21 September, 2010

Malted Milk Ball Cage Match: Whoppers vs Mighty Malts

Malted milk balls are a pretty basic treat:  Crunchy malted milk candy coated with chocolate.  So it should come as no surprise that there really isn't that much difference between New England's regionally-available Mighty Malts, produced by NECCO, and nationally-famous Whoppers, made by Hershey Foods.
Mighty Malts on the left, Whoppers on the right.
Mighty Malts are slightly larger than Whoppers. The malted milk interior is a bit darker in color and stronger in flavor, with a slightly "cultured" yogurtish taste.  There are tflavor differences with the outside "chocolatey" layer as well.  Whoppers taste like mild milk chocolate, while Mighty Malts have a heartier "cocoa" flavor. Also, because they are coated with confectioner's glaze, Mighty Malts are shiny and resist melting when held in the hand.

Regardless of their individual flavors, though, don't be calling either of these candies "chocolate coated" because they really aren't.  The outside candy on both is a slightly weird and waxy "mockolate" that contains no cocoa butter.

Anyway, when it comes right down to it, they're so similar (in make up as well as in price) that it really doesn't matter which one you choose in the local store.  Personally, I prefer the Mighty Malts for the richer cocoa taste, but I bet most kids wouldn't really care about such a subtle difference.  Mighty Malts are somewhat harder to find, while Whoppers are just about everywhere (NECCO is, after all, a much smaller company than Hershey.)

Special thanks to Foodette Reviews - Jess' review of Whoppers inspired this post.

Oh, by the way:  When I was writing this post, I wanted to check out an old version of the Whopper's label, back when the candy was still made by Leaf.  So I went over to Google's Image Search and typed in vintage whoppers.  Don't do that, especially with SafeSearch off.  Seriously.  Don't.


MrsBug said...

How do you feel the thickness of the mockolate coating is between the two? My favorite part of Whoppers has always been the malty part inside and I know I'll be in the minority when I say that I think their coating is too thick.

Andrew said...

I got some Malty Balls for ya RIGHT HERE, buddy!
Heh heh.

Same goes for the Whopper.

But in all seriousness, I prefer the standard Whoppers. They perfected that candy, even if they lack charm.

Dave said...

MrsBug - The coating is thicker on the Whoppers than on the Mighty Malts, but the Mighty Malts have that confectioner's glaze on them to protect the mockolate from damage.

Andrew - The Whoppers of my childhood were slightly different, but not in any really significant way. Interestingly, though, when they were made by Leaf, Whoppers were also covered in shiny confectioner's glaze. Hershey dropped that somewhere along the line.

Jen Cheung said...

i never tried the malted milk mall ball from mighty malts before. but if u mixed them up together - i probably cant figure the difference of it :)

have a lovely tuesday love.
jen @ www.passion4food.ca

Nope. said...

Whoo hoo! And- Gaaaah, my eyes! Thanks for the shoutout. :)

Anonymous said...

I love Whoppers, but I hate it when you get a bad one (gummy on the inside). You can usually tell which ones are bad though because they are abnormally small.

Elvenbeads said...

Our local Big Lots store in Jersey City and Elizabeth, NJ hooked me to Necco's Mighty Malts. The outside is fine to me, I LOVE the strong malt flavor so highly in fact that I ALSO LOVE Ovaltine. I have been drinking the chocolate malt for years. I also love the plain malt powder for drinking and baking. I don't like whoppers because they taste like Styrofoam. While Maltesers have a very strong outer coating, and the filling just melts over your teeth. It's very, very GROSS. Just my opinion. I wish I could buy more NECCO mighty malts because our local Big Lots has sold out of their lot of them. Please bring them back or tell me where I can find them.

Unknown said...

Love the Mighty Malts! They definitely have a better malt flavor, and are bigger than the Whoppers. They are at Dollar General! They come in a milk carton type container or a bag.