Thursday, November 05, 2015
Sultanas Are Not Raisins
Yeah, it is a first world problem. Next.
There's one more thing to add to the list of beloved products ruined by American corporations-Cadbury Fruit and Nut Bar is the latest victim. My husband will be destroyed when he finds out-he practically survived on those through his teens and twenties.
The choice to use sultanas as a cost saving measure strikes me as odd since sultanas are more expensive than raisins in the US. In fact, they're getting difficult to find at all in my part of the country. I had to go to several stores before securing a few boxes to bake my Christmas cakes.
I do not believe for a moment that consumers, "Couldn't tell the difference." That's absurd. Sultanas are tart, raisins are not. they're larger, and the texture is harder. I don't know who these taste-bud-lacking consumers are, but surely they aren't lifelong lovers of the Cadbury Fruit and Nut Bar. I mean, they screwed with the creme egg, and now they've set their sights on the Fruit and Nut. As almonds were a nut I could eat as a child (my allergies were confined to cashews and pistachios), I consumed a fair number of those bars (the obscenely large ones that were intended for whole families but I wasn't a kid that liked to share). Obviously, my almond-consuming days are long over (we don't bring them in the house) but I still feel for generations of people that knew and loved the iconic sweet. You don't mess around with chocolate, and you certainly don't swap out sultanas for raisins. Shame, Cadbury (Kraft). Shame.
Cadbury was always a bit more expensive in the US, but it was worth it. Anyone that's ever bit into a Hershey Bar and got that awful sensation where it feels like your brain is constricting from the chalky chocolate and overdose of sugar can tell you that the Cadbury bars were worth the extra 15 cents, even on a child's allowance. Cadbury chocolate didn't taste like a combination of burnt powdered milk, and soured cheese. I had a friend from South Africa that took her first bite of a Hershey Bar, and spat it out thinking we were pulling a cruel schoolyard prank on her. In fact, I've only known two people that actually liked the Hershey bars-my husband's grandmother because she lived in Harrisburg PA and it was kind of the "local" brand they grew up with, and my dad because he washed it down with a cold bottle of Coca Cola. Miraculously, he never developed diabetes after indulging in this mid-day pick-me-up for over 75 years. Everyone else though, they know enough to steer clear of the stuff.
Kraft has long since stopped being solely a cheese manufacturer, and like many large corporations has branched out into other areas. I am not a fan of processed cheese, but I can't hold that against Kraft. They do make some very good cheese that isn't individually wrapped in cellophane.They also manufacture excellent marshmallows (harder than it sounds) and boxes of macaroni cheese that provided many a midnight snack whilst I was pregnant. I suppose that's why it is so disappointing that they took control of such a well loved company, and proceeded to change what people loved about it. Just as I happily handed over the extra fifteen cents as a youngster for a better product, I really believe that Cadbury consumers would rather pay a bit more for an unchanged, quality product than these sad substitutions being passed off on the public under the same name. The Creme Eggs are Easter for many people, just as consuming a gigantic Fruit and Nut bar in your formative years when the calories don't count is a rite of passage. Once those days are over, and the sweets become a rare treat, you don't want to take a bite and find a sultana where a raisin ought to be.
Yes, you can make a very good version of Fruit and Nut bars at home with quality chocolate, raisins, and nuts-but who wants to do that? Furthermore, who plans ahead for a chocolate bar, the very definition of an, "impulse buy?"
Just to be fair, I did a simple home-test to see if I could tell the difference between a raisin and a sultana. I'm sure you already know how it turned out. I can tell the difference between red and white wine as well. Go figure.
Since no one else will do it, I'll go ahead and apologise (apologize) on behalf of America for ruining the Cadbury Fruit and Nut Bar. Look at it this way, altering the chocolate was a mild version of what typically happens when Americans show up to change things. Just be glad we didn't try bringing you freedom and democracy.