Wendyl Wants to Know: Don't get caught with egg on your face
Cadbury's Creme Egg
$1.29 for a 39g egg
These eggs have become a favourite for most Kiwis since they first appeared in 1983 and many of us remember the TV ad with the kids at school eating them behind their desks to the lyrics "Don't get caught with egg on your face".
We even had our own peppermint, jaffa and marble versions produced.
But our love affair went through a bit of a crisis when Cadbury had a shake-up in 2009 and they were no longer made in Dunedin.
They are now made in Britain - more than 300 million are produced each year. Facebook and Trade Me forums are outraged, saying the imports are inferior.
Cadbury confirmed there were some differences - the chocolate is thinner in Britain and the filling is not as runny because instead of being injected into the shell it "goes in as more of a blob".
Let's take a look at what's in that blob.
Milk Chocolate (52 per cent)
This will be milk which you drink out of a glass and probably full cream as it doesn't state that it is skim or low fat.
This is ordinary old white sugar.
This is the pale yellow vegetable fat which is taken from the cocoa (or cocao) bean. It is also a great moisturiser for the skin. It is good to see this so high on the list of ingredients as some chocolate makers have started replacing this ingredient with lower cost vegetable oils such as palm oil. You may remember in 2009 Cadbury was accused of doing this and as a result of consumer demand stopped using palm oil.
This is a paste which is produced when you grind cocoa beans up. If you melt it into a liquor and then cool it you would have bitter chocolate.
We can be sure there is no palm oil in this because of the aforementioned furore in 2009 so it must be some other vegetable oil. For those who wonder why palm oil is not a great choice in our food, three-quarters of all palm oil comes from Malaysia and Indonesia where rainforests - housing the Bornean and Sumatran orang-utans and other flora and fauna - are being destroyed.
Emulsifiers (422,476, soya lecithin)
The first emulsifier 422 is glycerine which is a very sweet tasting, colourless liquid which is a byproduct of soap making and also the production of bio-diesel. 476 is polyglycerol polyricinoleate made from castor beans which is a common ingredient in chocolate because it reduces the thickness of the product. Soya lecithin is a yellow-brownish fatty substance which occurs in animal and plant tissues, in this case soya beans. All these products are in the creme egg as emulsifiers to keep the fat and water mixed together as a cream.
It would be nice to know what flavour has been added to this chocolate but it could be vanilla or malt. It is likely to be artificial otherwise it would say "natural".
Fondant (48 per cent)
White sugar as you use at home.
Wheat glucose syrup
This is a liquid sweetener taken from wheat.
This is a mixture of glucose and fructose which gives a sugar product that remains moist in a product like fondant.
This is simply egg white.
Again we have no idea what flavours have gone in here, but we will assume they are artificial.
Natural colour (paprika oleoresin)
This is paprika extract which is used to provide a red/orange colour in foods. In this case it will be in the creme egg to colour the "yolk". Ironically this colouring is sometimes put in poultry feed to deepen the colour of real egg yolks.
It's Easter so we should be allowed to live a little even if it does take 15 ingredients to put this little egg together. Apart from the flavours which are artificial, the rest of this egg is made up of the usual treat foods sugar and fat. In fact one creme egg will give you 25.1g of sugar which is five teaspoons and 6g of fat which is just over a teaspoon. So this is one to limit as a treat food. You could make your own, there are many recipes on the internet, but you'd probably end up using similar ingredients. You might like to shift Easter chocolate eating towards dark chocolate. There have been lots of studies heralding dark chocolate as a health food but it is just less processed than milk or white chocolate and has more cocoa powder and less sugar. Aim for 60 per cent or more cocoa solids for a really good one. I've also never seen a child who can eat a lot of it.
* Look out for Wendyl Nissen's new column From My Nana's Pantry in this week's New Zealand Woman's Weekly. Wendyl takes old-fashioned foods like sago, suet and spotted dick and looks at their health benefits and how to use them in our modern diets.
* Not a lot of artificial additives going on, but lots of fat and sugar.
* They are now made in the United Kingdom and are not the same as the ones which used to be produced in the Cadbury factory in Dunedin.
* Each egg will give you five teaspoons of sugar and a bit more than one teaspoon of fat.