Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Charleston Chew Vanilla

Product name: Charleston Chew Vanilla
Purchase details:
£0.50 for an 18g bar (United States Grocery)
80 per bar
Country of origin:

Tonight’s review is for the last of the ‘filler’ items I bought from United States Grocery with my Living Social voucher. This Charleston Chew Vanilla was made by Tootsie Roll Industries and, I must confess, I’d never had a Charleston Chew before, let alone a Tootsie Roll!

This bar came in a luminous yellow wrapper with navy blue and red writing but the only description was that it was artificially flavoured – not the best thing to be boasting about! My understanding of the product, though, was that it would be some kind of vanilla-flavoured nougat filling coated in a chocolatey coating. On checking Tootsie Roll's website, it turned out I was right, although the extra information provided was that the nougat was ‘chewy’ whilst the coating was ‘rich’. The site also taught me that the Charleston Chew was named after the famous dance and launched in 1922 by the Fox-Cross Candy Company and later taken over by Tootsie in 1993. Apparently, the product is an American favourite and can also be eaten frozen (I only had one so I ate mine at room temperature!).

Now, I don’t mean to be crude, and I can’t quite believe I’m typing this, but there was something about this long, slender plastic-wrapped bar that made me think of a certain type of feminine product. Thankfully, when opened, this similarity ended and, instead, I was greeted with a long chocolatey baton. Unfortunately, mine had snapped in the middle which had caused some of the nougat to leak out, but this allowed me to see just how white this filling was – I don’t know if it was the colour of the wrapper but, for some reason, I’d expected it to be yellow in shade. In addition, the nougat was sticky and stringy and, as a result, looked a bit like a thicker-textured marshmallow – it stuck pretty hard to my plate!

I was pleasantly surprised by the lovely, sweet vanilla scent that emanated from the bar straight after opening. There was also a hint of the chocolatey coating up close but I didn’t find this as appetising.

In the mouth, the nougat was just as sticky as it had appeared. On its own, it felt a bit like glue but, when biting as a whole, the texture was more like a chewy fudge. I think this was partly a result of the coating, though, since this provided a bit of depth. The coating didn’t melt but I wouldn’t encourage this method of consumption anyway since, by not chewing, the nougat tended to flatten in such a way that filled the mouth so you had to chew before you choked! Unfortunately, whilst I thought the coating improved the bar’s texture, I did think its fake chocolatey taste slightly ruined the otherwise sweet vanilla flavour.

By now, you’ve probably established that this isn’t the most positive review I’ve ever written yet, in a strange way, there was something quite innocently tasty about this snack. As an add-on to my main purchases on this shopping occasion, I wasn’t expecting anything amazing from the Charleston Chew Vanilla but, to be fair, it did actually exceed my expectations. I think I would have loved this when I was a kid. 

Appearance: 6/10
Overall score:

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