“ Brand: Terrys / Type: Orange „
Today, according to the newspapers and the television, is officially the most miserable day of the year - a scientific combination of post-Christmas credit card bills, grey weather, still being 2 weeks away from payday all reaches a peak today......apparently. So, what better way to combat any misery than having a little chocolate-indulgence.......? I just nipped to the newsagent that is handily 2 doors away from my office to peruse the shelves of yummy sweet things, when a bar of Terry's Chocolate Orange Cosmic Toffee Crunch caught my eye - now I may have been on another planet for the last few months, but I don't recall seeing this version of the Chocolate orange or the bar before. It doesn't say "limited edition" on it, so I am assuming it is here for the long term.....but boy have I been missing out! Now, I like the original plain and milk versions of the Terrys orange chocolate, and sometimes when you like something that is original, any newfangled version of it is very much a disappointment. So, it was with some trepidation (just a little, mind you) that I handed over my "credit crunched" 38p (remember, this is THE most miserable day of the year, so we may as well bring the credit crunch into it...) in exchange for a brown and orange wrappered bar of potential yumminess. I had intended to save this until later - we are only half way through the day at the moment and I may be in greater need of it in a few hours' time, but I have never been great at holding back where chocolate is concerned, so I tore open the wrapper almost as soon as my bum had hit my chair. To look at, this is just like any other chocolate orange bar in the range - designed like segments of an orange. When you bite in, you get that orangey taste that you would expect from Terrys. Nothing different so far...... Then you get the cosmic toffee crunch! 5.5% of the bar is crunchy caramel bits, and they are fab! There are enough of them to be a lovely welcome, yet aren't overpowering. The taste of the caramel works well, in my opinion, with the orange and the chocolate, and the texture is just right - these "bits" are not too big, but are certainly big enough to see, and to know you have eaten. Calorie wise - there are 210 delicious calories in every bar, and 11.5 grammes of fat, but who cares - we are making ourselves less miserable here! Besides, I love the way that chocolate bars like this remind us that we can eat these as part of a normal healthy diet - and to help us achieve this balance they even give us a website to look at www.krafthealthyliving.co.uk so chocolate like this must be good for you, right? So, for 38p I feel well and truly like I have had a little indulgent treat - just right for a grey day in January when you are feeling the hangover of Christmas and counting the days until payday.
***Background*** A few things that signify Christmas to me are decorating the tree with my family, hearing The Pogues blast Fairytale of New York out on the radio, watching my son in a nativity play and listening to my daughter playing carols on her cello with the orchestra. All these things warm my heart, but it also wouldn't be Christmas for me without the one thing in my stocking that I've had since I was a little girl - and yes thank you, that was quite a few years ago now. The item in question is almost traditional, well it does taste of orange anyway, and although it's not as good for you as the fruity version, it does have a delicious flavour. I am of course talking about Terry's Chocolate Orange. Now way back in my childhood there were only two types available, plain or milk and the plain was always my favourite, but in recent years there have been many new flavours and textures to grace us with our presents (or should that be presence?), including the white chocolate snowball, the orange one with lemony chewy bits in it and a minty version that isn't orange flavoured at all. This year it's the turn of the Cosmic Toffee Crunch and of course when I saw it in the shops, it was instantly put on my Christmas list. This review writing about Chocolate Oranges is also getting to be a bit of a yearly thing now too and since I feel that it might be around next Christmas, it's only fair that I tell you all about this one. ***The Packaging*** As with all the other versions, this one comes in a box with round holes round three sides of it so you can see the tempting bundle of joy inside. This one is decorated with space ships zooming through the galaxy and there is even a little maze game on the back to keep you amused - as if eating the chocolate wasn't enough. The chocolate is kept fresh in a foil wrapping and in this case it is a blend of yellow and orange. ***Taste & Smell*** I always feel that these two things go hand in hand. I remember when the sticky top of the wrapper had tap and unwrap on it but now you are advised to whack before the unwrap part and I usually do this by dropping it on the laminate. This is to separate the orange segments inside as they are joined by a central section of chocolate. The smell of this product is quite strong even when it is still in the wrapper and it instantly gets my taste buds working overtime. The orangey smell reminds me of the milk chocolate version and at this stage the toffee bits don't really have any effect of me. To look at this orange you could be forgiven for thinking that it is just a normal milk chocolate one too but as soon as you bit into one of the twenty segments you find lots of little crunchy bits that have a distinctly caramel taste to them. To start with I wasn't really sure if the orange combination went too well with this but I have to admit that with each segment that I ate, the addiction got stronger and I'm actually quite happy that this limited addition seems set to only rear it's head at Christmastime, as I could quite happily have bought more from the shops and sat and munched them all through the year. That isn't the way I want to go about things this year, especially after getting a subscription to the local leisure centre as a gift for Christmas. Unlike the lemony bits in the one I reviewed after last Christmas, these little lumps of delight are very crispy and crunchy rather than just being a bit chewy and this was a pleasant surprise as most toffee things tend to be more designed like that. ***The Contents*** Kraft Foods put all the nutritional information on the bottom of the box and this is probably to hide the fact that it contains so many calories. It is worked out that for every 3 segments you will consume 133 calories, which is quite a bit over Christmas along with all the other tempting things you get at this time of year. This chocolate orange contains a minimum of 25% cocoa solids and 20% milk solids along with some orange oil, so if you want to be cheeky you could say you are helping your levels of calcium and fruit by eating these. Some of us will use any excuse. There is a warning about nuts and wheat saying that there may be traces in this product so if you have any allergies then it's not one for you I'm afraid. It does say that it is suitable for vegetarians though and there is also a link to a healthy eating part of the Kraft Foods website too. ***My Thoughts*** This can be a little bit sickly sweet if you eat too much but it's difficult to stop once you start so be warned now!!! The crunchy bits are delicately flavoured and do not really detract from the main orange flavour. The milk chocolate is of good quality and I have to say I've always been a bit of a fan of Terry's. Unlike some of the Rowntree's products this one seems to have stayed the same after being taken over by a large company, although it is a shame that the factory in York has closed down and that this part of the famous company's history has come to an end. What I love most about this product is the fact that all the major stores seem to be falling over themselves before Christmas to sell these at low prices. A few years ago they started selling them off at 3 for £5 then it moved to either 3 for £4 or 4 for £5. This is what is was when the Christmas stock appeared in Tesco this year but the week before Christmas, they gave an even better deal when they put them on a BOGOF deal. At £1.96 each, this meant that you could pick up four varieties for under £4. This is great if you have lots of people to buy for or one greedy person like myself. Each orange has a net weight of 170g so you are getting a reasonable amount of solid chocolate unlike some of the boxes on the shelves. The packaging keeps this precious cargo in good condition too and the foil keeps the chocolate fresh and tasty. So although you might still be able to pick up one of these in the post Christmas sales, it's more likely that you'll have to wait until next year to ask for one of these. I'll certainly be counting the days.