Name: Nestlé Aero
Origin: South Africa
Found at: Garden Patch Market, Irvine
Cane sugar, full cream milk solids, cocoa mass, non-hydrogenated vegetable fat, whey powder (milk), cocoa butter, emulsifiers (soy lecithin E322, e476), flavourants.
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Why I Bought It: It's not often that you will encounter anything from South Africa in OC, let alone a South African-made chocolate bar. But that's what I came across at Garden Patch. What's the connection between an Indian grocery store and South Africa? If I had to guess? England. Aerated chocolate bars are a British invention, primarily sold in the U.K., the Republic of Ireland, South Africa, Argentina, Australia and Canada. And of course, there's the obvious reason I bought them: curiosity at what chocolates that has bubbles blown into would taste like.
No surprise: they tastes like plain old milk chocolate. Only they crumble like nobody's business. Best to eat this over the sink because the bubbled layer--which exist sandwiched between an upper and lower deck of solid milk chocolate like a honeycomb--breaks off into tiny bits of chocolate debris.
Because of the porous texture, it melts differently, though not necessarily faster, because essentially, your warm saliva has to power through each and every hole to melt it. Claims that I've read which assert that aeration makes these chocolates melt faster is illogical. As anyone who knows the basics of heat transfer might tell you, air is an insulator, not a good conductor of heat (yes, I am a nerd).
Still, it's a nice sensation. Sort of a more solid version of chocolate mousse...if you like that sort of thing