‘It’s the way that it shatters that matters’ is the traditional catch-phrase for this famous Australian bar which has been around since 1913. ‘Violet’ was the inventor’s wife’s favourite flower, and the ‘crumble’ was the honeycomb.
Apparently Mr Hoadley found that the best way of preventing his honeycomb from becoming soggy was to dip it in chocolate (now if we could only persuade the makers of popcorn, corn-chips and cup cakes to do the same……). Since then, they have been one of Australia’s most popular chocolate bars: in the 1980s, ‘our’ ** Olivia Newton John even sold them from her Malibu-based, Aussie-themed ‘Koala Blue’ shop.
No doubt you’ll be imagining that, as a proud Aussie, I’ll now start raving about this ‘classic icon’ of a bar and how poor your Right-Way-Up (as opposed to ‘Down Under’) lives are for not having any.
Nope, I can’t do it. The good old Cadbury Crunchie quite easily gives Violet Crumble the Chocolate Chomping Championship Titles butt kicking to end all butt kickings.
When you first bite into a VC it is reminiscent of trying to sink your teeth into a teacher’s blackboard – very chalky and about as orally pleasant as aurally hearing someone’s fingernails rake across the surface. Usually my first reaction on biting into one (sadly, yes, every twelve months or so I find myself eating another one to keep reminding myself as to why I dislike them so much) is to automatically spit it back out, saying “YUCK – I’d rather chomp a chalk stick.”
Also, the instant crackle to melt-on-your-tongue sweetness that is the attraction of the Cadbury’s Crunchie is sadly lacking in the Violet Crumble. Instead, it has a much denser texture that doesn’t dissolve but needs to be thoroughly chewed until it congeals into sticky, yellow strands that then annoyingly stick in your teeth and, once eaten, coat your teeth in furry plaque. Not too romantic when trying for a quick snog at the movies. My advice is to avoid them at all costs – get a Crunchie and go crazy.
It therefore doesn’t surprise me to find out that Hoadleys (and in this era of company takeovers – Nestlé) apparently sweep the floors for broken pieces of Violet Crumble and set them in cute little molds and sell them as ‘Bertie Beetles’ at agricultural and side-shows around the country. They actually taste much better this way and are also much cheaper.
** We can’t really claim that she’s an Aussie; it’s just our tendency to do so when foreigners become famous (ie Crowded House and Russell Crowe are from New Zealand). Livvy-babes was raised in England until her early teens; moved to Oz and became fairly well-known only to move to the US at the height of her ‘Grease’ fame and happily settled there in her slide into obscurity. These days she only bothers to visit Australia for the occasional well-paid appearance at a royal variety performance or ‘Carols by Candlelight’ concert.