Taste Test: Gelato Messina’s Tim Tam range

On January 26th Arnott’s announced that their latest Tim Tam collaboration would be with one of Australia’s most beloved dessert brands, Gelato Messina. Excitement was immediate. Messina have become the go-to for funky gelato flavours, and Arnott’s iconic Tim Tam remain one of the country’s most beloved snacks (they are even available in the U.S now), so surely combining these two should ideally produce the most magical range of Tim Tam flavours yet.

Back in 2015 Arnott’s partnered with Adriano Zumbo, allowing the acclaimed dessert wiz free reign in creating his own flavours for their Tim Tam brand, resulting in the likes of “Salted Caramel” and “Red Velvet”. Reception was huge, and the three limited edition creations – particularly the salted caramel – would regularly fly off supermarket shelves across the country. Can Messina top that? Off reputation alone, sure.

Four flavours have come from the collaboration, which began tracking around a year and a half ago when Arnott’s approached the rapidly growing gelato brand and offered them the chance to transpose their most popular flavour profiles into the ubiquitous biscuit treat. With a dizzying amount of actual profiles in Messina’s long history of ever-rotating specials and signature favourites, it’s a surprise as to what combinations were actually chosen – Black Forest; Coconut & Lychee; Salted Caramel & Vanilla; and Choc Mint – to melt down and reduce to buttercream within the confides of Tim Tam’s Western Sydney factory.

The following is a ranking of the four flavours, from not-as-good to best.

4. Salted Caramel & Vanilla

Yeah that’s right, what was expected to be the pinnacle of Tim Tam glory is surprisingly the most divisive of the range. Salted Caramel is often an unbeatable profile, and where Zumbo’s take succeeded, Messina’s attempt sadly falls a bit flat. Perhaps it’s the overwhelming back palate full of vanilla that suppresses the salted caramel and makes it all too sickly sweet; or maybe it’s just that flavour isn’t all that unique given that we’ve already had salted caramel tim tams. This one sits at an average 5/10 for me.

3. Coconut & Lychee

The fresh and fruity buttercream is overwhelmed by the soapy rich, thick white chocolate biscuit. That’s really a damn shame because, once that heavy chocolate subsides, the lovely aftertaste is quite refreshing and the attention-grabbing lychee taste is consistent from front to back. While this wasn’t my favourite, it is actually the best when it comes to the ever-popular “Tim Tam Slam” (where you bite a bit off both sides of the Tim Tam to create a hole, dunk one side in warm milk, and sip the other side as if it was a straw). I’m feeling a lukewarm 6.5/10 here since the overall taste takes a tumble with the white chocolate – fruity buttercream is always better with darker chocolate.

2. Choc Mint

Coconut & Lychee may be much more distinctive than Choc Mint, but it’s hard to find fault with a Tim Tam flavour when it captures the magic of Mint Slice (one of Arnott’s other best products) or a after-dinner mints so well. It’s intense and decadent, reminiscent of a perfectly balanced mint chocolate gelato albeit encased in a heavenly smooth chocolate biscuit. I’m bumping this one up to 8/10, with points deducted because it’s not different enough from the aforementioned treats.

1. Black Forest

Tim Tam have done a black forest flavour before, and it was one of the best limited editions for the brand to date. This one’s even better. The Gelato Messina team have perfect this one, with a beautiful balance of rich cherry jam with kirsch cream in a dark chocolate biscuit. It’s rich, has a clean slightly bitter finish, and is as addictive as a Tim Tam has ever been. Needless to say, this is the only packet of mine that is currently empty. Black Forest is the new Salted Caramel; this one’s easily scoring a 9/10.

Tim Tam x Gelato Messina range is now available in supermarkets and independent retailers across Australia at an RRP of $3.65 per packet. For more information head to our news section HERE

Images supplied.


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is the Deputy-Editor-At-Large of the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.

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