Saturday 17 August 2019

Liz Kearney: 'The lady loves Dairy Milk - no substitutes'

Notebook

'It will be interesting to see how the new Dairy Milk fares, but I somehow can't see it appearing in emigrants' care packages any time soon.'
'It will be interesting to see how the new Dairy Milk fares, but I somehow can't see it appearing in emigrants' care packages any time soon.'
Liz Kearney

Liz Kearney

The Dairy Milk. It's up there with Tayto crisps and the can of Coke as part of our national security blanket, the sugar-laden pick-me-up we turn to to make ourselves feel better about a break-up or a bad day at the office.

Earlier this year it was voted the nation's favourite bar, and so beloved is it to Irish people that it is frequently the little purple shiny gift we bring to our friends and relations stranded overseas in America and Australia, pining for the chocolatey taste of home.

So look away now, chocolate-lovers of a nervous disposition, because Cadbury has just released a new version of Dairy Milk, having altered the precious recipe for the first time since 1905.

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The new bar is a reduced sugar version, specially designed for calorie counters. It went on sale in the UK yesterday and will hit Irish markets later this year. And I for one will not be buying it.

Cadbury has been quick to point out the original recipe would of course still be available, but even the thought of tampering with perfection - it's the sugar, that's the point! - sends shivers down my spine.

In general, the idea of creating low sugar or sugar-free options of sweets and soft drinks seems to me a strange concept. If you're trying to lose weight, better to keep the treats to a minimum, surely, rather than rely on "healthier" versions of products whose very appeal is their sweetness?

And while Cadbury has worked hard to ensure its new Dairy Milk has no added chemicals in it, many other low-sugar products rely on aspartame to make them sweet, which adds a sinister after-taste so unpleasant it risks turning you off your food altogether.

It will be interesting to see how the new Dairy Milk fares, but I somehow can't see it appearing in emigrants' care packages any time soon.

'Big Little Lie' is social media can nurture us

It was sad to say a last goodbye to the Monterey Five after the final episode of 'Big Little Lies' on Monday.

OK, so season two of the Sky Atlantic drama didn't quite live up to the stellar first season, but it was still compelling TV right until the end.

And it's been quite a while since a hit show focused so centrally on a relationships between a group of female friends. The complexities of the relationships between the women and the honest, straightforward support they offered one another - Celeste and Madeline in particular - was fascinating to watch.

Shows like 'Big Little Lies', 'Girls' and 'Sex and the City' and of course, 'Friends', are enduringly popular with female viewers because they zone in on an eternal truth; when everything else in your life is going to pot, your friends can preserve your sanity simply by being a shoulder to cry on, or by putting your troubles in perspective by reminding you of the funny side. And there's usually a funny side.

Yet the busy nature of modern life makes it all too easy to connect with 'friends' on social media, but harder than ever to nurture those crucial relationships that really matter.

Thinking about my own friendships makes me realise that even though we are now half way through the year, I can count on one hand the number of times I've properly seen most of them since Christmas.

Those friendships that are a focal point of your teens, 20s and 30s can fall away a little when the busyness of working life and family commitments takes centre stage.

It's a painful realisation and you find yourself crossing your fingers and hoping you'll all still be there for one another when the madness subsides. In the meantime, watching box sets about other people's friends might just have to do.

Irish Independent

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