Creamy Chocolate

October 20, 2010 at 11:24 | Posted in biscuits | Leave a comment
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I take my hat off to Arnott’s; for a company that is basically serving a fairly small market they do manage to produce a huge number of varieties. I’m sure that a hard-nosed, Harvard-educated business executive would take one look at the company and slash the number of lines they do in order to focus on the profitable ones that move in volume.

Well, I hope Arnott’s do not employ any such money-grubbing tycoon, and continue to produce such a glorious multitude. Even I am taken aback sometimes by the sheer number of varieties – and the other day I came across ‘Creamy Chocolate’ (yes, yes, pipe down at the back). I have to say, small corner shops are the best place to discover hitherto unknown Arnott’s biscuits. I guess the big chains decide on their range centrally and carry them in all their stores, whereas in the smaller places you can unearth some rare gems. It was in just such an independent grocers that I found ‘Creamy Chocolate’ (stop sniggering, Biggs Minor), so I bought a packet to try them.

These look like a throwback to some long forgotten past. They are embossed with an olde-worlde font, and somehow lack the polished veneer of biscuit produced on modern manufacturing equipment. Whether this is deliberate, or it just reflects the fact that they are made on ancient equipment, I do not know.

Creamy Chocolate (I’m not going to warn you again, Biggs) consist of two cocoa-flavoured biscuits sandwiched together with some kind of cream filling. The first thing that strikes you when you open the packet is the smell. They have a strong burnt caramel aroma which is tantalisingly familiar yet also hard to place.

The taste is similarly enigmatic. There’s the cocoa there, to be sure, although the cream filling seems to have some faint lemon tang to it, reminiscent of washing up liquid. There’s other flavours in there too; a slight hint of candy and caramel. Finally, the whole thing is overlaid with that most instantly-recognisable-yet-hard-to-describe flavour known as ‘funny’. Yes, these biscuits have a slightly ‘funny’ taste. In fact, these biscuits taste exactly as if they had been lurking in the bottom of your grandma’s biscuit barrel for a long time, and had absorbed all the flavours from the thirty-year-old tin. It’s quite amazing, and not unpleasant – these biscuits kind of send you off into a sort of nostalgic reverie. It’s just all rather unexpected.

Creamy Chocolate (that’s it, Biggs, go instantly and see the headmaster) are a very interesting biscuit, well in tune with the current vogue for things ‘vintage’. You could serve these on your vintage china wearing your vintage clothes, for example, and have people believe the biscuits were contemporary with the surroundings. I’m going to give these a six out of ten, with an extra bonus point for being so intriguing.

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