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Candy Review: Purdy’s Chocolate Chewie Bar

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Purdy’s Chocolate Chewie

Around here, when you’re eating Thanksgiving dinner with your grandparents and someone passes around a box of chocolates, it’s likely to sport the familiar purple and gold wrapper of Purdy’s.

Purdy’s, which has been around since 1907, is a fixture in the provinces of Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. It’s one of those mid-range chocolate companies that’s definitely a cut above the likes of Hershey or Nestle, but isn’t selling single-origin curry-flavored bars for $12 apiece either. It’s upscale yet nonthreatening, the kind of chocolate that your average Joe is comfortable buying for a Christmas gift or a dinner party with the boss.

In addition to gift boxes and filled chocolates by the pound, Purdy’s also does a very nice selection of chocolate bars, at least one of which I can usually count on finding in my Christmas stocking or on top of a birthday gift. In my mind, Purdy’s chocolate is inextricably connected to special occasions, so it felt very extravagant to simply walk into the store and pick out something for myself. I settled on a half-remembered item from Christmas stockings past, the Chocolate Chewie.

The Chewie consists of a dense log of caramel studded with whole almonds and coated in milk chocolate. It’s a small but compact bar, about the length of a Mars bar or a couple of “fun-sized” chocolate bars put together, but with a smaller diameter. It’s even got that pretty little chocolate drizzle on top. (How do they do that, anyway?)

The texture of the bar is also a lot like a Mars bar, only without the nougat and with a thicker, crisper chocolate shell (something I’ve always thought the Mars would benefit from). There aren’t many almonds in the bar, certainly not enough to get some in every bite, but they taste toasty and fresh.

Now for the bad news: the caramel, while decently soft, chewy and salty, is flavored overwhelmingly with almond extract. Purdy’s does pretty good chocolate, but you wouldn’t know it from this bar. They really should consider renaming it to the “Almond Chewie,” as the slightly bitter almond taste overpowers the other flavors to the extent that you can’t really taste anything else. (And I’d usually consider myself an almond person too.)

Regrettably, the Chewie is not the bar for me. I failed to recapture that holiday magic this time, but I’m certainly going to be reviewing other items from Purdy’s in the future – without waiting for a special occasion first.

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