Ah, springtime. A time when young men's thoughts turn to the sweeter things in life, like milk chocolate molded eggs filled with white and yellow fondant, the world's tastiest faux embryo—the Cadbury Creme Egg. A snack I once held in the highest regard, though as of late our relationship has changed.
I must begin with an apology to our friends in the United Kingdom. Our U.S. Cadbury Creme Eggs, distributed by Hershey (much like the Nestlé Kit Kat), aren't the grand and glorious Cadbury Creme Eggs you are used to. They lack the strength of character and moral resolve. They are very much American.
And I must also send my condolences to Australia and New Zealand. Once lands ripe with fresh Creme Eggs, factory restructuring has led to the majority of their fondant-filled eggs to be imported from the UK, a process that leaves the normally runny filling stiff and sad. I can only imagine their pain.
They can no longer enjoy that supreme seasonal snack sensation the way I enjoyed it as a child, cracking them open and letting the filling slowly drip onto my face (it was meant to be my tongue, but I missed more often than not). It was sweetest, most innocent bukkake, wrapped in colorful foil and hidden within the plastic grass of a basket that had something to do with Jesus.
Since the Cadbury Creme Egg's named debut in 1971, several mutations have arisen as part of the normal marketing process. Some, like the vomit-inducing Giant Creme Egg, have faded from memory. Others, like the Chocolate Creme Egg, Mini Creme Egg and the Cadbury Caramel Egg, appear on store shelves around January of each years, riding the coattails of their famous cousin.
And lo, did I eat them.
The Cadbury Creme Egg Proper
I'm not sure the "proper" label can be applied anymore, at least not in North America.
It looks perfectly normal, brings back the same childhood memories of feeling vaguely sick around Easter time, but there's something just a tiny bit off about today's Cadbury Creme Eggs. They are smaller.
Before 2006, the average American Cadbury Creme Egg weighed 39 grams and contained 170 calories. Today's eggs weigh 34 grams and contain 150 calories. No big deal, right?
You are so wrong. So, so wrong. Seriously, why are you even here. Go take a class or something.
Sorry, I get passionate about this. You see, the original Cadbury Creme Egg was perfect. The perfect amount of chocolate. The perfect level of sweetness. Optimal fondant volume. They were crafted to be exactly the right amount of horrible crap. An Easter basket consisting of a single unit would be enough for a sensible child (there are no sensible children).
Lowering the size threw off that delicate balance. There's not quite enough chocolate. The tongue doesn't fit in the hollow as well as it used to, and the creamy payoff not nearly as satisfying.
I'm sure Cadbury would cite cost-cutting or perhaps even health concerns as reasons for the reduced size. I say that's bullshit. The real reason? Suddenly one Creme Egg isn't quite enough. Two is far too many, of course, but don't tell your stomach that. And hey, since it's cheaper to buy a four-pack you might-as-well do that. Next thing you know you're dead at the bottom of chocolate and fondant pit, and Hershey/Cadbury is pulling out your gold fillings with pliers. Devious. Borderline evil.
Mini Creme Eggs
Further confusing the size issue is the Mini Creme Egg.
A miracle of modern miniaturization, what's most impressive about the Mini Creme Egg is that the grand illusion remains intact despite its small stature. I wouldn't begrudge Cadbury for filling these tiny beasts with all yellow or all white, yet here we are, perfect.
The problem with these is that, with the exception of running out completely, there is no way to know when to stop eating them. There are words and numbers on the back of the package, but I could not tell you what those mystical symbols mean. For all I know they are a spell to get you to eat more Mini Creme Eggs.
To Cadbury's credit, they have managed to maintain the ratio of chocolate to fondant enjoyed by the regular Creme Egg, but the thinner chocolate and lighter filling just makes devouring an entire hen house's worth that much easier.
Chocolate Creme Eggs
I have no idea how these things are still being manufactured. They are horrible.
Purchase a container of the cheapest chocolate cake frosting you can find at the dollar store. Take a heaping spoonful and place it in your mouth. DO NOT SWALLOW OR CHEW YET. Now take big old bite of a chocolate bar. Top it off with a few squirts of Hersey's chocolate syrup. Now chew. That's the sensation of eating a Chocolate Creme Egg.
If I needed that particular combination—if I could not live without it—then I would die.
In summary, not a big fan.
Cadbury Caramel Egg
These are not Creme Eggs, but they are sold in the same section and I have to justify purchasing them, so here we are.
The Cadbury Caramel Egg might be the finest caramel delivery device known to man. It's like a glorious Caramello sphere, without the odd feeling that I'm taking a bite out of one of the Italian-American friends I had growing up on the outskirts of Philadelphia.
When I die, I want my casket filled with Cadbury's creamy caramel. I might have to go through a few dry runs first.
"Dry runs" probably wouldn't apply to that situation at all.
Despite attempts by Cadbury to sabotage its own greatness with strange sizes and questionable offshoots, the Cadbury Creme Egg remains one of my deepest and most abiding snack loves. It'll never be the same again, but every bite is filled with decades of fond(ant) memories.
Thanks for the candy baskets, Jesus!