As I rummaged through my kids’ candy pile last night in search of I don’t know what, I dreamed of Irish trick or treat bags filled with my favorite sweets. Don’t get me wrong. I do eat American candy. In fact, I eat way too much, but my sweet tooth developed many years ago in a different land and culture.
And so my Halloween dreams don’t revolve around Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Instead I long for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Chocolate, Maltesers, Yorkies and so many more candy bars found in England and Ireland. As children I think we all had our favorites. Mine was, and still is, a Peppermint Aero.
My search for something to satisfy my Halloween cravings got me thinking about American tourists. One look at a candy stand in Ireland must be mind boggling. When traveling, you never know when the need for a little chocolate pick-me-up might strike. I therefore believe it is my solemn duty to provide a small guide to candy picking when roaming the British Isles.
The very first lesson revolves around the term ‘candy’ itself. It is seldom used. Instead the term ‘sweets’ is preferred in Ireland, referring to everything from hard candy to jellies to chocolate bars.
Hershey’s chocolate, Dove or even Cadbury’s chocolate bought in America is not as creamy as Cadbury’s chocolate in Ireland. The Irish variety lacks the cocoa taste of American bars. I think the one you prefer is directly related to how your taste buds were cultivated as a child.
Luckily, I have come up with different treats that bare the same name and, for the most part, taste relatively the same. Here they are:
M & M’s
The main difference on the eastern side of the Atlantic is the chocolate covering. Once again, it is a little creamier than the American variety.
Now if you are a peanut butter addict, you may have some real problems feeding your craving in Ireland. It really is not a popular ingredient in the Emerald Isle. As a result I could not think of anything remotely similar to the following American candy:
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
But never fear! All is not lost!
Here is my equivalency grid, based on my taste buds. All suggestions are welcome. I am quite familiar with candy, but lucky I am no American expert. There is nothing scientific about this comparison, except the chart, which makes it look far more official than it actually is.
Closest Irish Equivalent
|Milky Way||Mars||Layers of nougat and caramel covered in chocolate – the Irish-English version is a little sweeter.|
|3 Musketeers||Milky Way||Whipped nougat covered in chocolate.|
|100 Grand||Catch||Made with chocolate, crisped rice and caramel.|
|Take 5||Lion Bar||The Lion Bar is missing the peanut butter layer of a Take 5.|
|Almond Joy||Bounty||Bounty’s coconut center is a little moister and it lacks the signature Almond on the chocolate shell.|
|Whoppers||Maltesers||Chocolate covered malt, honeycomb spheres. A Malteser’s center is a little lighter and crispier.|
|M & M’s||Smarties||M & M’s are now available in Ireland. When I was young a Smartie was the nearest equivalent.|
|Smarties||Refreshers or Fruit Fizzers||The Irish version is a little fizzier and fruitier than an American Smartie.|
|Milk Duds||Toffee Treets||Milk Duds are a little harder to chew.|
||The only comparison is that both are jellies, but their flavors differ vastly.|
And here is my list of Irish/English candy bars for which I can find no American counterpart.
In this post I haven’t even mentioned penny sweets like fizzle sticks and peggy’s legs. I suppose I’ll save acid drops, sour apples and liquorice for a post another day.
Last night I finally settled on eating a few packets of Whoppers, as I dreamed of my Malteser days.
O.K. I confess! It was a little more than just a few. But in my defense they were mini fun-size packets!
My motto today is:
“Move away from the whoppers!”
I better heed my own warning, before my backside turns into a whopper.
Slán agus beannacht leat!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom
P.S. Please feel free to add to this candy dictionary in the comment section below, or just let us know about your favorite candy or sweets on either side of the Atlantic.