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Kinder Surprise: The Hidden Surprise Heston Did Not Think Of!

 

It’s Easter – a time for all things chocolate and egg-shaped! As there were four of us kids when we were growing up, you couldn’t move in our house for all the Easter eggs that were cluttering up our house. But of course they would never last long because we could easily demolish that bumper supply in record time! I look around now and how much chocolate do we have? One chocolate bunny and four mini eggs which have barely been touched. I must be getting old!

But just last week a colleague inadvertently brought up another childhood memory of the egg-shaped variety when he mentioned that he had bought a pack of Kinder Bueno to snack on. I immediately thought back to when sis and I were at infant school and Dad would always come home with a Kinder Surprise for us. At first it was just the one but it soon became obvious that we were not going to share, so Dad eventually saw sense and would buy us one each.

Kinder Surprise – the stuff little kids dreams are made of! First made in Italy in 1973 by Ferrero, A Kinder Surprise is a hollow egg-shaped chocolate shell, about the same size as a regular egg. The shell is made up of two types of chocolate – scrummy milk chocolate on the outside and delicious white chocolate inside.

The two halves of the egg are fused together so it looks like a whole egg but with a little light pressure, the egg will split to reveal the hidden surprise – a plastic capsule which contains a small toy which is usually made of plastic and usually needs assembling. And in case you haven’t guessed, it’s primarily meant for kids!

But that didn’t stop me from heading out to the supermarket in search of this forgotten gem. Unlike a lot of things from my childhood, Kinder Surprise has not been obliterated and it is still very much alive and well! I picked up one for me and Hubby – and was amazed when on presenting it to him, he had absolutely no idea what it was!

 

I later found out that this is because the sale of Kinder eggs in the States was prohibited due to a 1938 act banned the sale of sweets which had a toy or trinket in it. This was further enforced in 2012 as the toy part was considered a hazard for small children. So poor Hubby missed out as a child! Not that he was particularly impressed with it now – it was me who was jumping up and down all excited!

I don’t believe it’s changed very much since I was a child. The foil wrapper still uses the same colours. The only difference being that my wrapper contained an image of a Disney princess thus giving a clue as to what was inside. Also the plastic capsule is no longer in two parts. Instead it is now a single piece of plastic with a hinge on one side – and extremely difficult to open!

I thoroughly enjoyed my little trip down memory lane. I even took the Cinderella figure I’d assembled in to work the next day and was asked when I was going to turn twelve!

“Don’t you mean six?” laughed another colleague.
“Oh my gosh, is that thing plastic?” asked another colleague as he examined the figure before shaking his head and walking off. Well I’m sorry but Kinder Surprise have yet to include miniature Royal Doulton figures in their toy capsules!

And six years old or not – I’ll most definitely be buying them again!

 

 

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Walnut Whips: A Childhood Classic!

I was shocked when a friend revealed that she’d never before  heard of a Walnut Whip! She’s definitely old enough to remember them but even when I described them to her she still didn’t know what I was talking about. Oh dear girl, where have you been all these years????

True, they’re not as common as they once were and from checking out the  forums, I can see that it is a common misconception among Nestlé’s Walnut Whip fans that they no longer exist and have found a place in choccy heaven. Thankfully, this isn’t so as they do still exist but admittedly they are unfortunately not as readily available as they once were. It’s a question of hunting for them – but they can be found. Supermarkets tend to stock up on Nestlé’s Walnut whips around Christmas time where they can be bought in packs of six. If you can’t wait until Christmas – and who could blame you – that other great British institution Marks and Spencer’s have their own brand of Walnut whips which are readily available throughout the year. In fact this year celebrates fifty years since M&S launched the walnut whips in their stores.

 

Walnut whips were definitely a childhood treat when we were growing up in the 1980s and they bring back memories. As business owners, my parents had access to wholesale suppliers and were able to buy Walnut Whips at trade cost – which meant that our fridge was packed full of chocolaty goodness! I really don’t think Mum had space for much else. I dread to think how many my sister and I used to get through each day. You’d think we’d be sick of them by now seeing as we’d had enough to last us a lifetime.

 

Originally launched in 1910 by Duncan’s of Edinburgh, Walnut Whip is now produced by Nestle. It consists of hollow whirl-shaped milk chocolate cone filled with a delicious soft, marshmallow-like, whipped, vanilla fondant cream filling, topped with… a walnut! I’m clearly not as old as I thought I was because apparently there also used to be a walnut actually inside the cone. Eventually the walnut piece inside the chocolate was removed, leaving the one nut that topped the cone – which is the only walnut piece I remember!

 

 

The Whip has undergone a few transformations over the years including the ridging on the surface of the cone; and the texture of the filling which was supposed to have been more dense, and I think I vaguely remember this. Another thing I recall is that the packaging – even though it was still blue – wasn’t the same shiny, metallic wrapper we see today. Furthermore, I’m sure it was a darker shade of blue too. I also remember that the Whip used to be perched on a thin card base inside the blue wrapper – and for reasons I cannot understand why, I was quite taken with the card base! I was a very strange child…

 

 

Over the years, Nestle  have produced a few different flavoured fondant fillings but it is the vanilla one which still prevails today. As part of their fiftieth anniversary celebrations, Marks and Spencer’s have also brought out other flavours such as  mint and an assorted box containing one toffee pecan, one double chocolate and an original flavour. However I really don’t think that anything can ever be as good as the original vanilla flavour… although I do look forward to testing out my theory!

 

 

 

In our house, Christmas is not complete unless we had a few boxes of Nestlé’s Walnut Whips in the cupboard. And it had to be Nestlé’s because of the distinctive blue packaging. Anything else just wouldn’t be the same.

Roll on Christmas!

 

 

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