Several years ago, a few ‘lower fat’ chocolate bars were let loose in Australia, but most of them (i.e. ‘Flyte’) never really took off (pun intended). However, two types are still around, but remain very low key: Mars Lite (which essentially turns a 60g bar into 40g – hey presto, it’s lower in fat) and Cadbury ‘Lite’ with ‘Lower Carb’ as the main feature.
Naturally, anything called ‘Lite’ as a deliberate mis-spelling is not legally bound to be lower fat, lower sugar, lower salt, lower anything. It can be compared to labelling a bucket of nuclear waste ‘Sayfe Enuff for U’. Also, the bar is flatter and slimmer than the regular 250g Dairy Milk block, so it is designed to make you think it is lighter, healthier, better. Yeah, right, plus being triple the price per kilogram compared to the good old, reliable, always-there-for-you dairy milk might lure a few suckers in, thinking that they’re paying for higher quality.
With this rather negative frame of mind, I nervously snapped off a couple of squares and slowly chewed. It was pretty good actually. If it was a blindfold test I’d still be able to detect that it was ‘Cadbury something’ but know that it wasn’t quite as creamy and melt-in-the mouth as dairy milk. Almost a kind of cheaper, Easter Egg-style chocolate or the stuff swept up from the floor and then re-melted to cover over marshmallows or broken crunchie pieces (also known cynically to me as ‘Chocettes’).
Then it was time – after inhaling the rest of the 75g bar – to flip over the wrapper and look at the ingredients.
Cadbury Lite – per 100g:
- 1690 kilojoules
- 29.7g fat
- 7g of carbs of which 5.5g are sugars
- Ingredients: isomalt, polydextrose, full cream milk powder, cocoa butter, cocoa mass….
What on earth is isomalt and polydextrose and what were they doing being the two main ingredients? In addition, having powdered milk coming in at number three on the list of ingredients would most certainly indicate that this recipe wouldn’t have the standard ‘Glass and A Half of Full Cream Dairy Milk in Every 200g Block’ quality we’ve all long come to expect from Cadbury.
Then it was on to the never-say-die, your-friend-till-the-end, perennially-faithful even though you may wander through the fields of unfaithfulness via Lindt, Nestle, Baci and Haighs – the stayer of them all – Cadbury Dairy Milk.
Cadbury Dairy Milk per 100g:
- 2200 kg energy (hmm, these were called ‘kilojoules’ in the Lite bar)
- 29.5g fat
- 57.2g carbohydrates of which 55.8% are sugars
- Ingredients: full cream milk, sugar, cocoa butter, cocoa mass, milk solids, emulsifiers….
Alrighty then. So at least I could understand what I was eating – a good old honest serve of milk, sugar and cocoa butter with only about 0.2g more of fat than the ‘lite’ version. This had a much better taste but with more ‘carbs’ and made me realise that the ‘lite’ version wasn’t a patch on the original – it was just being a pale imitation for the carbophobes still amongst us.
What’s wrong with carbs anyway? Hasn’t the anti-carb coalition-of-the-willing since admitted that there were no Carbs of Mass Destruction in our Dietary World, and that it was fats and sugars that were the main threats to our lives as we knew it? Well, I hope so – I’d much rather eat cocoa butter and sugar than isomalt and polydextrose.