For my birthday, Trav sent me a box filled with New Zealand “treats”. I put treats in quotation marks because the actual nature of some of what we ate definitely does not fall into the “treat” category. There was a wide selection, from drinks to chips to gummies to chocolate candy. This is kind of a followup post to a taste test of different NZ stuff Trav did.
First up was “Starburst Babies”. These are pretty much exactly what you would expect, candies shaped to look like babies. These are extremely disturbing. Normally, with gummy bears I like to eat the heads first and nibble off their arms and legs. This is much creepier when the candy is an actual baby and not a bear.
Overall these, were good but not great. Jim King and the girls liked these more than I did.
Rating – 6/10
With dinner, Dad and I split the “Demon Cola”. This is a product exclusively marketed to 12 year old boys. The can has a parental advisory on it, and the website (which I didn’t link to, but you can find it with Google), is what you would expect: girls in bikinis on motorcycles and lots of talk about how the cola has “balls”. The cola is actually pretty good, but extremely sweet.
Next we have the thing that is going to haunt my nightmares forever. Does a meat flavored chip sound good to you? Me neither, but I guess in New Zealand they love these things. This is the “Kiwi As” chip, flavored with tomato sauce and mince pie. It basically tasted like death mixed with ketchup. I can’t describe how badly this tasted. The chip looks normal enough, so it would be kind of funny to use a practical joke, but that would be a very very mean practical joke.
Expect to be making this face if you ever get duped into eating those horrible chips:
I figured since we couldn’t have anything worse than the Kiwi As chip, we went on to “Burger Rings”. This is another meat flavored chip. It’s essentially a Cheeto ring flavored like a burger. They actually weren’t terrible, but this was right after the Kiwi As chip, so all sense of perspective was lost. They taste pretty normal, and kind of salty, but there is a clear “burger” after-taste. I have no idea what a surfing penguin has to do with a chip flavored like a burger.
We moved on to candy to see if we couldn’t get something a little better. The “Mighty Perky Nana” was probably the strangest named candy I have come across. It’s basically a banana Laffy-Taffy covered in chocolate. Kind of strange, but not bad. Not sure how I feel about it being called a “chew bar” instead of a “candy bar” on the package. Dad liked it
Jaffas were kind of the bland, safe candy. They aren’t objectionable, basically just candy coated chocolate spheres. The candy coating doesn’t have much taste and is a little too thick and crunchy and the chocolate inside is pretty middle-of-the-road. My biggest complaint is that they say “orange coated” candy, but the candy coating is very red and has absolutely no orange flavor to it at all.
I was extremely wary of the next candy – the Nestle Aero bar. The two phrases on the package that scared me the most were “Foil Fresh” (huh?), and “Have you felt the bubbles melt?”. I had no idea what to expect, but this was easily the best candy of the bunch. It tastes like someone pumped a bunch of air into an Ande’s mint. Nice and creamy with a good mint flavor. Julie saved a piece until we made it through the taste test to make sure she remembered a good thing. I took one point off from the rating for the weird packaging text.
The next candy is called a “Lump”. Not the most appetizing name. Julie was quick to point out that the packaging said nothing about the candy being good, just that it had been around since 1935. This was a weird candy. It was artificial pineapple flavored chew, covered in chocolate. They definitely weren’t terrible, but they say to try them chilled in the fridge for extra “chew”. We did this at the King’s house, and this was not the case. The chilled lumps turned crunchy and horrible. Not recommended.
The dinosaur gummies were advertised as kind of an “all natural” snack. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but these were definitely #2 behind the Aero bar. They had a nice fruity flavor and nothing weird about them at all. Recommended for a gummi fix.
Finall, we had the “Chit Chat” cookies and Energy chocolate bar. These were both pretty average. The Chit Chat cookies were kind of a chocolate graham cracker covered in chocolate. Not horrible, but not good either. The Energy chocolate bar was just plain chocolate, but didn’t actually taste very good. It was a cross between milk and dark chocolate and wasn’t as creamy as we would have liked.
Overall, the taste test identified a couple of pretty good stuff – the Aero bar, the dinosaurs, the Demon Cola, and the Starburst Babies, but after experiencing the Kiwi As, I still think that New Zealanders have pretty poor taste. There’s no way that something that tastes that bad should be made and allowed to exist as a product.
On an unrelated note, check out the nutrition information panel. This was the same panel for all the foods. I like how it lays out the information clearly in the little tabs across the top.