Archive for the ‘Candy Bar Reviews’ Category

Nick Nack Patty Wack Get Yourself a Kit Kat

Monday, November 16th, 2009 by Becca Droz
A vintage t-shirt with the Kit Kat logo  circa 1980

A vintage t-shirt with the Kit Kat logo circa 1980

Sharability: 4

Denture Danger: 2

Convenience: 5

Novelty: 9

Overall: 9

“Give me a break, give me a break, break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar!” When I was a kid I always replaced “bar” in that song with “cake,” I just thought the rhyme was necessary.

The Kit Kat is a crispy wafer covered in milk chocolate. This is one of those candies that I always forget how good it is until I take a bite and then I just can’t stop munching. With the melty chocolate and the crunchy wafer it is just too good. Sometimes I like to bite the chocolate off from around the wafer and then bite the layers off of the wafer; it makes it last a little longer that way.

The idea for the Kit Kat bar originated from a in a suggestion box response at the Rowntree factory that recommended a snack that a ‘man could have in his lunch box for work.’ Thus the Chocolate Crisp was produced by Rowntree in 1935.

In 1937 it became Kit Kat Chocolate Crisp and became Kit Kat after WWII. The name came from the KitKat club, which was a political/literary club in the 18th century. Rowntree was bought by Nestlé in 1988, and is now produced by Nestlé worldwide. The United States is too good to be like the rest of the world and instead has the Hershey Company producing the Kit Kat bars.

Fun Kit Kat Facts:
- Kit Kat was the number one selling biscuit in the UK last year selling over one billion Kit Kats.
- Kit Kats have not always been recognized by their red wrapper. During WWII there were milk shortages and the Kit Kat was made with dark chocolate and wore a blue wrapper.
-  Kit Kat made the 1997 Guinness Book of World Records by selling 13.2 billion Kit Kats worldwide in 1995.

Sources:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kit_Kat
  • http://kitkat.co.uk/past/

Pittsburgh’s Very Own, Vintage Clark Bar and Zagnut Bar

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009 by Becca Droz
Clark Bars are a true retro candy and hail from Pittsburgh which is home to CandyFavorites.com

Clark Bars are a true retro candy and hail from Pittsburgh which is home to CandyFavorites.com

Sharability: 3

Denture Danger: 6 (It’s sure to get stuck in your teeth)

Convenience: 5

Novelty: 10

Overall: 9

The Clark Bar is—as it says on the wrapper—“Chocoaltey Coated Peanut Butter Crunch.” I guess you could say this is Necco’s version of the Butterfinger. The filling is slightly different than the Butterfinger, however. The Clark bar has a little soft peanut butter snuck into the crunchy, flakey, filling which adds an extra bit of peanut buttery goodness.

In second grade I had a teacher named Mrs. Clark, naturally, her favorite candy was the Clark bar. I brought in a bag of Clark bars for the class and she took every wrapper and hung them around the bulletin board on the wall. Now Mrs. Clark was an advocate of the Clark bar, but she wasn’t the inventor.

Irish-born, David L. Clark, was a guy just trying to make a living like the rest of us. He went through working at a variety of jobs including at a fish market, an art glass factory, and a paint manufacturer. He founded the Clark Company in 1886 in two rooms of a small house in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, what is now the North Side of Pittsburgh.

The company continued to grow and was soon producing some of the nation’s favorite candies. Clark’s company experimented with ingredients such as coconut, mint, and peanut butter, which had never been used in candies before. Some of the most delicious and most popular of these innovative creations were the Clark bar and the Zagnut bar.

The Zagnut bar is basically the exact same thing as the Clark bar, but instead of the flakey peanut butter being coated in chocolate, it is coated in a sweet coconut shell. I know that there are a lot of people out there who don’t like coconut in their candies, but  before you make that claim, try the Zagnut bar. The coconut flavor is far from overwhelming, and incorporates an excellent additional flavor to the crunchy peanut butter.

The Clark Company changed hands quite a bit. It was sold to the Beatrice Food Company in 1955, Leaf Inc. in 1983, renamed to Clark Bar America in 1995, and bought again by New England Confectionary Company (NECCO) in 1999, which is where it thrives today.

I feel like the Clark Bar and the Zagnut bar have declined in popularity in comparison to their cousin, the Butterfinger. I know that I had never even heard of the Zagnut bar until now and I think that is a shame. Not only is this candy an ultimate classic, not only was this candy originally produced in Pittsburgh (my home town), but this candy, along with his brother the Clark bar is absolutely delicious. So next time you are craving a Butterfinger, think back to David Clark and the struggles he must have gone through to create the delicious candy bar that is undoubtedly the candy that influenced the creation of the Butterfinger.

Source:

http://www.necco.com/ourbrands/default.asp?brandid=9

Addicted to Dots

Monday, November 9th, 2009 by Becca Droz
This is a box of Mason Dots Circa 1970's prior to Mason being purchased by Tootsie Roll Industries

This is a box of Mason Dots Circa 1970′s prior to Mason being purchased by Tootsie Roll Industries

Sharability: 8

Denture Danger: 9

Convenience: 8

Novelty: 7

Overall: 8

My first Dots memory took place around 1997. I was seven, my brother, Ben, was ten and we were at the CVS (drug store) near our house. Ben picked up a box of Dots and held it to his chest and said, “I’m addicted to Dots!” Naturally, I did the same exact thing; I picked up a box of Dots, held it to my chest and exclaimed, “I’m addicted to Dots!” I soon realized that, though Dots are tasty, they aren’t my favorite candy and I’m surely not addicted to them. This is one candy that is definitely not reluctant to get stuck in your teeth.

Each one of these extra chewy, smooth, gumdrop shaped candies is bursting with flavor whether it be cherry, strawberry, lemon, lime, or orange.

Dots hit the market in 1945 with Mason and since then they have been America’s number one selling gumdrop brand.

Tootsie bought out Mason in 1972 and now produces over four billion Dots every year, making sure to prevent its addicts from suffering from withdrawal.

  • http://www.tootsie.com/products.php?pid=129
  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dots_(candy)

Creamy Chocolate, Chewy Caramel, Crunchy Cookie: Twix Bar – It’s All in the Mix and Twix PB

Monday, November 2nd, 2009 by Becca Droz
An advertisement for Twix Bars when they were first released!

An advertisement for Twix Bars when they were first released!

Sharability: 2

Denture Danger: 5

Convenience: 5

Novelty: 6

Overall: 9

Chocolate… mmmmm. Cookie… mmmmm. Caramel… mmmmm. All three together in one bar… MMMMMMM. If you say something you wish you hadn’t “Chew it over with a Twix” while you think of the right thing to say, and it probably isn’t “Two for me, none for you.” The crunchy, chewy Twix comes in a package with two bars.

 I’m sure there are a few super generous people out there who share one of the bars and keep only one for himself, but Twix are so delectable and delicious that it takes a strong willed person to give up half of the candy.

Mars’ Twix was introduced into the United States in 1979, two years after it was first produced in the UK. Twix are sold all over the world. The candy was actually called Raider in a lot of European countries before the name was changed to match the international brand name in 1991.

I would say that the original Twix is a homerun while Twix PB is more of single hitter. I was expecting Twix PB the normal Twix with peanut butter added into the mix, but I was unpleasantly surprised to bite into a caramel free bar.

Twix PB is a chocolate cookie, with peanut butter replacing the caramel, all covered in milk chocolate. I’m not saying it isn’t good, but when a candy bar is being marketed under the Twix name, amazing things are to be expected, and the PB just doesn’t cut it.

Listen to me and listen to the commercial satisfy your soul with a “Creamy creamy chocolate creamy, chewy chewy caramel chewy, crunchy crunchy cookie crunchy, Twix, it’s all in the mix.”

Craving the Creamy Caramel of the Cadbury Caramello Bar

Friday, October 30th, 2009 by Becca Droz
Who doesn't love the taste of a creamy Cadbury Caramello Bar?

Who doesn't love the taste of a creamy Cadbury Caramello Bar?

Sharability: 2

Denture Danger: 3

Convenience: 4

Novelty: 6

Overall: 10

If you are one of those people that get a boosted ego from kids thinking you gave out the best candy on Halloween, then go out and buy a couple boxes of Caramellos. I don’t believe I’ve ever gotten a Caramello in my Halloween bag, but if I did I’m sure I was ecstatic.

This candy seems to have sort of flown under the radar and hasn’t quite made it to the popularity level of the Snickers, Reese’s, Kit Kat, Milky Way and those kinds of candies. But in quality, this Cadbury candy is at the same if not a higher level than those.

The Cadbury Caramello comes in four milk chocolate squares filled with a stringy almost liquid caramel. When you break one square off from the others, that string of caramel connects the two, and when you bite into one you usually can’t prevent a little caramel from sticking to your lips and chin.

I remember this as being my older brother, David’s, favorite candy and so naturally I wanted it to be my favorite candy too. That wasn’t too difficult to make happen. One bite into this milk chocolatey, creamy caramely piece of candy and I immediately fell in love.

And for those of you that pronounce caramel as carmel, here is proof that you are pronouncing it incorrectly. You don’t pronounce this candy as carmello, it is pronounced how it is spelled, carAmello.

Reese’s Beloved Peanut Butter Cups and Crunchy ReeseSticks

Monday, October 26th, 2009 by Becca Droz
However you look at it, there are few candies better than Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

However you look at it, there are few candies better than Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

Sharability: 5

Denture Danger: 2

Convenience: 3

Novelty: 8

Overall: 9

“There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s” that was the slogan in all of the Reese’s commercials when I was growing up. My personal preference has always been poking out the center with my thumb to eat the extra peanut buttery center first and then the ring of milk chocolate with the residue of peanut butter second. Taking a bit out of it like a cookie works too, and so does plopping the whole thing into your mouth for a mouthful of chocolate peanut butter flavor.

The value packs with three or four peanut butter cups always seemed like a lot to me. After one, I’m satisfied, but craving one more. So two really is the perfect number, after that they don’t taste as good and you wish you hadn’t eaten so many.

That’s a great excuse to share this delicious candy. Also, I highly recommend that you have a thirst quencher within arms reach when eating a Reese’s peanut butter cup. The chocolate and peanut butter definitely do their job in making you thirsty. I’m a water drinking so I’d say always have water by your side with this candy, but I’m sure milk is great with it too.

Harry Burnett Reese was the creator of the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, hence the name. He was originally employed by Milton S. Hershey, but left to start his own candy company. The H.B. Reese Candy Company was established in Hershey, Pennsylvania in Reese’s basement. In 1963 Reese’s candy company was bought by Hershey for over 23 million dollars and began making the peanut butter cups in 1928.

Reese’s have always been a hit at Halloween. As a kid I would always be sure to have a nice pile of Reese’s cups at the end of the night. They weren’t always my favorite candy, but it was still nice to have them as a highly valued trading item.

ReeseSticks are a great branch product of Reese’s. They slogan on the side of the package reads “The Crisp you Can’t Resist,” and this couldn’t be more true. Wafer cookies are always addicting, but a Reese’s wafer cookie is one-of-a-kind. They are my roommate’s favorite candy. He explained, “It is just so good! It’s like a crunchy Reese’s.”

Milky Way and Formerly Forever Yours, Milky Way Midnight Dark

Friday, October 23rd, 2009 by Becca Droz
Milky Way Advertisement Circa 1930

Milky Way Advertisement Circa 1930

Sharability: 3

Denture Danger: 6

Convenience: 5

Novelty: 8

Overall: 10

You may recall me mentioning in my 3 Musketeers blog that 3 Musketeers was once my favorite candy bar. That was true until I found 3 Musketeers with caramel, the Milky Way. Rich chocolate, creamy caramel, smooth nougat as it is described on the wrapper. (I find it amusing that every candy with caramel uses the adjective ‘creamy’ to describe it, I guess they like alliteration more than the truth). If I were to use a word to describe the caramel in the Milky Way it would probably be gloopy.

The Milky Way Midnight dark has it’s own category of aesthetics and taste. As described on the package “Rich, Dark Chocolate, Golden Caramel, Vanilla Nougat” notice how the adjective describing the caramel is not creamy. The caramel in the dark chocolate Milky Way is no more golden that the caramel in the original, but the colors it contrasts with (dark brown and white) make it appear more golden and so I guess the marketing team at Mars decided to take advantage of this contrast and change up the adjective.

In my personal opinion the original Milky Way can’t be reckoned with, milk chocolate, fluffy chocolate nougat, and gloopy caramel are just too tasty together.

Frank C. Mars is credited with the creation the Milky Way bar in 1923 even though his son Forrest Mars claims to have come up with the idea. The Milky Way was the first filled chocolate bar and Mars Inc.’s first candy bar. The idea for the candy was inspired by a popular malted milkshake at the time. Outside of the United States the Milky Way is made without the caramel (a 3 Musketeers bar under the Milky Way name). The Milky Way was originally produced in chocolate and vanilla, the vanilla bar being called the Forever Yours bar. The Forever Yours bar was discontinued in 1979 but returned in 1989 under the alias Milky Way Dark bar, and in 2000 was renamed again to the Milky Way Midnight bar. 

“At work, rest and play, you get three great tastes in a Milky Way”

Butterfingers: Flaky, Fun, and Crispety

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 by Becca Droz
A vintage advertisement for Baby Ruth and Butterfingers Candy Bar advertisement from the "Golden Age" of candy when candy bars only cost $.05

A vintage advertisement for Baby Ruth and Butterfingers Candy Bar advertisement from the "Golden Age" of candy when candy bars only cost $.05

Sharability: 2
Denture Danger: 6
Convenience: 5
Novelty: 9
Overall: 9

 Nestlé’s Butterfingers are at the top of my favorite candy bar list. A Butterfinger is a “crispety, crunchety, peanut-buttery” chocolate covered bar of a candy flaky peanut-butter flavored filling that resembles peanut brittle.

You probably aren’t going to want to share much of this candy bar, which will leave you with a lap full of crumbs and chunks of the peanut butter filling stuck in your teeth. Luckily those chunks will provide you with a little snack when you are craving a little more after you finish the bar.

The Curtiss Candy Company invented Butterfingers in 1923. The name was chosen in a public contest by a guy whose nickname was Butterfinger. That doesn’t sound like the most flattering nickname as a butterfinger usually describes someone who is clumsy, for example, a football player who can’t catch the ball. Butterfinger was bought by Nabisco and then by Nestlé in 1990 who currently advertises Butterfinger under the slogans, “Follow the Finger,” and “Break out of the Ordinary.”

Fun Facts:
From 1990 to 2001 The Simpsons from the Fox show had a strong advertising campaign using slogans such as “Nobody better lay a finger on my Butterfinger!” and “Nothin’ like a Butterfinger!” After Butterfinger stopped using the Simpsons for advertising, the Simpsons displayed a scene in which Butterfinger bars were unable to be burned and a character says, “even the fire doesn’t want them.” I wouldn’t want to be in the middle of that little dispute.

As an April Fools day prank in 2008 Nestlé announced that they had changed the name of the candy bar to “The Finger.” Nestlé created a whole website around the spoof saying that the previous brand name had been clumsy and awkward. Now you can find silly videos to follow this prank on the Butterfinger Comedy Network.

Mounds and Almond Joy, Sisters for Life

Monday, October 19th, 2009 by Becca Droz
A vintage Almond Joy and Mounds Advertisement

A vintage Almond Joy and Mounds Advertisement

Sharability: 5

Denture Danger: 4

Convenience: 5

Novelty: 8

Overall: 7

When New Years would come around and my bag of Halloween candy was at it’s end there would always be a couple Mounds and Almond Joy sitting at the bottom of my pillowcase bag. I don’t know why, because they really aren’t bad candies, but the coconut just didn’t satisfy my childhood taste buds the way Reese’s and Kit Kats did. My dad was always happy to put me out of my misery and eat the Mounds and Almond Joy for me.

Though I’m not usually a huge dark chocolate fan, it works well with the sweet coconut flavor. And I actually think I prefer it to the milk chocolate Almond Joy. The dark chocolate pulls away from the extremely sweet coconut flavor and the milk chocolate just adds to the sweetness, which is where the almond comes in.

It adds another twist to the flavor and does its job to dull down the sweetness. So both are good in their own unique way, it just depends if you are feeling like a nut or not.

Mounds and Almond Joy are sister Hershey’s products originally produced by the Peter Paul Company. The Peter Paul name is still printed on the candies’ wrappers even though the company itself no long exits. Peter Paul Halajian and some other investors created the Peter Paul Candy Company in 1919. The company originally sold a variety of candies, but because of sugar shortages during WWII they decided to focus on the production of the Mounds bar, which was created in 1920.

In 1946, Almond Joy replaced a candy called the Dream Bar, which was filled with coconut and diced almonds. A famous jingle of the 1970s ad campaign for the sister candies sang, “Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.”

If you are feeling like a milk chocolatey nut, grab an Almond Joy, and if you’re feeling more sophisticated, go for the dark chocolate, nutless Mounds. If you want to take the risk with the youngsters on Halloween night, go for it, at least you know the parents will be happy.

The Diverse World of Snickers: Snickers Milk Chocolate, Snickers Dark, and Snickers Almond

Friday, October 16th, 2009 by Becca Droz
A Vintage Snickers Wrapper

A Vintage Snickers Wrapper

Sharability: 3

Convenience: 5

Denture Danger: 6

Novelty: 8

Overall: 9

 The original Snickers bar is peanut butter nougat topped with caramel and roasted peanuts all dipped in milk chocolate. The Snickers bar not only satisfies your taste buds, but it fills you up a bit too.

I like to bring a Snickers bar with me when I go skiing because it fits in my pocket, tastes good frozen, and gives me the energy and filler that I need to keep my skiing in check.

Every year in the U.S., sales of the Snickers bar reach $2 billion making it the best selling chocolate bar of all time. It was the Mars Company’s second product in 1930 and it was named after the Mars family’s favorite horse. The bar is made by Masterfoods USA, which is a division of Mars.

Until 1990, the Snickers bar was sold under the name “Marathon” in the UK and in Ireland, but just like Mars standardized the Twix name, they decided that it was more beneficial to make an internationally consistent name for marketing reasons. And it worked. After the name was changed, it moved in rankings from 9th most popular to the 3rd most popular bar. However, Britain is not happy about the name change and there is currently an online petition website—bringbackmarathon.org—that is trying to bring the Marathon name back. It says “…in Britain we are proud to be different to everyone else…

[The Marathon Bar is] part of British History, it’s part of our culture…. Too many things get chopped and changed by the advertising men…” and it goes on to try and convince readers to sign a petition to bring back the original name despite the rise in sales that the new name brings.

Snickers bars have evolved since the 1930s. Snickers Almond is also a satisfyingly delicious bar with a unique unexpected strong almond crunch and flavor. It is surprising to me how much the taste is altered by swapping the peanuts out with almonds. It creates for Snickers diversity that really works (as opposed to the Twix and Twix PB).

The Snickers Dark adds a bitter twist and at first bite makes me think it would taste good with coffee. Again, it is another successful adaptation to the world of Snickers diversity. I personally like the smooth sweet taste of milk chocolate better than the bitter dark chocolate and would prefer a Snickers almond or Snickers original but you semisweet chocolate lovers won’t regret it if you “chow-in-the-dark.”

In the heart of Halloween, Snickers is one of those classics with which you just can’t go wrong. But this year instead of going with the original snickers like everybody else, diversify and pick up Snickers dark or Snickers almond. Your trick-or-treaters will be thankful and intrigued by the variety.