Monday, 7 June 2010

June 7th: Hershey's Heath

Kcal 210 Fat 13.0g Fat(sats) 7.0g Carbs 24.0g

As I reported a few weeks ago, my pals at Yankee Soda & Candy recently sent me package containing a whole variety of American sourced products for me to review for the site. One of the smaller, daintier products included in this selection was the Hershey's Heath, which came described as a 'milk chocolate English toffee bar'. In terms of comparator products, the Heath sits in a competitive part of the market, which is also inhabited by another Hershey's bar the SKOR (See HERE), and of course Kraft's Daim bar (See HERE). Having done some brief research via Google, and cutting a long story short - the Heath was first to market produced in 1921, with the SKOR coming in later in 1983. For a while the Heath bar directly competed with the SKOR, however in 1996 Hershey acquired a company called Leaf, which saw the integration of the Heath in to their portfolio.

History lessons now to one side, this bar in a 39.0g which is the same size as the SKOR, but significantly bigger than the average Daim bar we get here in the UK. In terms of the wrapper, I can see what Hershey are trying to do with the old school look, but personally I think the wrapper is teetering on looking dated rather than retro. US citizens may get more nostalgic pleasure from the design than us oblivious Brits!? - it would be good to hear some views from across the pond on this. Inside the bar cut a more appetising look, with the chocolate's clean, shiny complexion and the golden coloured inner toffee both looking nicely presented. Smell wise the bar didn't offer much aside from a standard set of sweet chocolate scents.

Apologies for constantly referring back to the SKOR and Daim bars, but comparisons were always going to be drawn given the similar propositions. In terms of the outer milk chocolate the layer was sweet and milky in taste, and melted at a decent pace and nice fluidity. Those of you wondering if there was any sense of the Hershey sour aftertaste lingering around, will feel comforted to know that there was nothing of the sort detectable, with the majority of the taste occupied by the generic sweet milk chocolate flavours. On the wrapper, the 'finest quality English toffee' was communicated as being on offer, but being an English lad I can tell you the centre was nothing like English toffee whatsoever. Toffee in the UK is normally more of a chewy, softer confection, but the lines between fudge, caramel and toffee are all so blurred nowadays I will resist a good old rant. Focusing more on what was, rather than what wasn't, the centre was actually pretty delicious so I can excuse the rather loose 'toffee' description. In comparison to the SKOR and Daim bars it had the same brittle texture, but was smoother to suck on, and had a more friendly, butter rooted caramel like set of flavours on offer. The less intense sweetness of these flavours, went nicely with the already quite sugary chocolate, which made consuming this bar in a single sitting a pretty easy and altogether satisfying task. As a little side note it was excellent after it had been left in the freezer for an hour or so - this made the toffee no more brittle, but the chocolate longer lasting in melt.

Overall if I had to pick a favourite out of all three big brand offerings I would have to go for this Heath bar. I think out of all three, it's balance in relation to both flavours and textures are superior to the other two, and with a little smartening up of the packaging and presentation it could really be up there as one of the better mass produced chocolates from the US. In terms of superior textures, the melt of the chocolate was better paced and smoother compared to what I can remember about the SKOR bar, whilst the inner toffee brittle thankfully didn't have the same roughness as the Daim. In terms of chocolate quality, it has to be said I would be very hard pushed to pick a favourite between all three as all of them offer pretty much the same experience. However, when it comes to the toffee filling, for me the Heath bar does manage to stand a little apart from the others with it's taste more rooted in butter and cream rather than the startling burnt sugar flavours offered by the other two. If you are fan of either the SKOR or Daim and haven't yet tried a Heath yet, I recommend you do so in the near future. You could well have a new favourite on your hands.

7.6 out of 10


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