Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Old Candy Critic Articles - How to be a Smartie Pants

I've decided to take down several old articles from the and re-post them here on the Candy Critic blog.  This week's article is one I wrote a while back looking at the difference between American and UK/Canadian Smarties.

It's about time someone got the record straight. Now you may have read some things on this site that just didn't make any sense to you. In fact, this was something that until I started this site didn't even know. Now your probably saying to yourself, get to the point buddy, I have other candy related things to read about. My point is this, what is a "Smartie". Oh you think you know, your sitting in your chair saying everybody knows what a "Smartie" is, don't they. Well, you’re partially right. Many people do know what a "Smartie" is, but depending on where your from, your answer might be totally different from another person. So I've decided to make it clear for everybody, strap on your... well what ever you wear when you eat "Smarties", you just might learn something.

I think the best way to start this is to explain the concept of Smarties as simply as I can. In this great blue marble we live on there are two types of "Smarties". There are those that are chocolate with a candy coated shell and ones that look like little sugar pills that are all stacked up and rolled together. Now some of you are confused, you are most likely people that don't live in Canada, because unlike many other countries Canada is blessed with both. Although if you were to ask a Canadian what a "Smartie" is, they would say the chocolate with a candy shell, but they would understand that there’s an American version too.

So now that I've completely confused you, here is a little profile of each treat:

The chocolate with the candy shell.

For all you American, this is what many people call Smarties.   These are similar to "M&M's" in that they are little chocolate disks with a candy shell. But, if you look a little closer you can really find a lot of differences between these treats. 

M&M tends to go with filling their treat with something special, like peanuts or almonds or whatever is in those crunchy ones. Smarties are more about flavoured chocolate in the centre. Smarties have just introduced a new flavour called Sundae, and when you get the giant Smarties the orange ones are orange flavoured. Speaking of Giant Smarties, size is something that they interestingly went on opposite sides of the spectrum. M&M's went tiny, while Smarties went giant. Both are great and each are worth trying. Other than that the colours do vary a little, although nowadays they each offer specialty colours all the time, particularly M&M's.

So this is how it goes, Smarties are a lot like M&M's; small, round disks of chocolate covered in colourful candy shells. They generally come in either a tube or a box and are great for decorating cakes. From what I know you can find this variety of Smarties in Canada and the UK wherever you buy standard chocolate bars.

The sugar pills wrapped in cellophane all lined up.

Some people know these treats as "Rockets" as well, but to many Americans if you say "Smartie" this is what they expect. These are the staple of every Halloween diet, as I've said in the past, "you will get a roll of these if you go out for Halloween". Not that it’s a bad thing. These tangy little treats are great; they have a tangy zip and leave a powdery feeling in your mouth. As far as variety goes these things don't really have much to offer, the only variation I've ever seen is really long rolls and really short rolls.

I guess if you have to compare these with another snack I might look in the direction of the "Sweet Tart", but really they are something of a unique treat. Having said that so many companies make a version of these that you do see them around a lot all over the world.

So there you go, if you ask for a "Smartie" in the USA, and you don't get what you expected, this just might be why. I hope you've learned something because learning about candy is almost as fun as eating it.


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