One of the reasons I came back to the U.S. now was to see 2 of my favorite local bands in concert. Another was to answer an age-old question: what’s the difference between an American and British Cadbury Creme Egg?
I decided it was my duty to answer this question by having a glass of wine and then stuffing my face with 2 Creme Eggs from 2 different countries — for science.
This year Brits got their collective panties in a bunch because Cadbury changed the recipe of the chocolate covering the Creme Eggs from their signature Dairy Milk chocolate to “standard cocoa mix chocolate.” Unfortunately I do not have an old Dairy Milk Creme Egg to compare.
Though the US and UK products are both labelled “Cadbury Creme Egg,” the British ones are made by Kraft (Kraft acquired Cadbury in 2010) and the American ones are made by Hershey. Their packaging differs in color — the American one is blue, yellow, red and green, while the British one is purple, red and yellow.
Next I cut them open with a knife. It’s a bit warm in Kentucky now (just wait for the blog post where I complain about that!), so both eggs’ fillings seemed softer and runnier than I remember from past eggs. Maybe I should have chilled them pre-experiment (or conducted another experience on chilled eggs. Next time!).
First I took a bite of the American egg. It tasted… like a Cadbury creme egg. Because now that I think about, after being in London almost 5 years I don’t believe I’ve ever eaten a legit British Cadbury creme egg. I’ve eaten the mini ones, the McFlurry, and mini creme egg ice cream cones, but never a full-sized egg. I’ve always either been home in Kentucky for Easter or my parents brought me American candy. So it’s no wonder the American one tasted “right.”
I swished my mouth with water and bit into the British egg. And it tasted… different. Like the Creme Egg mini ice cream cones I had devoured a couple weeks ago. To be honest, I could not taste much of a difference between the chocolate on the two, but the filling was definitely different. It’s hard to describe, but the British one tasted more of powdered sugar, while the American one was more high fructose corn syrupy. So let’s compare ingredients and nutrition.
Here is the nutritional info for the American Cadbury Creme Egg from the Hershey website:
The first thing that jumped out at me was the calorie difference: 150 for the US vs. 177 for the UK. That’s a pretty big difference for a little egg! The US version also has 20 grams of sugar while the UK’s has 26.5. Perhaps that’s because the UK egg’s first ingredient is sugar. While the American one’s is milk chocolate (side note: how is “chocolate” an ingredient in milk chocolate?), followed shortly by sugar and high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is banned in the UK, so it’s replaced with glucose syrup and inverted sugar syrup. The coloring agents are also interesting — yellow 6 in America vs. paprika extract in the UK. It’s good to know both contain egg whites, so you can pretend your Cadbury Creme Egg has some vague egg health benefits.
Overall, it was hard to decide which one I prefer. The British one had a more “pure” taste, for lack of a better word, because it was stuffed with so much real sugar. If you’re trying to eat “clean” or “real,” you probably shouldn’t eat any Cadbury Eggs, but if you had to, the British ones would be a safer bet. I think the taste of the UK one wins by a small margin, but the American one gets points just because it tastes so much like childhood Easter memories. Delicious, stomach ache-inducing high fructose corn syrupy memories.
And now I need to wait another month (OK, a week… or at least a day) before I can stomach another Creme Egg.