How the Penguin Bar saved Britain

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The humble Penguin Bar.

Likened to the Australian Tim Tam, the Penguin is a classic of the school lunchbox, and for me, a chocolate bar for the ages. Simple, with its creamy ganache sandwiched between the perfectly coated biscuit layers, the Penguin never shouted at you for attention rather, like its birth country, it is reserved. But it is not at all lacking in the character and tenacity needed to climb the chocolate bar hierarchy, and in my estimation, crown it.

Despite the predilection of many an Ozzy, the Penguin stands tall above all opposition, not least because of the absolute comic genius ensconced on each packet’s behind. It is nothing short of a deplorable action to ingurgitate this delicacy without first proclaiming to all neighbouring: “Friends! I have a Penguin. Let me read the joke!” and then proceeding to do so.

With rare flavours, such as orange, mint, toffee and chocolate; flavours that practically every other brand had in the middle ages, McVitie’s has always failed to keep hype at a high, but the same thing cannot be said for sales! Thanks to Iceland (the shop not the country) Penguin chocolate bars helped save Chester Zoo over last year’s first lockdown, with all profits from sales of Penguin bars between the 15th and 22nd of June going towards the struggling sanctuary. Never was so much owed by so many to so few in the world of animal care, and never again will such astronomical heights be reached by mere confectionery!

The Penguin is, on a bad day, underwhelming to some. But I believe it’s the miserable, crumpled soul of the Penguin which so accurately mirrors British life, and this coupled with a half-hearted, (but always heart-warming) Penguin-based pun on the back, places the Penguin as somewhat of a shoulder to cry on. An honest friend, as mundane as the world it was born out of, but if you look hard enough, an authentic reflection of the self, with all its flaws and shortcomings.

The Penguin for me is as real as real can get. A humble reminder of where we all came from for when times get tough and the rough ways of the world begin to, once again, take their course after short respite. The Penguin simply cannot, and shall not, be matched, as long as cocoa remains a prized western delicacy and COVID-19 doesn’t force us into a downward spiral not even McVitie’s could survive. The Penguin is like a part of the family; a familiar face. Never questioned. Almost always disregarded. But there all the same.

The Penguin is the best British chocolate bar ever made.