They’re an Easter season staple in Canada and in many other parts of the world, yet they’re banned in America.
And so, as a public service to our American readers – at least the ones who don’t hang out at illicit Kinder Surprise dens in the bad part of town, piecing together tiny toys while riding a sugar high – here’s a glimpse into the strange cultural experience you’ve been missing.
The Pitch: “Milk chocolate with milky lining and surprise toy.” Slightly more concerning: “Warning: Toy not suitable for children under 3 years. Small parts might be swallowed or inhaled. Adult supervision recommended.”
The Look: Like an egg wrapped in foil. The shell is a light brown milk chocolate on the outside, and has what looks like a white chocolate coating on the inside. Once you break open the egg’s shell, there’s a large plastic capsule containing a toy that requires assembly (instructions included). My toy? A DIY giraffe.
The Controversy: Some people would like to see Kinder Surprise outlawed. Why? Because there’s concern that the toys inside the egg present a choking risk. The American ban apparently has to do with placing an inedible object inside an edible object; it’s a curious complaint, considering the popularity of perfectly legal foods like chicken wings or fortune cookies. Is the concern legitimate? Sure. But if you buy a candy with a choking-hazard warning on it, you’re probably not going to let your kid eat it on his/her own.
The Taste: Sweet, milky and waxy, and there’s not much of it. If you’re buying this for the chocolate, you’re nuts.
RATINGS AND DETAILS
Cost: $1.40 for a 20 gram egg at Safeway in Calgary.
Value for cash money: Meh.
Availability: Supermarkets, corner stores, pharmacies, etc.
Nutrition?: No idea. The wrapper simply says: “Nutrition facts: Please contact us by mail.”
The verdict: Despite its status as a cherished object of nostalgia, let’s call a spade a spade: It’s a crappy toy (there, I said it) wrapped in some mediocre chocolate. As for America: I love you, but you have a choice: either allow these across your border, or kindly request that your politicians and talk-radio blowhards stop accusing other countries of being freedom-hating socialist nanny states.