They surf. They drink chilled lager. They make kooky films about dancing and loneliness. They barbecue. Ok there's a lot of intra-familial strife (according to this documentary I've been watching called 'Home and Away'), but even their animals have built-in pockets. Now THAT's casual. But what of their snacking items - does the Antipodean pioneer spirit prevail, or is their thinking just upside-down?
In practice, they're ok - malty, in a sawdusty kind of way, and only slightly sweet. They’re very hard, so it’s difficult to extract very much flavour. Sucking three at once under the ISWHIWHTOAO principle ('if something's worth having it's worth having three of at once'), you get more malty hot choc goodness.
They're strangely moreish (not moorish as every food website says), though I can't quite see how they can 'Make Every Lunchbox FUN!'.
It's ok, guys, rationing's over - the sugar boat comes regularly now. 2/5
When I say that the best section was the caramel, which tasted exactly like Cadbury Caramel, you’ll understand that this variety bar was no great shakes. Presumably invented as a way to use up all the Roses nobody likes?
Three of the fillings were generic fruit sludge. One was pineapple – the other two I have no idea.
The Turkish delight section was the second best, but 90% neutered from its heavily perfumed ideal. Online reviews have rated this bar very highly. Bogans. 1/5
'How do you eat your Pascall Clinkers Confectionery?' asks the packet with boisterous Aussie cheer. "What game do you play?" I have no idea. This is clearly some Down Under culture that hasn't migrated.
These smell of Maltesers and chocolate icing, yet are shaped like sugared almonds. I'm surprised by the texture - the outside chocolate is soft, but the inside is like dense Crunchie or Edinburgh rock. My first one is green and has no flavour whatsoever apart from sugar. My second, also green. If you crunch it up all at once there's a whisper of medical mint, but as someone who prefers to savour hard sweets, it's disappointing to get no reward from sucking it. The pink one is definitely raspberry and with a strong artificial flavour - quite good, really. The yellow is banana.
I'm a fan of textural variety, so these score higher accordingly - but I can't really see the point of them. 2/5
Chocolate jelly babies
This huge bag of Chicos 'choc flavoured babies' smells strongly boozy, like Mozart liqueur - maybe that's just chemicals. It's not a sweet aroma, more like roasted coffee beans or dark chocolate sauce, with a backnote of Marmite.
The little human figures look like the nicer jelly babies you get, more elongated and with detailing on the face. These even have moulded hair. But the dark colour and bashed about face turn them into sinister Voodoo effigies. And that unholy smell … Well, the bag does claim 'Quality favourites since 1891' - the Victorians had a high tolerance of the disturbing.
In texture, they're like liquorice. And – oh dear - taste incredibly chemical, like floor scourer with cough mixture with liquorice with mud, which is a lunatic flavour for a sweet. On further sucking they're a bit more chocolatey, but the sort of 'chocolate' you get in ultra-budget cake. All filler and no cocoa.
I want to like these, I really do, but even I'm not that mad. Yik. 1/5
Note: an average of 1.5 - what's going on, Australia?