* Prices may differ from that shown
I love peanuts and anything flavoured with them, especially if it is combined with chocolate. Naturally this isn't the healthiest obsession but as I don't eat sweets a lot I feel O.K to have the occasional treat. I first tried the Mr Toms Peanut Bar when I saw it in an independent sweet shop that specialises in imported chocolates. [It is made in Germany.] It cost me more than a £1 for one so I was pleased to see that Poundland offer multi packs of 3 x 40g bars for the same price alongside the chocolate version. I decided as it was such as saving I had better buy a pack of each..
I don't know who Mr Tom is named after but it seems to carry that name in other countries as my boyfriend has bought it with the same packaging elsewhere in Europe. It is something he remembers being around when he was a kid but strangely I don't recall it at all. Another local sweetshop has it in the retro sweets section so my other half must have a better memory than I have. The packaging does look slightly old fashioned but I don't mind as it soon comes off to reveal a very nutty treat underneath. No one could accuse the makers of stinting on the peanuts, that's for sure.
If you like the traditional sweet that is usually called nut brittle or crackle, you will like the flavours of Mr Tom even though the texture isn't quite the same. The two sweets look very similar. The original bar is made of whole peanuts closely packed into a firm, glossy golden caramel. It is more chewy than brittles are to me whilst still being very hard, and therefore not as easy to eat as it could be. It gets softer as you chew but this is definitely not a nibble for those with a wobbly tooth! It is also difficult to divide up, so you have the perfect excuse to keep it all to yourself. Thankfully all the chewing is worth it as the sweet has an intense nutty flavour without being tooth rottingly sweet. The caramel doesn't have the lovely toffee taste of some peanut brittles and is quite bland compared to the nuts, but as the latter have so much flavour I don't mind. I think it mainly serves to hold the nuts together and add a bit of sweetness. It does smell of caramel though, mixed with the aroma of a just opened jar of peanut butter. Delicious!
The chocolate version is in my opinion even nicer as it is easier to eat whilst still being full of nuts. In this case, Poundland only had this variety in a large bar measuring 150g, which thankfully for your teeth, can be divided up easily. It consists of a milk chocolate with caramelised roasted peanuts dotted throughout. The nuts are in pieces this time but there is so many of them that the bar is still dripping with flavour. The crunchiness is more manageable in these small doses and it contrasts deliciously with the smooth chocolate. I didn't expect to like that chocolate at all because I often find European made milk ones aren't as creamy tasting as what we are used to. No doubt they think our Dairy Milks and Galaxies don't taste nice either! Thankfully, the Mr Tom chocolate has a nice flavour even if it is a bit on the sweet side.
I can't see a nutritional breakdown on either packet which is often the case with imported sweets I find. I think it is safe to say considering the ingredients that it won't be a dieters friend but I doubt anyone would buy something like this expecting it to be healthy. Sugar is the largest ingredient after all. They are at least suitable for vegetarians.
I would recommend these sweets to anyone that loves peanuts but only go for the original version if you like hard, chewy sweets. The chocolate one is my favourite but it is also nice to have a traditional non chocolate sweet sometimes. Both are good quality and generously filled and feel like a real treat. You can buy Mr Tom bars in many sweet shops and online confectioners but buying them from non specialist sources always seems cheapest. They have now disappeared from my nearest Poundland and 99p store but they do come and go so it may be worth still keeping an eye out there.
Now 'this' is a great bar, it's an amazing block of nuts, held together by sugary caramel stuff. Now, if you don't like nuts, just close this tab now, but for those who love nut confectionary this is the bar for you.
The packagine is classic, a foil backed paper with a simple and effective design. Looks pretty retro, perhaps something Grandfather would chew on while shooting at the enemy.
Tastewise this thing lives up to its look. Certainly no case of style of substance. It tastes exactly how it looks, crunchy, very peanutty, and lots of caramel brittle toffee stuff.
What's not to love about this bar, the cool old packagine, the amazing flavour, the mysterious name... why 'Mr Tom' and what does he have to do with peanut candy bars? your guess is as good as mine.
These baby's cost around 50p, give or take, and it's well worth it. They can be tricky to track down, look for the old school newsagents that aren't part of any chains, or confectionary shops. They're worth the hunt.
I'm a bit nutty - I admit it. I love most things with nuts in or those that are nut flavoured, and peanut brittle is one of my favourites. I'm too lazy to make it myself, and rarely get to the seaside to where I can find slabs of it for sale at over inflated prices in rock shops, so finding Mr. Tom, on a friends recommendation, was a revelation.
Mr. Tom is a strangely named 40g bar of peanut brittle (peanuts set in hard toffee made by caramelising sugar) made in Germany by a company called Hosta.
The bar is sealed in a foil backed paper wrapping, mainly yellow in colour. The design is actually a bit obscure, half the package shows a picture of the peanuty bar and the other half has various random weird images, such as clowns, monkey headed people, tigers and fairies. Emblazoned across the front is the name 'Mr. Tom' and 'Peanuts' - nothing to actually tell you what the bar is, almost like it's a secret bar with a code name for those in the know! All very strange and a bit gaudy.
The back tells you the best before date, that it's made in Germany, and an ingredient list - all of which are shown in 10 different languages.
Ingredients are pretty basic, listed as peanuts (min 62%), wheat or corn glucose syrup, sugar, salt, caramel and flavouring. No allergy information, no nutritional information.
For me, this is the best peanut brittle I've ever tasted. The bar is a thin slab of peanuts held together in a shiny coating of lovely caramelised sugar which measures about 12 x 4cm. Unlike some you can buy, the brittle is not rock hard with barely a peanut to be seen, it's packed with them and can be broken into pieces easily, and you won't break your teeth trying to bite or chew it (actually I won't guarantee that as I know somebody who broke a tooth on a piece of cucumber!). It's crunchy and crisp, there are no sharp bits and it's not sticky. The overall taste is of lovely sweet peanuts, as you would expect, but not too sweet and no lingering aftertaste.
I usually find Mr Tom available in local newsagents rather than the big supermarkets, in fact neither my local Tesco nor Sainsbury's stock it, and I generally pay about 50p a bar. I have to admit I doubt I would have ever picked up a bar to try if a friend hadn't recommended it to me; the packaging looks too cheap and tacky to contain anything so delicious. I have no idea of how (un)healthy it is because, as I said, there is no nutritional info on the packaging but I doubt that something made from peanuts and sugar can be regarded as healthy. In any case I usually throw caution to the wind when Mr. Tom is spotted and buy them in two's and eat them both - one is just not enough!
If you're looking for a sweet treat as an alternative to chocolate, don't be put off by the wrapper, try one today.
COST: Approx. 49p for a 40g bar (depending on where bought)
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION: None on the wrapper, and none to be found anywhere on the internet
INGREDIENTS: Peanut, wheat or corn glucose syrup, sugar, salt, caramel flavouring
Mr Tom Peanut Bar is made by a German company called Hosta GmbH & Co, and is shipped to various confectionary outlets in the UK and across Europe.
The bar is about 5" long - I'd estimate just under half an inch thick, and is wrapped in a laminated paper/foil mix covering which is sealed at both ends. Half of the wrapper shows an image of some tightly packed together peanuts, and the other half has a bright yellow background with various images scattered over such as circus characters, cartoon animals, funny faces and random whole peanuts. The logo "Mr Tom" is in thick red letters that are outlined with a cream colour and spreads horizontally across the length of the wrapper, and there is a yellow and red coloured star-burst shape bearing the word "Peanuts" in red letters just above. The back of the wrapper contains the manufacturer's postal address, and the ingredients printed in several European languages (including English).
On unwrapping the bar, there isn't really much of a peanut smell. The bar actually doesn't look very exciting, and is made of a tan-coloured, brittle caramel-flavoured hard toffee. There is a generous portion of halved and broken peanuts embedded in the hard toffee, and the whole bar is covered with a fine, shiny glaze - which I assume is made of sugar.
Due to the hardness of the bar, it proves rather difficult to break off a small piece to sample, but with a little practice and patience, this is possible.
From the overall consistency, it appears that Mr Tom Peanut Bar will prove to be hard work to eat and a tooth-shatterer, but once you have a small piece in your mouth and start to chew, it isn't as hard as the initial impression gives. The caramel toffee, though brittle, is very easy to chew and has a lovely crispness. As you crunch through the peanuts and toffee combined, a beautiful peanut flavour bursts into your mouth, complimented by a not too sweet caramel taste that is delicious and very more-ish.
Once the first mouthful has been crunched up and swallowed with relish, you just want to repeat and repeat the experience until the whole bar has been demolished. Disappointment then reigns, as you mentally kick yourself for only buying one of these beautiful peanut bars.
I'm a little wary of eating too many of these bars, as though I absolutely love them, I have a feeling that the calorie content is scarily high - and as said above, there is no nutritional information anywhere on the wrapper, so I choose to be safe rather than sorry.....I don't want to put on any more weight, and I value my teeth too.
It's rather sad that sometimes it can be difficult to find a shop which sells Mr Tom Peanut Bars; I have discovered that newsagents and small confectionary shops are more likely to stock them than are supermarkets - the one I am eating right at this moment came from a small grocer's shop, about 3 miles and a bus-ride from my home (my local village shop doesn't stock Mr Tom Peanut Bars).
Of course these peanut/caramel bars wouldn't be suitable for people with a nut allergy, as they have at least a 70% peanut content, the caramel being what holds the peanuts together rather than being the mainstay of the bar.
I personally in general am not a lover of crunchy, brittle items of confectionary that require a lot of chewing - also I often find them too sugary - but Mr Tom Peanut Bars truly are very very tasty, aren't too sickly-sweet, and have that gorgeous peanut taste-burst - I always make a point of buying one whenever I visit a shop that sells them.
Verdict: 10/10 to Mr Tom - if you love peanuts, you'll love these!