4 February 2012

The Smarties Sandwich [By @Cinabar]

There has been an awful lot of press about the incident of the Smarties Sandwich that occurred earlier in the week. If you haven’t heard about it a very brief run down was that a school spotted that a parent had made a child a sandwich with Smarties inside it for their lunch. The story is covered by the Daily Mail here. The general consensus was horrified teachers/parents but the whole thing really got me thinking. Yes I have to admit to smiling when I saw the article, I know I shouldn’t, but it’s one pretty looking sandwich you have to admit! I find it hard to believe that people reading this haven’t at some point indulged in a sandwich made with Nutella / Jam / Crisps / Chips or some other inappropriate ingredients, although admittedly probably as an occasional treat.
So we are all disgusted by the Smarties sandwich, but let’s think this through – is it because of the bright colours? Nestle Smarties have no actual artificial colours or flavourings in their choccies, so that can’t be the reason. Perhaps it’s the nutritional facts – so for reference a tube of Smarties has 178 calories and 6.8g of fat, please keep that in mind.
Now let’s look at a far more common scenario. A child goes to school with a sandwich, with two slices of cheese and maybe even some pickle, nobody would bat an eye lid. I dare say that situation is far more widespread than the Smarties incident. Interestingly two slices of cheese actually amounts to 202 calories and over 15g of fat. Just saying. Scarily the Smarties sandwich has 24 less calories and 8.9g less fat than the cheese version.
I am not trying to defend the Smarties sandwich, just trying to rationalise our reaction to it, and remember there are plenty of other choices which look okay and are far more common, but in reality aren’t great if you look at the stats.
Anyway, I write a blog about that contains a lot of chocolate / crisps / bad-for-you food, so I felt it best to actually try out this emotive snack. I wasn’t sure about measures, but I did discover that the whole tube of Smarties covered the bread rather well. My local newsagent only had the limited edition pink Smarties, which are created to help fund raise for breast cancer care, so yet another reason why this sandwich isn’t all bad!
To be honest though the sandwich wasn’t great when it came to the crunch. For a start the Smarties run everywhere, as you pick up the bread it is disappointing to see the contents slip out and you have to mourn the lost chocolate. The texture is a bit weird too, I felt the Smarties were a bit too hard for a sandwich, and didn’t quite feel crunchy like a crisp sarnie or satisfying like a chip one. Smarties are best left in the tube, but if I was to offer some advice to any wannabe testers, I think I’d suggest some Nutella to help them stick! Please read this responsibly and remember a Smarties sandwich should be for occasional snacking purposes only! Normal Foodstuff Finds service will resume shortly... ;-)
By Cinabar


Rodzilla said...

I agree with you, and I wish they gave more background on the child who's lunch it was. If this was an everyday occurrence, and that was all the child was given to eat - it would be neglectful. But as an occasional treat, it's probably equivalent to a slice of cake.

Sandy's witterings said...

I think you're quite right - there's no reason why a smartie sandwich should be worse for you than a lot of other acceptable sandwiches.

What amazes me is that nobody has thought of it before. I've found 4 different smartie sandwiches on the net,including your own and one made by the Daily Mail, none of which predate this "awful" event. That's at least 4 sales Smarties have had. If I was nearer a shop it might be 5.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I could imagine the parents discontent for seeing a seemingly innocent sandwich, filled with Smarties. It's a candy, and although it ranks lower in some nutritional aspects than other more common Sandwich food items, there's still the matter of it also providing little to no nutritional benefits or anything really essential to a balanced diet, just a lot of sugar. However, in a world of school pop machines and easily accessible junk-food items in a school cafeteria, I can see where a public outcry over a parent packing their child a 'Smartie" sandwich would be a bit - ironic.

Anyway, interesting read. Thank you for the review!

Anonymous said...

The "strangest" sandwich I've had was coffee mascarpone with nutella:)

I don't see what all of the fuss is about, but then again candy tends to be unhealthy. Yet, the nutrition comparison was pretty freaky and at least they don't have anything artificial in them. Once in awhile, it should be fine. Probably, better off as a dessert, than a meal. I can't imagine that would be all the parent would pack them!

Oscar said...

u need cadbury philly to spread on the bread and bind the smarties onto it.

bob said...

I don't see it any differently to sending the sprogs off with a Nutella sarnie.
Anyone remember the brilliant "beat group" version of the Smarties jingle from way back?
Sounded like the Hollies, but probably wasn't.

cinabar said...

Rodzilla - I would like to hope the smartie sandwich was just a one off treat for the pupil, and not a regular occurrence.

Sandy - Worth giving it a try ;-) Someone emailed me and suggested toasting it - not a bad idea!

Joey M - I bet many parents pack Kit Kats and other choccies straight into their kids lunch boxes too.

S.Emerald - Did you say coffee mascarpone with nutella - OMG - that sounds like heaven!

Oscar - I have got myself a tub!! so watch this space!!

Bob - don't remember it - but may have a lookie on youtube!

Anonymous said...



Oh, for sure. Hopefully in the company of wholesome, healthy foods =D

No doubt in my mind red flags were raised because yeah, it's candy, acting as an alternative to what you would normally find in a packed sandwich, or the mere conception of it all-together.

I'm not too big on Nutella, either.

Sandy's witterings said...

I was tempted into a small food crime myself, inspired by this article.