Taste Test: Just how different are the new Cadbury Creme Eggs?
As Cadbury send chocoholics into meltdown and admit tinkering with their famous Creme Egg, our reporter puts the new recipe to the test...
The nation was left reeling this week when it emerged that Cadbury was hell bent on ruining Easter for everyone.
Instead of velvety smooth Cadbury Dairy Milk coating, Creme Eggs, a "standard, traditional Cadbury milk chocolate" with 6pc less cocoa would be used. Which begs the question: Is nothing sacred?
Adding further insult to injury, the neatly packaged half dozen packs were replaced with thrifty five packs.
Needless to say, this sparked tears, tantrums and outrage online.
"Who's heard of a pack of five eggs?" one irate Facebook user wrote. "You can't DOWNSIZE a half-dozen eggs. Get it right Cadbury!"
"Have Cadbury forgotten what Easter is even about?" a Twitter user asked. Others thanked the company for "ruining childhood memories".
The hashtag #CremeEggGate took hold just days after Cadbury informed its Facebook fans they were "totes emosh" about the egg's return.
Determined to see if Cadbury had really got it so badly wrong, I ventured out with a sack of the new eggs asking members of the public what they thought.
The reaction was mixed - while most people weren't mad on the taste, they didn't exactly hate it either.
"It tastes like cheap chocolate," says Maebh O'Donovan (20) from Gorey.
"You can tell straight away it's not Dairy Milk. The texture has changed."
The consistency was the most notable difference.
"It's powdery," says Gary Byrne (18) from Navan. "It's not as creamy. I don't know why they did this. If it ain't broke don't fix it. They should have stuck to the original."
Having tried the egg myself I concur it's no great shakes. The shell is brittle and sweet and doesn't sit well with all that white and yellow sugar fondant.
It tastes fine but the moreish-ness and sense of indulgence has gone. But it's not just the taste and texture that's upsetting people.
Like it or loathe it; the Creme Egg is a sugary seasonal institution. It helps wean us off tins of Roses and boxes of Tunnock Teacakes after the Christmas splurge and reminds us that Easter eggs are just around the corner.
The egg has given us a sense of hope since it was launched in 1971. Messing with the formula has tapped into our deep-seated sense of nostalgia.
"I used to think Creme Eggs were amazing when I was a kid," says Stephen Byrne (21) from Naas. "But I wouldn't pay for this. It doesn't taste right."
People simply don't like sweets, cereal and chocolate from their childhood being messed around with. Remember when Kellogg's tried to rebrand Coco Pops as Choco Krispies in 1999?
But there's also something more sinister afoot here. Ever since US Company Kraft bought Cadbury for £11.5 million in 2011 things have started to change - and not for the better.
They took the Bournville out of Cadbury Heroes, they pulled the plug on festive chocolate coins, they rounded out the edges of chocolate bars and worst of all they put Dairy Milk in Philadelphia Cream Cheese. Kraft by name - crafty by nature!
There's a worry among chocolate connoisseurs that our creamy European chocolate could slowly be replaced with a grainy American substitute.
And, if there's one thing every Irish man, woman and child knows about American chocolate, it's that it doesn't cut the mustard. In fact, it's utter kack.
Naturally, Cadbury is adamant that the Creme Egg is as tasty as ever.
"Although Creme Egg is clearly a Cadbury brand we have never flagged it as a Cadbury Dairy Milk product," an official statement read.
"The bottom line is that the magic ingredients remain the same - fresh milk, sugar, cocoa and our secret blend of flavourings that give Cadbury its unique and well-loved taste."
The statement concluded by saying that "throughout the history of chocolate production, changes in process and technology has meant lots of minor tweaks during the years".
Some chocoholics are adamant that they can get Cadbury to change their ways and revert back to the old formula, there's talk of petitions and one lady has even written a song about the egg.
Cadbury could back down. After all, Mars bars reneged on their decision to use rennet - an animal enzyme in their trademark bar - after vegans and vegetarians kicked up a fuss.
But it seems unlikely the eggs will return to their former glory. "I doubt they'll change it back," says James Brady (20) from Clonsilla. "I prefer the old one but this is still edible and I'm sure people will get used to it."
A whopping 200 million Creme Eggs are sold in Ireland and the UK each year and I'm sure many chocoholics will remain loyal to the dear old egg. But in regards to how I eat mine; I'm afraid I no longer do.
How do you like yours?
Luke Walsh (24), Ballsbridge
"It's definitely not as good and you can taste the difference straight away but it's not awful. "
Kevin Twomey (18), Bachelor's Walk
"It tastes different. It's not terrible, it just tastes generic."
Gary Byrne (18), Navan
"It tastes strange. It's powdery and not as creamy. I don't know why they did this. If it ain't broke, don't fix it. They should have stuck to the original."
Stephen Byrne (21), Naas
"I used to think Creme Eggs were amazing when I was a kid. But I wouldn't pay for this. It doesn't taste right."
James Brady (20), Clonsilla
The shell feels thicker. I prefer the old one but this is still edible and I'm sure people will get used to it. I don't think they'll change back."
James McDonagh (23), Kildare
"I wouldn't buy this. Definitely not. It tastes very American. The texture is odd."
Katie Tarasova (14), Swords
"It's too sweet. I'm not a fan."
Alana Isajeva (15), Swords
"It tastes like fake chocolate. Dairy Milk is way better - why would they do that?"
Maebh O'Donovan (20), Wexford
"I love chocolate and can really notice the difference. It tastes like cheap chocolate from Lidl but I think it's nice. The change isn't huge but you definitely would know it's not Dairy Milk."