The Great Delicious North

Posted: October 24, 2013 by Brian in A Case of the Munchies, Food

A Case of the Munchies copy

A few weeks ago, the Empress and I lived one of the great romantic clichés: driving north to Niagara Falls to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We did all the usual touristy things—the tour behind the Falls, the White Water Walk, and the Butterfly Conservatory among others, and just enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Canada CandyBut it was in a tourist-trap gift-shop one block from the Falls that we discovered one of the most memorable parts of our just-over-the-border trip. It was there, on our way back to our hotel, that we stopped in for quick refreshements and were intrigued by two candy bars that we’d never heard of, and that are not on sale here in the United States: Nestlé’s Big Turk, and Cadbury’s Wunderbar (which, for reasons unclear to me, is the name under which the Cadbury candy bar called the Starbar is marketed in Canada and Germany).

We bought one of each, and… well, we were both so pleasantly surprised by these unfamiliar new treats that I find myself here in J. Marcus’ usual stomping grounds to share my enjoyment and impressions of them.

Big TurkThe Big Turk bills itself as “Turkish delight” (which is what caught my attention in the first place), and I suppose that’s what it is, but with a caveat. My personal experience of Turkish delight is a lightly-flavored jelly confection, cut into cubes and dusted with powdered sugar. What you get with Nestlé’s Big Turk version is indeed a jelly base with the same light, generically fruity flavor that I’d expect from Turkish delight, but the powdered sugar is gone, entirely replaced by a milk chocolate coating. The effect, in terms of texture and flavor, was not unlike that of a chocolate-covered Swedish Fish. I like chocolate, and I love the firm, chewy bite of Swedish Fish, so when I took my first bite of Big Turk, I was blown away. Put simply, there is no bad here.

WunderbarThe Wunderbar was a similarly rewarding revelation. It’s vaguely similar to our own Snickers bar, in that its primary flavors are peanut butter and a milk chocolate coating. Where it differs mightily is in its texture. The Wunderbar’s core is caramel rather than nougat, and a pleasingly dense caramel at that, somewhat reminiscent of the center of a Payday bar. Sitting atop the caramel core is a layer of peanut butter (or, at least, the sweet paste that passes for peanut butter in most mass-produced candy bars that call for the flavor) with crispy rice. The very chewy texture with the toothsome crisp of the rice, along with the combined flavors of caramel, peanut butter, and milk chocolate added up to a snacking experience that was ridiculously enjoyable, easily comparable (or even better than) similar U.S.-native bars like Snickers or Reese’s Fast Break.

I’m willing to admit the possibility that it was novelty that made these two candy bars so satisfying that I felt like writing about them. The new, especially in an area that has become long familar, is always noteworthy. Still, in the end analysis, I can’t shake the conviction that their enjoyability is rooted in their nature and quality more than their mere novelty factor. And I’ve found that while these two bars might not be sold in U.S. supermarkets or convenience stores, both are available via Amazon.com.

Looking forward to more Canadian goodies!

Comments
  1. Lilly says:

    Lovely write-up. I want these in mah belly, now!

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