Easter is nearly here, and the island is blossoming with beautiful spring vibes. For this year’s Easter snack stash pick, a unique choco-licious adventure from Aotearoa (New Zealand) popped into my life – literally. It all began in a trip to the supermarket.
My previous adventure of munching on a chocolate-popping candy collab was in Brisbane, Australia a few years ago. I remember grabbing a fantastical-looking block of chocolate from Cadbury’s Aussie-made Marvellous Creations range during my browse at the chocolate aisle in the Woolworths supermarket on Queen Street.
Fast forward to a recent shopping trip here in the Lion City, I experienced a mini foodie throwback. Walking along the chocolate section during a grocery run, I was drawn to a wonderfully-designed package that contained popping candy-filled chocolate. And it is made in the Southern Hemisphere. These were clear signs from the food universe… I had to get the chocolate!
Made in New Zealand by Whittaker’s (a notable Kiwi chocolate brand), tweats is essentially mini chocolate slabs that come with cute designs of animals that are native to New Zealand. While it is available all year round, the tweats’ package brings spring vibes with the illustrations of eggs, adorable baby birds and flowers. As such, they fit perfectly in the spring/Easter edition of my snack stash.
Looking at the wrappers’ egg illustrations, I felt like I was about to open candy/chocolate eggs from an Easter egg hunt, but in the form of rectangles rather than egg-shaped goodies. I was also feeling festive as one of my chocolate-loving family members joined me in revealing and eating the tweats!
This chocolate experience is like no other. Even though all the designs in the tweats range are featured on the package, it is actually a ‘mystery’ package! This means the only way to find out which designs are actually sitting inside this bag of tweats is by unwrapping each of the 12 mini slabs! And that’s not the only twist to the tweats.
Although 5 little birds are featured on the front of the package, the chocolate plot thickens: a 6th character is featured as well… it’s a lizard-looking creature called tuatara! This little fact was unlocked when I read the list of animals that I could potentially say “hello” to in my chocolate expedition.
Kia Ora, Team Tweats!
I have to admit – being a typical ‘big city’ person, I’m not the hugest animal kingdom enthusiast (especially when it comes to reptiles). However, I curiously stepped into my metaphoric trekking sleuthing boots to learn a little about the members of team tweats. Here are some of my favorite trivia:
- Penguin – A few species call New Zealand home, including the smallest penguins in the world. The South Island is the place to be to wave at them in their natural habitats.
- Morepork – An owl that is considered a “watchful guardian” in the Māori culture.
- Kakapo – A quirky-looking, green-colored flightless parrot.
- Kiwi – Undeniably one of New Zealand’s most famous and beloved wildlife representatives. It’s a fluffy-looking flightless bird with a long beak.
- Moa – A bird category comprising of 9 species that became extinct roughly 5 centuries ago. It had some similarities with emus and ostriches.
- Tuatara – A reptile which is said to have a “third eye”.
After getting to know them a little more, I was hoping to see all 6 of these lovable characters at least once for a complete chocolate collection. Are all of them going to appear? Or is anyone ‘missing’ from the pack? Let’s find out!
The Grand Chocolate Reveal
The total tally is… drum roll, please… 5 out of 6 animals! Except for the kakapo, all of the creatures on the list made their highly-anticipated presence to my chocolate-munching sessions. Some appeared twice, and others thrice.
The definitions in the tweats’ designs are absolutely amazing. All of the finer details are accentuated, particularly because the creatures “pop out” from their respective chocolate slabs in a 3D-ish fashion. They sort of look like they are posing for my camera!
Speaking of pops, peeks of popping candy are visible in the slabs. To me, this visual component is reminiscent of coconut-filled milk chocolates – in fact, it reminds me of Whittaker’s coconut-filled milk chocolate slabs I tasted some time ago. As much as I wanted to continue admiring the slabs, my inner chocoholic was eager to experience the flavors.
After dissecting one of the thick mini chocolate slabs (sorry, penguin!), I realized that the larger popping candy pieces inside the slab resemble both nuts and rice krispies. Admiring the choco-licious masterpiece through my camera, I couldn’t wait to take a bite!
The tweats’ chocolate base is Whittaker’s classic 33% milk chocolate, which is made with their 5 roll chocolate refiner. The cocoa notes and milk content in these decadent slabs have a fabulous balance. New Zealand chocolates’ flavor profiles are pretty close to Australian chocolates, and they are similar to British chocolates as well. The chocolate’s quality is lovely too.
Being true to its extravagant spirit, popping candy made its entrance in its usual attention-grabbing way by saying “Greetings, chocoholic!”.
The crispy candy bits began popping when they dissolved in the biting and munching stages. This element almost reminds me of crunchy candy egg shells. I guess this is one of the reasons behind the idea of adding this element to the chocolate for the tweats.
The popping candy tastes like regular sugar candy to my taste buds, and it works well with the rich milk chocolate. Rather than hogging the spotlight, it shares the stage with the chocolate. Plus, the popping sensation adds a fun textural contrast to the creamy and smooth chocolate.
All in all, I had fun in this chocolate adventure – from the excitement of unveiling each slab, to enjoying the flavors, and feeling the spring and Easter vibes.
Have a blessed Easter, dear friends!