Easter is a time for confusing small children by telling them bible stories and feeding them chocolate, and is responsible for young children thinking that rabbits lay eggs.
On this Easter Sunday I decided to collect up all the chocolate wildlife that has gathered around my work desk to find out which really is the superior life form. As seasonal chocolate is always overpriced price isn't really the issue here - a bar of your favourite chocolate will always cost less than the hollow seasonal variations. As these are intended as gifts I shall focus on the relative disappointment that receiving each of these would cause.
Introductions & Appearance
Left to right:
Choceur Milk Chocolate Reindeer - Aldi Christmas range - 150g
Nicely wrapped & chunky feeling, this one isn't going to get broken in the store. Has a rather cool neck pendant to imitate more known brands. This is the only store brand choc I found (being too lazy to get one of their 99p bunnies this is indeed an uneaten Christmas present). Clearly the underdog.
Cadbury Dairy Milk Giant Chick with 'Dairy Milk buttons in my tummy' - 167g
This one looks less correct in shape to its actual animal, it's like a monsterised version of a little yellow chick, and looks targeted at the younger end of the market. Its necklace is purely to identify brand and highlight the contents of the bird's stomach. Being Cadbury this is a serious contender.
Nestle Milkybar cow - 100g
The cow looks oddly happy, maybe it's enjoying the high milk content of the white choc that I'm guessing is inside. Again the necklace is purely informative and has a space to put the name of the child you are traumatising by giving them a chocolate cow with bright blue eyes.
Champion Brand - Lindt Gold Bunny, Milk - 100g
I designated this as champion purely because this is the one I see all year round. The bunny is now for Christmas as well as Easter and even seen on TV. The funny little bell on the red ribbon and the shiny gold wrapper are as well known as many other seasonal greats such as Coca-Cola's Red Santa and Home Alone.
As the Lindt Bunny is the current main brand I'm starting with that. My usual method of breaking an easter egg is to throw it at the wall. This works amazingly well and usually breaks it along the seams and into pleasing shards all kept in place with the foil. This seems disrespectful to the animals so I shall be using alternate methods.
Proving my earlier theory about its sturdiness one sharp blow from the Aldi Reindeer opens the bunny nicely. The choc inside is nicer than I remember, being creamier and thicker it also smells fantastic. While it's only 100g this would be easily a couple of sittings for me due to its richness. While the lack of originality that receiving a Lindt bunny would cause some initial disappointment the opening and eating easily compensates for this making it a tough benchmark.
Next up, the Milkybar Cow.
Sabatier knives make short work of white chocolate and open up the smiling cow to reveal the goods. The Milkybar chocolate is something I haven't really eaten for years and I think 100g is about 4 bars worth, and may be too sweet. In the small amounts I sampled though this is actually surprisingly nice. Also a nice touch is that the pattern is also printed on the choc. For the under 10s I'd say this is fab, but the Lindt bunny is still in front for me.
Thirdly the Cadbury Chick
In this case I went straight for the buttons. Again, pleasingly thick chocolate - it took a bit of hacking to get in! The Cadbury choc taste is very familiar and I could probably eat most of this in one work session without feeling too sick. The buttons are a nice touch and are of a very similar taste and texture to the Chick itself, which has the wrapper pattern on it too. I was sure that they are slightly creamier, but this may be my imagination as the ingredients are listed as one lot. There is an awful lot of choc here too - the highest of the 4 - which as a gift makes it that little bit more impressive.
Finally the Reindeer.
The Reindeer is probably the thickest of the choc overall, with the base requiring a bit of effort before its legs came off. The taste is like a less sophisticated version of the Lindt though, and while I eat lots of Choceur it doesn't stand up to such close comparison as well. I think that this is a nice gift as it's unusual, but if the recipient gets some posher choc it will be eaten last.
None of the choc animals were disapointing, I'd be happy to receive any of them. With this in mind I am discounting the Reindeer (despite the cool pendant) and Cow as the weakest of a good bunch, which just leaves the Bunny and Chick.
The Bunny gets bonus points for the reusable bell (last year’s sits on my lucky black cat on my computer).
Despite this I think that for the majority of people the Chick would be the better gift. There is almost twice as much choc, the variety (in shape at least) of the buttons and the lovely familiar Kraftbury chocolate taste just push it over the edge. The bunny is a perfect gift for the more sophisticated or older recipient and I was happy to be reminded why this is the leading brand of animal related confection.
Happy Easter to all - it's going to take me most of the year to finish all this chocolate now I think...