October 31st: Quality Street: My Caramel Swirl / Purple Big One / Green Triangle

It has been a long time since I have had any form of Quality Street, but from what I can remember there were always ones that disappeared from the tin far quicker than others. It seems everyone has their favourite, and Nestle think they are the 'Caramel Swirl', 'Purple Big One' and 'Green Triangle' pieces .... so what have Nestle done!?? Well made them in a grander form that's what! Under recommendation of reader Simon, I decided to give each of them a look at.

My Caramel Swirl:  

Kcal 186 Fat 9.5g Fat(sats) 5.7g Carbs 23.6g

Described as 'milk chocolate with a soft caramel centre',  this was the one I was looking forward to most. It looked impressive in stature and had a relatively dense heavy feel. When cross-sectioned the amount of caramel did look very impressive and had a nice pleasant looking golden appearance. The product didn't offer the greatest of smells, only a relatively low-key sweet smell could be detected.

The milk chocolate was pretty standard Nestle quality. It was by no means of the highest quality, and had little more than a reasonable sweet, milky taste. The caramel centre was not of the highest quality either, it had a relatively pleasant buttery taste, however lacked the real definition of flavours in comparison to the better quality caramels (Cadbury / Galaxy). The texture of the chocolate was partially grainy, though the smooth, chewiness of the caramel made the filling feel very soft in the mouth. The sweetness of the product meant that overall this was a relatively fulfilling snack.

Overall this was by far not the greatest milk chocolate / caramel combination I have tasted, but it was relatively pleasant nonetheless. If I were in need of chocolaty caramel flavour hit this wouldn't be the first product I would seek out, but I would probably settle for it nonetheless.

7.4 out of 10

My Purple Big One
Kcal 190 Fat 9.9g Fat(sats) 5.2g Carbs 23.4g

Is it me or does this name sound rather suggestive :) ... hmmm ok just me!! This 'Purple Big One' came billed as 'milk chocolate, with hazelnuts in a caramel centre'. 

Although I didn't care too much for the shape of this variant, when bitten into it looked pretty appetising. Again the golden caramel looked plentiful, and the added whole hazelnut pieces also looked quite enticing, all this to an extent made up for the clumsy design. The product smelt exactly the same as the Caramel Swirl, with no indication of the nut content at this point whatsoever.

The product not only smelt like the Caramel Swirl, but by and large tasted like it as well, though it must be said the hazelnuts did add a little something extra. The sweetness of the milk chocolate and caramel combination as described above was broken up somewhat by the savoury flavours of the nuts. In my 'Big Purple One' I got three whole hazelnuts, which made relative sense given I ate the piece in three bites. This meant each bite had an additional woody, nutty flavour that was delivered with a relatively fresh crunch. Again relative to its size it was a pretty fulfilling snack.

Overall your preference to this over the Caramel Swirl will be down to whether you enjoy hazelnuts. Personally I do, and I enjoyed the taste of the product that little bit more with the extra nutty element. By my reckoning the best out the bunch, but in my opinion a poor mans take on the Cadbury 'Nuts about Caramel'.

7.7 out of 10 

My Green Triangle:
Kcal 187 Fat 10.7g Fat(sats) 5.6g Carbs 20.7g

My Green Triangle constitutes of 'milk chocolate with a nut praline centre'. The Praline market is one that is generally a focus of the more prestigious brands, and having tried some pretty good offerings from the likes of Guylian and Ritter Sport I was quite curious to the quality this was going to deliver. 

The product had two main layers with the outer milk chocolate coating protecting the inner praline. As with the other two offerings, the milk chocolate offered the same distinctly average sweet, milky flavours. The praline centre had quite a thick, dense texture that I wasn't overly keen on, I would have much preferred the textures to have been a tad softer. Flavourwise it was also largely disappointing, the hazelnut flavours were there but just didn't really establish themselves. The lasting taste I was left with was the sweet chocolate, which was all a bit lacklustre. This was the most unfulfilling out from the three.

Overall I am not quite sure why Nestle would make one of their focus 'Big Ones' a praline offering. It was pretty obvious it was never going to meet the standard of the better offerings from the market, it wasn't necessarily poor, but as far as pralines go it was sub-standard. Add the fact the milk chocolate was hardly dazzling, it didn't take me long to come to the conclusion this was the worse of the lot.

6.3 out 10

Despite not being entirely enamored by any out of the three, I have safely come to the conclusion that the 'Big Purple One' is the best out of the lot. One thing really puzzles me with this range, and it is the question: 'when are these supposed to be eaten?'. Personally I would never choose one of these over a standard chocolate bar, but they are also to big to have as a one off small chocolate. Surely the appeal of the Quality Street brand is the fact they offer several 'okish' chocolates in one product ... why would you choose an average (or just slightly better) as a one off larger item??? I hope you know what I am getting at here, it would be great to hear some opinions on the matter.