October 23rd: Whoppers The Original Malted Milk Balls

Kcal 180 Fat 7.0g Fat(sats) 7.0g Carbs 31.0g (per 41.0g - 18 pieces)

Maltesers are insanely popular here in the UK, so given the opportunity to review the US equivalents by *I SHOP 4 YOU II* I could only oblige. Produced by Hershey, these 'Whoppers' took the same premise as Maltesers - 'milk chocolate-coated malt balls'. Maltesers are often enjoyed as a lighter chocolate alternative - despite 'Whoppers' containing less fat per portion compared to Maltesers, I was initially surprised to see that all 7.0g were in fact saturated fat ... I was less so when I spotted hydrogenated palm kernel oil listed as the second highest ingredient.

*I SHOP 4 YOU II* sent me a large box of 141g, which lasted me the suggested three servings ... none of which were entirely satisfying. I was disappointed somewhat with the presentation of the product, the Whoppers were loosely rolling around inside the cardboard box with no inner packaging whatsoever. This meant that the chocolates lacked freshness in both their smell and appearance. They offered almost entirely nothing in terms of an aroma, just a very minor sweet smell that struggled to overcome the smell of the cardboard. The 'Whoppers' when cross-sectioned looked relatively pleasant but this did not excuse the dull, blemished surfaces.

Despite the similarities in their physical attributes with Maltesers, these Whoppers had a pretty different taste. The texture and flavour of the chocolate coating was by all means very poor. It had a waxy texture that was slow to melt, it almost felt like the chocolate had a waxy benign skin to it - yuck. The taste wasn't all that much better either, for chocolate they were distinctly lacking in cocoa flavour - they offered a minor milky flavour though it was largely forgettable as it was dominated by the malt centre. I still can't quite make my mind up whether I prefer the malted centres of Maltesers or these Whoppers. The centres of these Whoppers had a more substantial feel about them, and even had a small chewiness once the honeycomb consistency had melted. The malt flavour was strong, and lasted longer in the mouth - though the overall taste had a far sweeter edge to it than Maltesers .... it was if someone had added a tiny bit of unnecessary brown sugar to each piece, which wasn't entirely preferable. Despite their still rather light nature, a serving sized portion did become monotonous and somewhat sickly.

it has to be said that these Whoppers pale in comparison to Maltesers, which are by far the superior product out of the two. Despite at their core having a fairly well established malt flavour, in almost every other criteria Maltesers are the better product. The packaging of the Whoppers was poor, with very little thought given to the long term fresh keeping of the product. Simply letting them loosely roll around the cardboard box was never going to do a job in this respect. The milk chocolate coating was also by and large disappointing, it had a horrible waxy texture, and it's flavours were lifeless and unsubstantial. These are a product that I would in no way recommend unless you genuinely interested in making the comparison for yourself - quite frankly a poor effort.

5.6 out of 10

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