BBC Breakfast: Naga and Charlie debate Colin the Caterpillar
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Caterpillar cakes have become increasingly popular in recent years with Marks and Spencer creating the first Colin the Caterpillar cake in 1990, selling more than 15 million of the food item over the years. Other supermarkets including Co-op, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and Asda also have their own versions of the cake.
Marks and Spencer began legal action last week against Aldi for trademark infringement with its Cuthbert the Caterpillar cake.
With other supermarkets also selling their own versions, each with different names, consumer group Which? took the taste test to find the best one.
Judges tasted six caterpillar cakes including Colin the Caterpillar from M&S, Calli the Caterpillar from Tesco, Wiggles the Caterpillar from Sainsbury’s, Cecil the Caterpillar from Waitrose, Charlie the Caterpillar from Co-op and Clyde the Caterpillar from Asda.
Which? said: “Unfortunately, Aldi’s Cuthbert the Caterpillar couldn’t attend as it’s a seasonal product and not in stock at the moment.”
Judges put the cakes into two categories including the best taste and the best appearance.
Over two days, nine taste testers, a mix of adults and children, blind tasted the different cakes.
Co-op came out on top in terms of taste, with its £7 Charlie the Caterpillar.
Testers said Charlie had “loads of gooey buttercream filling and a moist chocolate sponge” wrapped in a “really crispy” milk chocolate shell.
Shop Charlie the Caterpillar here.
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The cake, which serves 12, consists of fondant icing for its face and feet with the chocolate shell covered in sprinkles and chocolate coated buttons.
One of the judges said: “It’s easily and obviously the best. It’s most, spongy and a clear winner with the most flavour.”
In terms of appearance, it was Cecil from Waitrose who took the top spot.
Costing £7 from the upmarket supermarket and serving 12, testers described the cake as “a bit dry”, but was said to be “cute” with its chunky white chocolate face, icing eyes and little chocolate feet.
Shop Cecil the Caterpillar here.
The shell is decorated with colourful sugar-coated chocolate buttons as well as white chocolate stripes, but he doesn’t have sprinkles like some of the other supermarket options do.
Judges also said that the cake was a little bit sweeter compared to the alternatives, and came top for appearance for four out of the nine testers.
Asda’s Clyde the Caterpillar split the panel, with some loving his gooey buttercream and others saying he was too sweet and also very dry.
Most of the testers agreed that M&S’ iconic Colin the Caterpillar had the best chunky white chocolate feet as well as a thick white chocolate face and a pink tongue.
Shop Colin the Caterpillar here.
He was described as being “moist, light and not too rich” as well as having “a good crunchy shell” but some thought the was too dry and had a bland flavour.
Sainsbury’s £6 chocolate version received the second-highest marks for flavour, although judges were not a fan of the lack of detail in his milk chocolate eyes.
Judges thought Tesco’s Call had a slight flavour of fudge and was slightly underwhelming compared with the others.
Aldi had stopped selling its caterpillar cake in February but recently bought back a limited edition version of the chocolate cake to support Teenage Cancer Trust and Macmillan Cancer.
M&S said it loved a charity idea, but Aldi should use its own character, Kevin the Carrot.
Shop Tesco’s caterpillar cake here and Sainsbury’s caterpillar cake here.
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