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Fun with a cherry on top


Fun with a cherry on top

Sami Muirhead celebrates a chocolate bar that has long been associated with good times and birthdays throughout her life.

She is all class. Sleeker than a red sports car. More elegant than a super model. Stylish and sophisticated and her lumps and bumps and ripples bring some of us to our knees. And this year, she is turning 100.

Congratulations to the Cherry Ripe chocolate bar.

Originally created in Fitzroy in Melbourne in 1924, the cherry chomper has long bewitched many of us chocolate lovers with its chewy combination of cherries, coconut and dark chocolate.

It is the country’s oldest chocolate bar.

When I was a child, my mum would make a Cherry Ripe Slice for our birthdays some years. It was a very thick chocolate biscuit base with the mixture on top that was simply condensed milk, red food colouring and the killer fancy secret ingredient: maraschino cherries.

Oh, you were properly posh if you cooked with maraschino cherries. They were very exotic and aspirational.

Cherry Ripes cut into thirds would be plopped on top of each cube of Cherry Ripe Slice and life was good.

Truth be told, it was a sickly sweet slice but as a kid, I thought we were basically billionaires when mum made me that slice of heaven.

Then as I got older, Cherry Ripes became my favourite movie food. I watched Ghost, Pretty Woman and Top Gun on the big screen – all while clutching and savouring my Cherry Ripe, while I watched in wonder at adults pashing in the movies.

Then, when I lived overseas, my sister would send care packs to me n Canada where I would rip open the precious mail to devour Caramello Koalas, Twisties and Cherry Ripes.

Nowadays, my three kids are fans of the Cherry Ripe and it is a treat.

I will buy those when I see them half price at the supermarket.

Some other icons are turning 100 this year, including Kleenex tissues, Band-aids, and Birdseye frozen vegetables.

They are staples in our home and very useful and I salute these products.

But for sheer decadence and joy, it has to be the celebration of the century for the cherry chocolate bar.

Happy birthday, Cherry Ripe, you delicious Aussie icon.


Sami Muirhead is a radio announcer, blogger and commentator. For more from Sami tune into Mix FM.

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