Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppes seem to be popping up everywhere at the moment. Simon recently found one in … and one has recently opened up near me in Brent Cross.
While it’s difficult to find out many solid details behind the chain, it is quite fun to see a modern take on the old fashioned sweet shop. Clearly it’s not authentic, but the bright colours and jars of sweets for sale by the
quarter 100g do bring back memories of the real thing.
As you can see, this 120g bag of “Maldon Salt Caramel” set me back £2.99. It’s basically a broken milk chocolate slab with milk chocolate and caramel buttons embedded in the surface.
Sounds good, until you notice that the chocolate seems to have had vast handfuls of salt pressed into it. We’re not talking about tiny hint of salt to bring out the flavour of the caramel. We’re talking shedfuls.
The result, as you might expect, is that the chocolate is entirely inedible. I have no idea why so much salt has been used, or why it’s just been heaped onto the surface of the bar. I can only assume the makers (apparently a company called “Daniel’s Delights”) heard the phrase “salted caramel” and took their best guess, without even tasting the finished product.
The silly thing is that if you do manage to scrape off the salt, the chocolate is passable. It’s 34% cocoa solids, and while not the best chocolate in the world, it’s by no means horrible. And the caramel buttons taste not unlike Hotel Chocolat’s version of caramel chocolate. It doesn’t need the salt at all.
I don’t know if the manufacturers meant it to taste this bad, or if they just have exceptionally poor quality control, but the only possible reason to buy it would be to feed it to the staff in the shop, just to watch them throw up.
I’m not holding out much hope for the chilli bar I bought…