Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Own Candy Bar: beng-beng

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I recently purchased a Playstation 3 in order to play Modern Warfare 2 with some of my coworkers.  One of my coworkers suggested my online name should be KissKissBengBeng, which I thought was golden.  To my chagrin, KissKissBengBeng was already taken as was BengBeng, beng-beng, and beng--beng.  I ended up settling for beng---beng (that’s with 3 hyphens).

Then, a couple weeks ago I randomly googled “beng-beng” and came across what may be the most awesomely named candy ever.  From the description on the website that I ordered from, “Beng Beng is Indonesian famous chocolate covered wafer snack with delicious caramel and cream filling.  Crispy and delightful snack bar with Double Chocolate & Double Caramel.”  How could I not buy some considering the name and broken English (borderline Engrish) in the description? 

I initially ordered 8 original and 2 cappuccino beng-beng bars.  From what I can gather off of images I’ve seen online, there are 2 other flavors of beng-beng besides original and cappuccino, but I’m not too sure what they are.  Unfortunately, I got a call the day after placing my order notifying me that the cappuccino-flavored bars were on back order, so I ended up with 10 original.

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When the beng-beng bars finally arrived, I was so hyped to try one.  Observing the wrapper, I noticed that beng-bengs are Halal.  This wasn’t too surprising considering Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world.  There was also a handy diagram of what I was about to eat.  It’s hard to make out, but just look at the gooey caramel dripping down the bar.  Mmm…I knew I was in for a treat.  But why “real chocolate?”  Isn’t all chocolate real?  That made me a little wary.

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After unwrapping my beng-beng, the chocolate coating didn’t look very appealing.  I cut the the bar in half to find even more disappointment: the caramel looked nothing like the picture on the wrapper.  The caramel resembled resin rather than gooey caramel.  And the cream?  It wasn’t anything more than the stereotypical cream-flavored powdered sugar / fat combination that you find on a standard wafer.

The taste of the bar was even more disappointing than the appearance of the bar.  The chocolate tasted like chocolate-flavored wax, which made me question the wrapper’s claim of “real chocolate.”  The caramel was tasteless and resembled some type of edible plastic if there were such a thing.  The wafers themselves were alright, but the cream between them was tasteless.  The crunch wasn’t anything special, and personally I really hated Crunch bars as a kid.  If I had to describe a beng-beng in one breath, it would be a really bad version of a Kit-Kat with Crunch bar crunch thingies embedded into subpar chocolate.

So my beng-beng excitement was very short-lived.  I kind of feel embarrassed to be somewhat associated with such a terrible product, but from what I can tell based on 5 minutes of browsing the internet, beng-bengs are really popular overseas.  Oh well, I’ll always be proud of the Ah Beng Wikipedia page and Femi Kuti’s epic classic: “Beng Beng Beng.”

7 comments:

  1. I just spent 2 weeks bicycling through Laos with 8 others. All I can say is that Beng-Bengs got us through the mountains. Maybe our exhaustion colored the taste, but we all wanted more!

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  2. Interesting. I'll have to attribute my awful experience to the bars not holding up well during their journey across the ocean.

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  3. I am an American woman living in Bali and I absolutely LOVE Beng Beng bars! Sometimes I just get so sick and tired of the mozzies and the hecklers and the motorbike mayhem... and then I mix a couple of Beng Beng bars in with "Magic" cheapo ice cream bars and... yummmm... life is okay again!

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  4. beng beng is great and are the best chocs in the world

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  5. These things are so bad I had to come online to see in anyone else lived to tell the tale of having tried one. I live in Thailand and 12 Bars are dirt cheap $1 or 30 Baht which I see now why.. they taste like dirt. The description here is quite accurate and it's not just the shipping and its not just old. Although I have to say this is the worst candy I've eaten since I was a child and stumbled on some 10+ year old Halloween Crunch Mini Bars. I can't believe people came here to defend them.

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  6. People are so picky. a Beng beng bar cost the equivalent of 10 cents in Indonesia. To buy an equivalent sized chocolate bar in Australia you pay $1. The Beng Beng bars in Indonesia are 22 gm and taste like chocolate when they are fresh. You can buy a Beng Beng bar in Thailand which is twice the size and the chocolate in the Thai Beng Beng bar tastes like wax. Bear in mind the chocolate in Asia is made to withstand high temperatures without refrigeration so you cant expect to get that melt in your mouthe chocolate from colder climates.

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  7. awwwww these were so beaut this got me through Indonesia, i admit perhaps i think of them nostalgically, and they probably tasted better as the only source of chocolate for at least 50 miles from where i was... And they perhaps didnt taste as good when i got back to England amongst real chocolate... But then again sometimes its the little things that give the best memories...

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