* Prices may differ from that shown
I recently visited an independent sweet shop with a good selection of international chocolates. One of these unusual treats was a Nestle Peppermint Crisp. The paticular chocolate bar that I bought had been imported from South Africa, but I have since seen it for branches of shops such as Cybercandy where it has arrived from the likes of America and Australia. It is obviously a well distributed sweet outside of Europe at least.
I paid £1.39 for a 49g bar, which obviously makes it expensive compared to the chocolate we are used to, but it is about the going rate for imported versions. Nestle describe the bar as "crisp mint cracknel coated in milk chocolate." I wasn't quite sure what cracknel was to be honest but I like mint so I decided to give it a try. The picture on the front of the green packet makes the inside look like a bubbly Aero. In fact, it looks quite different. The "cracknel" is brittle shards of mint sugar. It reminds me of a thinner and more fragile version of the toffee you get in a peanut brittle sweet, albeit with a different flavour. It is certainly unusual and I love the crumbly and crunchy texture it gives to the bar. It really does taste of mint, and the flavour is a natural one rather than like toothpaste! I found the bar strangely refreshing, and I can't say that about most chocolate! The mint taste lasts in your mouth some time, a bit like after you have had a piece of chewing gum. In the same way, if you breathe in, your breath feels nice and cool. As you eat, the mint shards become chewier which means each piece lasts a good long time. The most striking thing about the mint though, is the colour. It is bright witches-skin green. I was not surprised to read that the Crisp contains artificial colours - there is nothing natural looking about it. I find it a bit off putting for some reason, but as I like the taste I can put up with it.
As for the chocolate covering, it is quite thick, which helps to stop the mint pieces being too messy. Unlike many international milk chocolates, it tastes similiar to what my tastebuds are used to. It isn't quite as milky as a Dairy Milk for example, but it has a reasonable flavour and it isn't too sweet. I think it is really just something to keep the mint bits together though. Even so, it is hard to break up along the lines marked out.
As it is not British made, the packaging doesn't come with a nutrition breakdown table. I can only presume that as a chocolate bar, it is not going to be low fat, and that it is going to contain plenty of sugar. As such, it is only something I would feel happy eating as part of a balanced diet now and again. As something different, and as a novelty, I enjoyed trying it. I would recommend it to mint lovers without a doubt, despite it's relatively high price. As mentioned above it is available in branches of CyberCandy, as well as independent sweet shops, and from numerous suppliers online.
[This review may also appear on Ciao in the future.]