in 1997. If my 14-years-ago memory of it is accurate, it had the same type of wafers/cream, chocolate, caramel and crisp rice. I think the Shaq bar had peanuts thrown in the mix too. Anyone remember that bar and think it compares?

    Comment by Cobo on 3/31/11 at 9:31 pm #
  35. The new lion bars are gross and not even a patch on the original. For one thing, Nestle downgraded the look of the classic old Rowntree Mackintosh Lion bars and their ivory packaging with the photograph of a glorious lions’s head in the center (it always reminded me of the MGM lion). What did the replace it with? A a very crummy looking package. But, this I could have still lived with, if only they still tasted and felt like the original inside. When I was growing up in Saudi Arabia, kids would kill (almost) for a lion bar. They were to die for - the gorgeous taste and texture of the chocolate, the lovely flavor of the caramel and most of all, the crunchy texture of the wafer - when you’d bite into them, they would sound like like animal bones snapping between your molars (THAT’s why they were called LION bars). However, the new recipe sucks. I got some picked up for me from the Middle East and I swear, I cannot even think of trying this atrocious muck wrapped in ugly packaging ever again. Boo on you Nestle for destroying a great brand and leaving us only memories.

    Comment by Cyril M on 6/03/11 at 3:18 am #
  36. Bought one of these today in a newsagent shop in Golden Square shopping centre in Warrington, Cheshire, UK. Had to get one for my son to do as part of his class project of chocolate. Each child has a different chocolate bar to cover, and he dropped on the Lion Bar.

    Comment by Mark Hampson on 11/01/13 at 12:56 pm #
  37. Hi, i have just have to tell u guys that this Lion bar is my TOP favourite chocolate bar,  but there is also, believe it or not, Ice cream and cereal in the same brand and taste. I live in Norway and here you can get this bar in every store as long as they sell candy..!
    Unfortunately they stopped selling the cereal we bought it 2 or 3 times before they took it of the market, but the ice cream is still here and it will be for a long time to go ☺ maybe it is possible for u to get a taste of these two as well.. and thats why i told about them smile

    Comment by Marita on 6/16/14 at 4:26 am #

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