Wednesday, August 19, 2020

SNACK CRATE CANADA: Mackintosh's Creamy Toffee (Guest Review!)

This is the first review in a one-off bonus series covering the items in a Snack Crate subscription box, which found its way to my parent's mailbox. For more details on this, check out the introductory post.

I swear I took my own picture of this, but alas, here's a stock photo because I apparently didn't.
Here's a little something that's not really at all in my wheelhouse, but let's have a go of it anyway, shall we? After all, it's there.

When I think of toffee, I always think of a “Heath” or “Skor” bar, with the hardened toffee providing ample crunch. I've also seen it offered in markets, usually done up with nuts or other “toppings”. I don't know if it's just a cultural variant or what, but McKenzie's is just a thin, plain “slab” of the stuff, with no other flavors or toppings whatsoever.

My wife would probably actually be a better person to review this, as she likes toffee more than I do, and she's the one that ate virtually the entire thing, leaving me just one small piece just to sample. The texture of this “bar” is more akin to taffy, with the package containing a thin, rectangular, caramel-colored rectangle of the stuff. For starters, this shit is hard as a rock right out of the packaging—she actually found that sitting on it for a few minutes helped soften it up to improve the experience. It was still pretty hard, but not so bad that every bite threatened to snap her teeth into small pieces.

Also similar to taffy, the pieces are incredibly chewy; I would imagine it would be much more preferable to suck on it for a while to loosen it up a bit more before you go crazy chomping it down. That's what I did, which allowed the flavor to seep out; even the small piece I was allotted lasted for a good two or three minutes before I even felt like it was okay to start chewing. Again, this isn't a texture I'm particularly fond of, and I certainly wasn't crazy about it here, either, although my taffy-loving wife enjoyed it a lot, likening the flavor to “what caramel should be”, instead of the soft, stringy kind found in most candy bars.

Personally, I found it to be pretty standard for this type of thing, with a taste that's strongly reminiscent of Werther's Original, or a similar candy you might find in a nursing home lobby (indeed, the creation process for butterscotch, caramel, and toffee are all pretty similar, which would explain the similar taste between all three). My wife, on the other hand, loved its creaminess, rich flavor, and chewy texture, downing almost the entire bar before I even knew she had opened it (which, in the interest of full disclosure, took me about three days to notice). So in other words, if you prefer this kind of “toffee” (which my wife considers to be closer to a “caramel” than the typical definition of “toffee”) to the crunchier English or American versions, you'll more than likely find as much here to like as my wife did.

Note that I'm omitting my own score due to my complete indifference to the overall product itself.

WIFE'S RATING: 7.5/10. It's not something I care for, but my wife loved the creamy richness of the plain toffee slab. She noted it was too hard right out of the packaging, leading her to sit on it for a few minutes, which she found "loosened" it up enough to make it a tad bit softer and easier to chew. I thought the flavor was similar to butterscotch candies that you'd find in a nursing home lobby, but she liked it, and thought it was a good example of what she considers to be "real caramel" (indeed, the creation process for butterscotch, caramel, and toffee are all so similar that they seem to be almost interchangeable). I'm sitting this one out due to indifference, so you'll just have to take my wife's word for it...and she's usually right, especially when it comes to sweets.

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