Brookside Dark Chocolate Coated Soft Fruit Flavoured Centres
My local Tesco is weird. It’s quite new, and I suspect the manager hasn’t lived or worked in this area before. The aisles are laid out in a bafflingly un-Tesco-like configuration. There is an outrageously large Japanese food section, that I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone stood at, in prime supermarket aisle real estate. A few weeks ago they reshuffled everything in a way that actually somehow made even less sense.
But in this reshuffle I spotted these. Naturally, not anywhere near the confectionary section, but by the biscuits.
I was immediately interested, then clocked the price – £3.40 per bag (195g contents). As a man raised in the North of England who spends a considerable amount of time around Yorkshire and Yorkshiremen due to my support of Sheffield Wednesday, this was enough to put me off instantly. Haribo cost a quid a bag or thereabouts, I like them, easy peasy. If I need chocolate, I like those mini-Boost things, again, quid a pack – Jurassic Park!
But on every visit I’d find myself in front of these, surrounded by a confusingly laid-out selection of sweet and savoury biscuits and inexplicably placed Eastern European pickled root vegetables, winking at me from the top shelf like Jo Guest in the mid-to-late 90s.
So a few weeks ago, nursing a mild hangover and with the rare promise of a night in with me, myself and I for company I took the plunge, spent dat paper, and bought dem sweets. I signed up for Netflix, started on the savoury snacks and pizza, and tuned into Stranger Things in preparation for the chocolatey denouement.
One evening, 7 episodes, and several thousand calories later, I’m delighted to report – these sweets are absolutely banging.
The chocolate is apparently 41% chocolate solids – not as much as I’d like in a bar, but certainly a lot darker than normal for this sort of sweet. They are kind of like a firm, fruity jelly sweet crossed with a milk chocolate raisin, after having sex with a bar of Green & Black’s.
Against my expectations, I found I preferred the slightly sweeter pomegranate ones. In truth though, the two complement each other nicely. I have no idea what acai is, and I suppose I should google that.
After posting on Facebook, it became apparent that these are a Canadian/American standard, which makes sense as Tesco has in recent years made a point of having an American section, full of Twinkies, Lucky Charms, and so on. The price presumably reflects the import cost and scarcity in the UK.
Since starting writing this piece, Tesco have slashed the price to £2.50 a bag in an offer (and so I naturally bought 6 bags, and keep having unfortunate incidents after midnight that undermine my efforts in the gym), although it’s not clear whether that’s a temporary measure to shift remaining stock that isn’t selling, or an attempt to drum up a fanbase, or what.
But I am basically addicted to these now. Highly recommended.