Bad Bunnies..

I wrote this offline about a month ago and forgot about it…

Easter is coming up and I thought that just for fun I’d review some of the mass produced bunnies available in the local stores. It’s a little bit early but the local drug store already has two rows devoted to Easter candy.
Since it was early in  the season the premium bunnies were not out yet, nothing by Dove or even Hershey’s. There were only two different brands and I found the exact same bunnies at one of the local grocery stores.

I was working with a very small sample, and avoided the specialty bunnies like the peanut butter flavored ones because I knew those were not anywhere near real chocolate (more on peanut butter bunnies later).

As I made the purchases: cocoa beans were at a 30+ year high due to unrest and an embargo of Ivory Coast.  Cocoa beans are the source for all things truly chocolate: the cocoa butter plus chocolate liquor, cocoa power, chocolate mass.. it also goes by a few other names… but essentially the key ingredient in Milk or Dark chocolate (White chocolate has cocoa butter as the key ingredient).

I got 4 bunnies, three ‘fake’ and one real chocolate. What I didn’t take into account was that these were the low end of the market, and that was a real disappointment.

First a little background, as you can guess I know more than a little bit about chocolate, even as a kid I could taste the difference between real white chocolate and the fake stuff. Back then I didn’t know why that years bunny tasted so bad. A seven year old is not going to know why this years bunny isn’t good, but will remember that last years bunny was better. That was the case while I was growing up, some years mom would save some money and get a cheap bunny. Forty plus years later I still remember how bad some of those cheaper bunnies were. Back then white chocolate was not as popular or widely available as it is now, there were not even regulations on what could be called white chocolate.

Back in the good old days a foot tall bunny was not uncommon, it took days to get your way through it (none of the hollow stuff you see today), and I really liked white chocolate better, but there was another (very selfish reason): if any of the younger brothers had white chocolate on their faces (they all got milk chocolate bunnies): it was clobbering time, while the parents may steal the jelly beans: we all know no adult would take a kids (pre-licked to preserve ownership) bunny.. but a little brother.. they would try it once..

As I said before there were four bunnies for taste testing, and only one was true chocolate, but if you are looking for a taste test that would suggest any of them you will be misteaken.

That’s because they all were really.. really bad… even the chocolate one.

First bunny:

Not Yummy

Not Yummy

Let me be clear that I knew this was not real chocolate before the first bite, after all it didn’t say “chocolate” on the box: it said “Milk Flavored”..  The first taste of was of milk then vanilla, then very chalky, not as bad as a chalkboard eraser but close. It was hollow so it broke apart while eating, the walls were so thin that light shone through on half of it. The after tastes were not enjoyable.. actually it was so vile that I stopped tasting for the night… Just to be clear: I’m a sugar junky, I’ll eat a whole tray of my grandmas brownies (with extra chocolate marshmallow frosting) without any help or sharing. This “confection” (and I use the term lightly) was horrid. The remains of the bunny still sit on the table a few days later (just in case I need a reminder of how bad it was).. but its next stop is the trash.

Second Bunny:

Burnt Flavor

Burnt Flavor

Rather than risk another chance at eating more bunny droppings.. I decided to try the one that actually was real chocolate. I checked the ingredients list to make sure that it had the required ingredients (and it did.. ). I didn’t expect gourmet quality, frankly I expected generic candy bar quality.. again I was disappointed.  This bunny was the smallest of the four, and it started out with a slight fruity flavor, for a fraction of a second I was hopeful.. then it hit with an overwhelming burnt flavor.  I’m not going to sample this brand of bunnies from across the country to see if the problem is widespread.. but this bunny was made with burnt chocolate, a real disappointment.

Third bunny:

burnt vanilla flavored grease

burnt vanilla flavored grease

It was pretty obvious that this was not a real white chocolate bunny, after all “pastelle” is not a flavor: pastel is a color group. The short version of the taste test would be: burnt vanilla flavored grease, but it was still better than bunny #1. If I would have gotten this as a kid I would have thrown it back at mom (yes I was “that” kid), while it looks like white chocolate it’s a cheap substitute, you’d do better going to the local craft store and getting their fake chocolate.

Forth bunny:

nothing special

nothing special

At this point I had to make a batch of grandma’s brownies just to keep from getting depressed. So far every bunny had been worse than the worst Easter candy I had as a kid.  The fourth bunny was nothing special, close to what was expected, a mild chocolate flavor and a greasy after taste, no surprise: it was at least labeled “chocolate flavored”. I’d rather have a Hershey bar. At least it was not as bad as the others.

Just as a joke I picked up a foil wrapped snickers “egg”, it was better quality than all of the above. While the picture on the front of the foil pack showed a yellow egg, the inside was a snickers bar shaped like a half egg. The only thing I noticed between this and a normal snickers bar was that the peanuts were crushed into tiny pieces (a full sized peanut half would probably mess up the process). At least it met expectations, none of the bunnies did.

Later in the month the higher end bunnies will hit the shelves, but even then I’d suggest you avoid anything that is labeled “flavored”, “pastille”, or “chocolaty” (all fake chocolate) unless you want your child to throw it at you. (or leave it on the front seat of your car).

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