There was a bit of a pattern developing whenever I went to Sunderland Royal Hospital on Chester Road, I would stop by the Greggs on the way home for a sandwich or what not. Though the pattern isn’t going to Greggs it’s actually a piece of music I would listen to, Greggs simply implemented it one time. Bruce Hornsby’s The Way It Is, came on the hospital radio a few months ago, back when I was really into Bruce’s music, so it meant a lot to hear it. Then I went into Greggs and lo and behold it was on the radio there. To follow on this pattern I played it after I left the Hospital today, so now it’s the song I associate with McCoy’s caramel slices.
This slice cost 80p, a bog standard price and to be fair the size was good – 70mm x 80mm x 18mm thick. It looked good too. The popular pink slices, that I’ve never had, drew my attention to the window, but the caramel slices took me inside. It had that smell too, the one you get from products from a small local store, like an independent bakery or butchers or pie shop, it’s a fresh, indie smell. It may not be the true smell of the slice, but it’s a good smell regardless. You know, the pies could smell exactly the same, but the taste would be different.
This said, the slice didn’t taste of caramel, it didn’t taste of steak pie either. It tasted of waffles. Store bought, plastic wrapped, criss-cross shaped waffles that you pop in your toaster. It was a accumulative taste, three layers equalled waffle taste.
Despite it’s size, dominating half the slice, the caramel didn’t push it’s rich flavour through. It wasn’t bland but it wasn’t anything special, it was just a fudge like taste. Reminiscent of Haversham’s (Sunderland) but darker and more fudge like. I think the shortbread/cake base did it no favours, again the flavour was mediocre, but the coconut or whatever that was in the base, didn’t speak to me, it didn’t fill me with love or warmth, it just sort of remained there to be the shoulders to the ocean of caramel.
Everyone wants a slice to be laden with Galaxy chocolate or something by the Swiss or the Belgian’s. In fact the Swiss could have made this due to the lack of chocolate on top (remember the Toblerone fiasco? My family slotted multiple Terry’s Chocolate Orange pieces in between to spice up my Christmas Toblerone).
I’m not saying McCoy’s chocolate was bad, it was just mediocre like everything else.
When I go through slices trying out layers separately, I get half way through and begin to eat like a normal person. Here I am hoping the waffle flavour was just initial, but it wasn’t, it was there throughout and that for me, isn’t good. Sure, I love waffles with some syrup, but I wanted caramel.
Bruce Hornsby’s The Way It Is, is in no way, mediocre, but after the amount of times I’ve listened to it and I’m more into Springsteen than Hornsby now, it’s actually very fitting.
And thus, the score is mediocre to match everything else 5 out of 10
(Just FYI, I’m fine, the Hospital situation is nothing major, I’m not obese from all the caramel slices I’ve eaten, in case you wondered).