When I travel, one of my favorite things to do is sample the local junk food.  I’m not talking about fine pastry cafes or bakeries, even though they are worth a visit.  What I’m after is the convenience store, grocery store check-out impulse buy food, i.e. candy bars, chips, snacks, etc.  Pretty much anything in a plastic wrapper!  Granted, this habit does not bode well for my waistline, but my sweet tooth always goes home happy!

During my recent trip to London, I kept with my tradition and sampled everything from candy to teacakes.  Being the dork I am, I saved some of the wrappers as souvenirs to safeguard my fond snacking memories.  Beneath each photograph, I’ll get into the yummy details of each goodie.  Try not to drool.

Mars Bar – A chocolate bar filled with nougat and caramel.  It’s a lot like a Milky Way, but much sweeter.  The caramel is thicker so it doesn’t drip in strings as you eat and the nougat is smooth and creamy.

Galaxy – This chocolate bar is my new favorite.  It’s solid milk chocolate that melts like velvet in your mouth.  It’s thick and creamy, yet strangely light.  Best yet, the sweet factor satisfies the most ardent sweet tooth without causing a sugar rush headache.

Double Decker – This is the ultimate snack bar!  It’s huge at about two inches thick and its packed with all sorts of goodies!  The bottom is lined with biscuit pieces which serve as the anchor for a thick layer of chewy, creamy nougat.  Then a nice layer of chocolate holds it all together.  I won’t admit how many of these I ate . . . let’s just say it was plenty.

Crunchie – The interior texture of this chocolate bar defies my powers description, so I had to research it online to find out just what is inside of this thing.  According to Cadbury, the interior is a “toffee sponge.”  However, don’t let the word “sponge” sway you into thinking its soft.  Crunchie gets its name from the rigid crackle you get every time you take a bite.  Running through the center is a line of honey – not liquid – which gives this candy bar a musty sweetness.  It’s weird, but very tasty.

Dairy Milk – The ultimate solid milk chocolate candy bar.  It’s a lot like a galaxy bar, but not as moist.  The chocolate crumbles as you break it apart, but it melts with sweet decadence once you pop it in your mouth.  I must mention that Dairy Milk in the UK is quite different from what Cadbury produces for the U.S.  While the same brand, the chocolate in the States does not taste the same, nor does it have the same consistency.  So honestly, I have a great excuse for bringing home a stash of these candy bars.

Strawbs – The Haribo brand of gummies is well-known within my family, but I’ve never seen this particular variety.  Each gummie is a little strawberry, but has the flavor of a typical gummie bear.  These were a nice break from all the chocolate I was eating and it was nice that they didn’t melt in my purse.

Click for more goodies . . .

Caramel Biscuits – Sometimes the simplest ideas yield the most tasty results.  Take a thin butter biscuit, a dollop of caramel, cover it in chocolate and you’ve got a delectable little cookie.

Chocolate Cream Caramel Wafers – The name pretty much says it all!  Thick caramel sticks to three layers of crispy wafters and then a thin layer of chocolate covers the whole thing.  I found them to be an excellent late-night snack.

Biscuit Bars – Nice and simple wins the day, again.  Basic butter biscuits are doused in a thick layer of milk chocolate.  They are like mini candy bars and its really easy to eat three without realizing it.

Magnum Classic Ice Cream Bar – I actually first found these in China and they were so good, I look for them wherever I go.  Not-to-sweet vanilla ice cream is covered in a super-sweet milk chocolate.  Every park in London has at least one kiosk that sells these things, so naturally they made a bundle off of me.

Belgian Waffle Sandwich – Think of a miniature Belgian waffle  with the consistency of a thin cookie. Then put a layer a chocolate cream between two waffles and you’ve got one yummy treat.  Only, I learned they are better as a stand alone snack rather than as dessert or part of a lunch ensemble.  The flavor is somewhat subtle and can get easily lost.  They reminded me of Keebler’s E.L. Fudge cookies, only not as heavy.

Extremely Chocolatey Chocolate Cake Bars – How could I resist anything with a name like that??  Each bar is about an inch thick and three inches long.  On the inside is moist chocolate cake with a layer of butter cream.  On the outside, a layer of chocolate seals in all that chocolatey goodness.  Word of warning . . . they will give you a stomach ache if eaten with little or no self control.

Millionaire Shortbread – I sampled multiple versions of this traditional treat, but the grocery store brand was my favorite.  The bottom layer is shortbread, topped by a layer of caramel, and capped off by a layer of chocolate.  This one in particular had white chocolate drizzled over the top.  It’s thick, heavy, and worth every calorie that busts my diet.  Of course, the diet flew out the window the moment I went on vacation.

c.b. 2011

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