The Custard Cream biscuit has to be the perfect economy treat - ideal for eating in frugal January while we wait for the credit-card bills to arrive.
I realise these biscuits are one of the cheapest available (sometimes less than twocents each) but they are still luxury to anyone that grew up in the 1970s when Marietta and Rich Tea biscuits were often the only other choices.
The good news is that I found very little difference between the different custard creams I tested so you can probably buy the cheapest available (Lidl Tower Gate).
I tasted them blind and in the correct format (with a cup of Barrys Gold Label tea), and whether branded or basic discount supermarket own-brand, the flavours were much the same.
Some did seem fresher tasting (perhaps more recently baked) with crunchier biscuit and I thought I could detect subtle differences in the vanilla cream filling, but I admit on a different day we might have had a different winner.
LIDL TOWER GATE CUSTARD CREAMS €0.59 PER 400G (1.5 CENTS EACH)
Reasonably crisp biscuit, good sweet vanilla cream flavour. Slightly crumbly but not too soft and survived dunking quite well. Outstanding value. 7/10
ELKES CUSTARD CREAMS €0.69 PER 300G — 100PC EXTRA FREE. (3 CENTS EACH)
Crunchy biscuit, sweet creamy centre, standard flavours. Very good. 7/10
DUNNES STORES ST BERNARD CUSTARD CREAMS €0.69 PER 400G (2 CENTS EACH)
Slightly softer biscuit, very sweet vanilla cream filling. Classicflavours. Good value. 6.5/10
CRAWFORD’S CUSTARD CREAMS €0.99 PER 300G (4 CENTS EACH)
Soft but still crunchy biscuit, moist sweet vanilla cream flavour — dunked well. 6.5/10
BOLANDS CUSTARD CREAMS €0.99 PER 150G (8 CENTS EACH)
Solid crisp biscuit, typical sweet vanilla flavour, slightly firmer texture than some examples but still good — the most expensive. 6.5/10
ALDI BELMONT CUSTARD CREAMS €0.59 PER 300G (2.5 CENTS EACH)
Slightly soft, plain light vanilla flavour, slightly wet taste that I didn’t like quite as much. 6/10
TESCO CUSTARD CREAMS €0.98 PER 400G (2.5 CENTS EACH)
Crunchy biscuit, lighter vanilla-flavoured cream, slightly artificial flavour in the cream. 5.5/10
SUPERVALU CUSTARD CREAMS €0.98 PER 300G (3 CENTS EACH)
Crunchy biscuit, slightly false vanilla flavour, not as sweet as some other samples. 5.5/10