Red Tulip chocolates were founded in 1949 but have since been acquired by Cadbury Schweppes. Despite this, they are still regarded fondly by most Aussies and still considered to be a separate identity because we all have memories of just how delicious our Red Tulip Easter Bunnies tasted every year.
I was interested to find out if the long-held belief that “Red Tulip makes the best Easter chocolate compared to cheaper brands” was holding up. As such, I found the classic ‘Elegant Rabbit’ which has been in the same, slightly daggy, foil wrapping for my entire life. It literally rules the chocolate shelves in the months leading up to Easter and is obviously the biggest seller. As you can see from the photo, I also tend to subscribe to the foolish notion that chocolate, immediately followed by fruit (grapes in this case) implies that the goodness of the fruit has cancelled out any of the evils of the chocolate, thus meaning that nothing has been eaten. My scales do not yet support this theory.
Cheapie Easter choccies come and go, but Heritage has been a brand associated with ‘bargain buys’ for the past few years and seems to be a stayer in the market. I had one friend who disliked her super-sized Heritage egg so much that she left it in her room, only to be discovered by her not-so-fussy Alsatian a few hours later. Wired to the eyeballs and frothing at the mouth, he left dozens of slimy brown vomits throughout the house before they could catch him and take him to the vet. Unsurprisingly, Helen’s been a tad reluctant to try them again.
Time to compare the ingredients.
Red Tulip: 30% cocoa solids, normal-sounding ingredients, 24.6% fat.
Heritage: 24% cocoa solids and not-so-tasty ingredients that include vegetable fat and whey powder. 28.8% fat.
Here’s the taste test surprise though: Heritage tasted significantly better. Red Tulip was too sweet and sickly – and that’s something coming from a reviewer who has been known to eat six Cadbury Creme Eggs in an afternoon – and trust me, I ate two rabbits to make sure! Heritage tasted creamier, smoother and finer. The sad thing is that it doesn’t have the cachet of Red Tulip. Perhaps people could buy the loose eggs and remove them from their labeled bag and thus enjoy them without stigma or unfair pre-judgments.