Snack Report: Knockoff Kinder Eggs
One of my favorite Youtube channels out there belongs to techie/comedian Stuart Ashens. When people ask me to describe what he does in videos, the best I can do is sum them up as “He’s this funny British dude who reviews terrible things.” The things in question are usually various gadgets, video games, and PC hardware, which while nerdy yes, I must indulge, however he also frequently does videos on food items as well. And I use the term food loosely, since they’re generally prepackaged items sold in the U.K. equivalent of dollar stores. While most of these focus on horror cuisine, once in a while Mr. Ashens will do reviews on genuinely nice items he found/had mailed to him.
And yes, though it’s typically much funnier watching him ingest decade-old gummy snacks or canned mystery meats, and hear his grizzled, British wit in the commentary, the nicer foods sometimes are interesting and informative. Several months ago, I learned of Kinder Eggs through his reviews. These are chocolate eggs with a capsule inside, containing a small toy/prize. Aimed at children, but made by the ritzy, Italian confection company Ferrero, they’re a neat concept that I had never seen or heard of in my entire life.
Oh and they’re totally illegal in the United States.
So for idiotic reasons pertaining to our overly-litigious society, food companies are prohibited from selling any edible item containing a non-edible item inside of it, due to purported choking hazards by small children stupid enough to bite into a chocolate egg, somehow not recognize a solid, bright yellow capsule inside of it, and then miraculously swallow and choke on said capsule. Companies selling any products like this were fined upwards of $2,500 per egg, because chocolate is serious friggin business. Sigh… if only they had warnings for choking hazards, or that stated children under three years old should not be given these unattended… And shame on these companies for trying to kill our children, not on parents who hand food to their young children without supervision.
Similarly, if you’re wondering whatever happened to those Nestle Wonder Balls, chocolate spheres with a toy inside, they were banned by the same regulations in 1997. The choking hazard in question, is backed up only by scattered tales of several deaths related to these, with little if any solid documentation of it, going back decades. But nonetheless, this is America, home of the free and land of the attorney. We can purchase vehicles, alcohol, weapons, and pornography (all of which are awesome, don’t get me wrong), but small chocolate eggs containing a toy are out of the question.
You can thus imagine Meg A.’s and my surprise in finding these knockoff brand chocolate surprise eggs at a local Mediterranean/Turkish marketplace recently. The anarchist counterculturist side of me screams “Yeah! Take that, big government!”. The child inside of me is mesmerized by the allure of a toy nestled inside of chocolate. This discovery was a personal victory which will live on for years in my heart.
Interestingly enough, the items weren’t priced at all, to the point that the cashier couldn’t even find them in their cataloguing system and randomly made up the fake price of $0.99 cents. Proof enough I wanted these things that badly, they were unmarked but I had to buy them out of principle. That market could’ve charged me $15 for all I cared. The tantalizing prospect of purchasing illegal candy was too great of an opportunity to pass up. Especially considering the fact once this entry is posted, the NSA will surely fine that Turkish market thousands of dollars for potentially choking me and Meg A. (In which case, sorry guys, I didn’t mean to blow your cover.)
So while just the concept of these things alone was an irrationally strong driving force between me buying them, truth be told I wasn’t expecting great quality from them, especially considering the fact they were imported from God knows where basically guarantees they couldn’t be fantastic chocolate or even remotely fresh. Afterall, it was a knockoff brand sold at a hole in the wall Turkish market, not the company famous for selling all their masterful chocolates in gold-painted tin foil. This was all probably for the best, since in all honesty… they were kiiiinda shitty.
Ever have low-quality chocolate that felt sorta old and greasy, when eating it? Yeah, that was what happened here. Meg and I were both immediately disappointed after one mouthful. I mean… mentally I was SO into this because yes there was a toy inside. But from a gastronomical standpoint, there was little reason to actually finish them. Annnd we didn’t actually finish them, since, well, it was shitty, as mentioned.
But wait, surely the little prizes inside were good enough! This endeavor would all be made square and worth it by our special prizes which we earned in the shadows, unbeknownst to our tyrannical, joy-hating government overlords! Right?!
Well, it could definitely have been worse. They could’ve given us a used syringe or smallpox scabs or some Ke$ha tickets. These little guys were passable. They came in pieces with some minor instructions for how to put them together. Which actually is probably what helped the most. It was no Gundam model, but the three or four minutes it took to construct our prizes added enough whimsy to the package that it overall was a positive experience. The wheels/rotor barely turn, and being made in China, they most likely contain copious amounts of lead and children’s tears, but hey, this whole thing was fun, dammit.
So yes, as mentioned, while everything about these eggs kinda sucked, the experience itself was pretty neat and enjoyable. It was whimsical and entertaining enough to warrant the two dollars spent on them. Plus we got to stick it to the man. Yeah, take that, Washington!