Wispa is one of those candy bars that have a huge following. Part of the reason (aside from it being tasty, of course) is that they’ve been discontinued by Cadbury back in the 1990s, depriving fans of the bar who’ve eaten it since it’s introduction in 1983. This obviously causes lots of pining from fans. We all want what we can’t have. Since 2003 Cadbury has done many limited releases to bring back Wispa, but it wasn’t until 2007-2008 where Wispa has made a full comeback in the United Kingdom.
So what exactly is Wispa, especially to make such a fuss? Simply put, it’s an aerated milk chocolate bar.
I was expecting this to be like an Nestle Aero bar, but it’s not at all. Which is a good thing, since I’ve never really enjoyed Aero bars at all. SOmetime about the bubble and the format of that bar just robs it of flavor for me. I don’t like eating a chocolate bar and not taste much. It defeats the purpose.
Wisp is different. The shape is differentt, as it’s a thick rectangular block, like a candy bar, instead of a chocolate bar shape that an Aero is. When bitten into, Aero’s are light, crispy and messy. Wispa isn’t. The air bubbles are much smaller, so there’s none of that awkward crumbling. Instead the chocolate feels lighter, creamier, thicker…..now I understand what bubbles in chocolate should taste like. It’s really smooth and fudgy on the tongue. As for the flavor, it’s standard Cadbury diary milk. sweet, chocolatey, with that dry milk tang.
I like it a lot, and I can see why so many lamented it’s disappearance on candy shelves. Heck, I’m sad I can’t find it relatively easily in the US!
Rating: Will Buy Again
Links Wispa Website
I remembered tasting these at the Fancy Food Show last year and was immediately impressed. Traditional gummi bears never really caught me, as I found the flavors to be too bland. These were just the opposite, with bold flavors and interesting ingredients. I vowed to keep and eye out for them in stores, and a few months later I was rewarded for my persistence. I chose the Blueberry Acai flavor over the Green Tea one I found as well. Something about the deep color of these just appealed to me, and I knew I’d have fun photographing them.
Firstly, I think it’s cute how they refer to these as pandas and not bears. They’re adorable to look at with little nubbins for arms and legs and bulgy eyes.
The pandas are beautiful in their simplicity. The gummi texture is just as it should be: nice balance of soft and firm so you get a chew, but nothing too hard so it isn’t a difficult task to separate a head. Yes, I do like to do that sometimes. The flavor is wonderfully bright and fruity. You taste the blueberry and it’s authentic, sweet, deep berry flavor with tart notes to it. I don’t know quite what acai tastes like, but I’m sure it’s in there.
I’ll be picking these up again when my extremely rare craving for gummi bears, er, pandas arise.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Bissingers Website
I was at the Fancy Food Show this past Sunday to see what’s the latest and greatest in the world of gourmet food. Even though I was there for all the chocolate and candy, you bet I was able to see and taste other things too. When I was there I met up withTina the Wandering Eater and along with TCE editor Chris, we walked the floor to bring you what’s tasty and noteworthy.
The Tea Room is, I’m guessing, a new chocolate company that’s making tea infusions in chocolate bars. Each bar has a full cup of tea in it! They have a chamomile white chocolate, which is something I’ve been waiting to see for years now. I tried their whole line and their chai and mint bars were impressive too. I can’t wait to get my hands on these for an official review.
Ritter Sport is releasing their Waffle Bar here in the US. It’s awesome and I was so excited to see it and finally try it.
Taza has a new yerba mate tablet that was really quite nice. It has a nice herbal taste to it that balanced the very fruity qualities of their chocolate.
Guittard has a new line of baking chips. I can’t wait to find them and use them for cookies.
Chimes is a company I’ve only discovered in the past few months. They make ginger chews that are very lovely. I’ve been a big fan of their peanut butter ones, but this year they’ve added and orange and mango flavor to the line. They’re both stellar.
Bissinger’s has some new gummi bears. One is guava and the other grapefruit, both of which I am just smitten with. They also made a pumpkin chocolate bar, which is a marriage of my two favorite foodie things in the whole world. Eee, exciting! I also tried their Olive Oil Truffle and their Porchini Mushroom Truffle, both of which are amazing.
Chuao Chocolatier has a new panko salt bar which was really stellar.
Berkshire Bark, which is something I admit I’ve sort of neglected in stores, has a white chocolate lemon ginger bar in their line and I was very impressed with it.
Of course Amano has some new bars which are great, two new milks and a new 70%, all of which I’ll review soon. Askinosie has a new 52% Dark Milk which was great from the sample I tried.
I saw some familiar favorites too. Koeze was there with their cream nut’s, which are very nice and I’ve reviewed here before. I first found
those when I met you at DiBruno’s. I also love Figamajigs.
Figs+chocolate=love for me. Ezca was also there with a bunch of new bars, some of which were milk bars using goat’s milk. All were very tasty.
I also saw a few other things like Bonnat’s oldest plantation chocolate bar, some paprika marzipan and lots of bacon in various forms from brittle to chocolate bars to mayonnaise.
I wish I had more than just Sunday to spend at the show, as there were plenty of companies on my “must visit” list that I didn’t make it to. Ah, next year, right?
To sum up Meiji Marble in a concise way is to call them the Japanese M&Ms. They’re little chocolate pastilles covered with a colorful candy shell. I usually see them sold in single tubes, which I think is a nice packaging idea. I’ve also seen them sold in little boxes, often in different flavors. Marble has a cute little set of mascots, as do most Japanese candies, and a little cartoon pup is what I spot most. I wonder if he has a name.
Popping open the tube the Marble pieces pour out with a nice full sound. All the colors are matte and desaturated. The come in pink, yellow, powder blue, olive green orange and red. Individually they are pretty, but together the feel like a poorly chosen rainbow, as the colors feel mismatched.
The chocolate is sweet and milky, but the overall sense I get is of fake hot cocoa. There’s not depth to the flavor, and all I get is a tease of chocolate wanna-be tastes, then a big throat burn from the sweetness.
The flavors of the Marbles are inconsistent. Some of them taste bland, others of chocolate, and some taste oddly of coffee. The textures were all over the charts too. Many felt greasy while others were perfectly smooth and rich feeling on my tongue. This certainly made for an interesting eating experience, I never quite knew what I was going to get.
These are no replacement for M&Ms, especially since Marble end up being more expensive because of the import costs. Still, if I can find them in the rarer flavors, such a the fruit varieties, I’ll fork over for them. But if we’re talking the regular chocolate kind, I’ll keep to the better and more domestic choice.
Rating: Will Eat Again
Links Meiji Website
Wow, can you believe it’s already been a year? I sure can’t!
I want to thank all my readers, whether they’ve stopped by just for a glance to those who regularly check back everyday. This blog is all for you.
I’ve been thinking for some time and I am going to change things around here a little bit. I’m going to start posting on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from now on. I need to start making room for other things in my life, and it’s gotten to a point that even though I love writing here on TCE, I feel a need to cut back a little to make room for new shifts in priorities off the internet.
As always I’m open to your suggestions, comments, and stories. You can email me at sera(at)thecandyenthusiast.com
Thank you again. Here’s to another successful year full of sweet things!
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