It's Bake Off chocolate week! That's why we've sorted every classic chocolate bar from worst to best (it was no Picnic)
You're standing in the corner shop, or maybe in front of the vending machine. You've got a rumbling belly and 60p clasped in your sweaty palm (or 29p if this is taking place in a memory from 1998). But which to choose?
Which of the many, many chocolate options on offer in our fine country will best satisfy your cravings? Which will give your taste buds a treat and your jaw a good workout? Which will leave you disappointed and spiritually empty? Which are heroes and which are a disgrace to the noble name of the tuckshop?
Those are all rhetorical questions, by the way, because here are the answers. You're welcome.
26. Time Out
Misery chocolate, eaten only by people on yet another sad diet.
No. Go away.
Even people who love Bountys (and there are definitely at least five) can't argue with its main flaw: once that lovely melty-chocolate-and-syrupy-coconutty flavour has disappeared within a minute like a tropical mirage, all you're left with is a mouthful of flavourless desiccated cud to chew on for the next 20 minutes.
Don't tell us this is island paradise living.
A well-named chocolate bar, this one, because they're made mainly of air and they're easy to ignore.
Like an Aero's square cousin, Wispas were apparently brought back by huge popular demand – but as far as we can tell, all those eager fans must have been clamouring very, very quietly.
The only proper place for a Flake is stuck in a Mr Whippy. Eat one anywhere else and all your sensual, glamorous, 1970s-lady-in-a-meadow aspirations are totally ruined by the subsequent days you'll spend picking the bits off your jumper.
Are they spies from the olden days, come to haunt our corner-shop shelves? Has anyone ever actually eaten one? Is there chocolate inside the wrapper, or just cardboard and lies? There is no way we can ever find out.
Apart from buying one, and we're not about to take that risk.
21. KitKat (normal)
Chocolate, wafer, eat, repeat. There are only two thrilling things about a regular KitKat: 1) hoping you might get a mutant finger that doesn't have any wafer – which is, let's face facts, just a stick of normal chocolate – and 2) drinking a cup of tea through it like a wonderful melty straw.
In all other respects, snore.
Hey, at least it's not a Topic.
The dad of all chocolate bars, like a comforting, overstuffed glove compartment of a snack. A Lion bar also functions as a Snickers for people who find Snickers slightly gauche.
The ultimate dinner spoiler. The bad boy chocolate bar your parents warned you about. A Mars a day helps you rest, rest some more, and feel vaguely nauseated until about 9pm.
Oh, you're having a Galaxy? Who are you, Peter Stringfellow? Are you planning to eat it wearing satin pyjamas while reclining on a white faux-fur throw, stroking a siamese cat and listening to Luther Vandross?
No? Then stop being daft and have a Dairy Milk like a normal person.
16. Mini Green & Black's
Designed specifically for all the times you need to eat chocolate mid-afternoon to avoid falling asleep with your head on your keyboard, but don't want to drop the pretence that you're a sophisticated, health-conscious adult.
"Just a small square of good quality dark chocolate, like Gwyneth Paltrow would have," you think to yourself.
Half an hour later, you inhale a doughnut. But at least you tried.
15. Double Decker
The literal definition of "biting off more than you can chew", these are fully delicious but have never looked as appealing since your gran yanked her dentures out with one in 1994.
14. Toffee Crisp
A chocolate bar for the kind of people who eat breakfast cereal for dinner, Toffee Crisp can't sit with the grown-ups because it has no nuts, no claim to being made since 1840 by Belgian monks or whatever, and it has classic Year 7 bubble writing on the wrapper – but that just makes it about 200% more delicious.
It doesn't matter how many years have passed since that ad campaign, there will never be a time when we eat a Yorkie bar without a small rush of feminist triumph. "NOT FOR GIRLS?!" we think, tearing through a hunk of raisin and biscuit with our back molars like an angry lionness. "I'LL SHOW YOU WHAT'S NOT FOR GIRLS, YOU MASSIVE PATRONISING BLOCK OF FAT AND SUGAR."
Never mind that Yorkies are significantly less delicious than almost every other chocolate choice out there, or that they always cost 5p more in the school vending machine. Never mind that Yorkies have been actively trolling us since 2001. That's not the point. They picked a fight, we must end them.
It's a very confident, emotionally secure adult who can walk into a shop, purchase and enjoy a bar of white chocolate marketed at 6-year-old cowboys.
Eating white chocolate is a bit like being a Dolly Parton fan – you're a target of scorn and derision for all those around you, but you're having such a nice time you don't care.
11. Mint Aero
Eating chocolate immediately after brushing your teeth: rank. Eating chocolate that tastes of brushing your teeth: curiously delicious.
Life is strange sometimes. Don't question it.
10. Milky Way
A swift Google will teach you this party-bag classic is actually named after a 1920s malted milkshake, not the galaxy, but we're still kind of convinced it's how space tastes. That's why Neil Armstrong was so excited.
9. KitKat Chunky
Take a break? Regular KitKats, we're ON a break because frankly these fellas are giving us everything you can't. Heft. Substance. An optional layer of fortifying peanut butter.
Plus we're easily pleased creatures, and if we can dunk a giant KitKat into our tea while pretending to be a tiny pixie then basically there's nothing else we want in life.
Nowhere else is caramel used to such delicious and adhesive effect as it is in a Twix. Sturdy, dense, dependable, it's the glue that holds our nation together.
In a desperate situation, you could probably use a Twix to seal a wound or mend a punctured bicycle tyre, and still have a stick left over for tea time.
7. Terry's Chocolate Orange Bar
You'd never buy and eat an actual Terry's Chocolate Orange when it's not Christmas because you're not completely mad, but for some reason the bars are totally acceptable all year round. And how grateful we are for that.
All the textural satisfaction of a Flake with a sensible chocolate coating to stop everything ending up in your hair. PLUS THERE'S TWO OF THEM IN THE PACKET.
The only real danger with a Twirl is that you might accidentally buy a Time Out instead, which would be a fate worse than no chocolate at all.
Tell us one thing that is wrong with a Boost and we will tell you that you're wrong. Fervently and with loads of energy.
It's the perfectly chompy size, the mystery granular filling – is it nougat? Is it toffee? Is it angels and dreams? – and also that fact we somehow believe they're practically a health-giving energy snack. Like a granola bar or a bottle of "superfood" beetroot juice.
4. Lindor bar
Another Christmas treat repurposed for everyday living, the Lindor bar is pretty much the most luxurious thing you can buy for under 70p. There's the crazy alchemy of that temperate truffle filling – why is it so much cooler than the chocolate? Does science even know? – but it's made with proper classy chocolate, too. Eat one and you imbibe elegance.
If Liz Taylor were still alive, she'd have loved a Lindor bar.
A veritable breakfast buffet of a chocolate bar, Snickers is so good that over the years we've forgiven its endless dodgy ad campaigns and the ultimate betrayal: changing its name.
Marathon, Sprint, call it whatever you like – just hand us one with a can of Coke and leave us on the sofa please, Dr Hangover.
As Samuel Johnson once famously said in the corner shop, if you are tired of Crunchie bars then you are tired of life.
You're also tired of picking bits of honeycomb out of your back teeth, but frankly that's a small price to pay for the taste of pure joy.
1. Dairy Milk
The ultimate, the default. Chocolate 101. So British you'd almost believe it was made with rain, Marmite and apologies, except that would be revolting whereas Dairy Milk is beautiful. Even hardened 85% cocoa solid snobs can't fail to be seduced by the simple nostalgia of a Dairy Milk. It tastes like being wrapped in a blanket and sung a lovely lullaby.
Until you eat one piece too many and your mouth becomes an actual cement mixer.
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