Older readers may remember those iconic (and downright silly) ads for Cadbury’s Old Jamaica in the 70s and 80s. I remember it being a favourite of my mother at the time, but for some reason Cadbury discontinued it in the UK, only to resurrect it as a Bourneville offshoot with the associated lack of cocoa solids, loads of sugar, and some dodgy rum flavouring.
This particular (and potentially libellous) version is made by a company called Daniel’s Delights and is sold in Mr. Simm’s sweetshops and while it doesn’t boast any real rum, it does (thankfully) contain almost 54% cocoa solids, making it the chocolatiest (is that a word?) version to date. The other good news is that the raisins are plump, juicy and plentiful as well. The bar is glossy and dark, with a definite rum aroma which translates into a healthy alcohol kick when you taste it. The cocoa flavours are still there, albeit thoroughly mixed with the rum, and when you come across a raisin you’re immediately rewarded with an extra fruity taste and texture.
To my mind this is what ‘Old Jamaica’ should be like – plenty of chocolate, a decent slug of rum, and good quality raisins, but as you can see from the photo it didn’t come cheap, and at almost three pounds I’m not sure I’d be tracking this one down in a hurry. That said, if you have a friend or relative (perhaps your Mum?) who gets misty eyed with nostalgia for Old Jamaica but doesn’t like the new fangled ‘Bourneville’ version, then this is quite likely to put a big smile on their face(s). I’m not sure how widespread Mr. Simm’s Olde Sweet Shoppes are spread across the country (I bought mine in ipswich) but if you happen across one this is one of a variety of bars and chocolates that will probably make you feel, well, like a kid in a sweet shop(pe).