Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Clark Bar

        The Clark Bar is a poor attempt at a masquerade. It hides its face behind the colorful wrapper and masculine name, but on the inside it is undesirable. The chocolate isn’t even up to Reece’s lowered standards, nor is the peanuty inside worthy of breaking your diet for. This candy bar had been sitting in my purse for three days. That’s seventy-two long hours of anticipation, of rereading the proclamation of the goodness its wrapper claims. Like a bad first date or an attractive kleptomaniac, I was swindled. So outraged was I that I took a peek at the manufacturer, just so I could know who was to blame for inflicting this disrespect on my home. One word (followed by many more unpublishable words) filled my brain with hate and my mouth with unrelenting distaste.
Purveyor of disgusting sugar wafers they deem as candy and pusher of chocolate that were it not named so, one would never guess it was. I am horrified that I ever fell for such a charade. How this hooded figure made it past security to lure young women into its clutches is beyond me. It’s time for consumers everywhere to stand up and say, “No! No more will I settle for I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not instead of real butter. We will not eat whipped topping with nonfat milk instead of rich cream. And we will not consume Necco chocolate that reeks of chalk with a filling so mundane that it can hardly be called food or candy, and is not worthy to be placed in mouths that still have the courage to call out "Freedom! Freedom! Freedom from degradation of the good name of chocolate!"

The Chunky Bar

        "This month I’ve hijacked the blog from Yani, since she is wrong about her opinion of the Chunky bar. The Chunky is an unsung hero that people who don’t like nuts in their candy just can’t appreciate the subtlety of. These people are obviously crazy, so we feel no hesitation or remorse when we kick them off their own blog. When a light, yet creamy chocolate mixes willingly with raisins and peanuts, anyone who objects clearly has issues they have yet to deal with. Raisins and peanuts in a candy bar practically make it a health food, which is, of course, why I feel no guilt eating several.
"A little known fact is that when this candy bar was developed by Philip Silvershein in the 1930s, it was originally in the shape of a pyramid. Due to packing difficulties, the top was cut off, leaving the four-square shape that we have today. The peanuts used to be the more expensive cashews and Brazil nuts, lending to what I can only assume would have been a richer flavor. As I consumed the rest of Yani’s that she could not be bothered to finish, I thought about those of us who have been cut in half by life. Be it our family, our friends, work, or just the cruelty of time, some of us are cut down so much so that we are unable to stand tall. Our innards are sacrificed for cheaper, less impressive ones so that our true selves are not known. Even to those we love and trust, we end up hiding the intrigue we could be offering, and we trade it in for the more socially acceptable option that costs less for others to enjoy, but costs most for us to live with. Over time, it’s a wonder anyone ever would guess that once upon a past life, we possessed decadence and mystery worth speaking of. That though the price is higher, we are worth it."

Hershey's S'mores Candy Bar

         It is usually sad when a candy bar is taken permanently off the shelves. All that work of developing what someone was certain were the perfect flavors was all for nothing. He must now hang his head in shame as us lesser folks blog about our unhappiness with the inferior product. Hershey’s S’mores bar will grace our shelves no more, and no one, save for the inventor, will miss it much.
        The graham cracker bits were not enough. The marshmallow filling atop it was laughable to be called such, and the chocolate was lacking the certain something that makes the bar’s namesake a treasured treat.
        Perhaps Hershey’s was banking on the nostalgia instilled in everyone when the name is mentioned. Just picking up the bar, I couldn’t help but hope for campfire, sleeping bags and socks pulled up over my pants to fend off mosquitoes. But I learned that nostalgia can only take you so far. Sooner or later you need an unforgettable moment in the present. You have to mix in new experiences with old memories to resurrect them. This bar only reminded me of how far short it fell of an actual s’more. High fructose corn syrup and nonfat milk-laiden candy is no replacement for the simplicity of a chocolate bar, graham crackers and a burnt marshmallow.
        I’m sure Hershey’s would’ve been thrilled if candy connoisseurs would’ve taken to their inferior replacement of the classic. However, it seems that romantics and sentimentalists everywhere are settling for nothing short of the real thing.

5th Avenue Candy Bar

        This month’s non-food of choice is the 5th Avenue candy bar. Though you’ve undoubtedly seen it sitting on the shelf at the checkout, you’ve most likely passed it over for the more familiar Snickers, or the eye-pleasing Butterfinger. However, the last girl chosen to dance with on prom night is still a girl, so this candy bar deserves its fair turn around the dance floor as well. It has been rumored to be named after either the glamorous 5th Avenue in New York, or the street in Reading, Pennsylvania that creator William Luden (of Luden Cough Drops fame) started his business on in the 1930s. The wrapper is plain brown, bespeaking of the average brown chocolate inside.
At first it tastes like a Butterfinger, but with the proportions all wrong. The average chocolate is thicker, and the faux peanuty crunch inside is compacted, making dislodging it from your teeth nearly impossible.
Life is full of choices. Small town or big city? The familiar candy or the new adventure? There may be a reason why you've never heard of Reading, Pennsylvania. Why you reach for the Butterfinger over the 5th Avenue. The 5th Avenue is not high on my list, but it serves its purpose: it presents you with a choice.
Ingredients can only take you so far in life. Sooner or later, you have to admit to yourself that the rush of pure sentiment can override your otherwise logical brain in its entirety, making a truly average candy bar, or a truly unremarkable town, unforgettable.

The Zero Bar

To all my fellow candy enthusiasts, chocolate lovers and aspiring non-food critics, this blog is dedicated to you. 

This month, Yani and I are revisiting the Zero bar. The Zero bar boasts of white fudge coating over a nutty nougat. The wrapper is pleasing to the eye. The name is ominous, if not humble. But the taste is nothing if not unremarkable. In our quest to find the perfect unsung hero of candy bars, the Zero bar falls far short of the desired flawlessness.
Upon opening the package, the bar smacked of high fructose corn syrup and stale nougat. Stale is the most appropriate word I can think of, because even though it was nowhere near it's expiration date, the car smelled old. Like it had been sitting under newspapers. In fact, I dare say that if I had not known it was a candy bar, I would not be able to tell what it was just by the scent.
White chocolate is a tricky animal. Done wrong, it can taste bland with nothing but a chalky residue and a grimace to remember it by.
Calories are precious, dear friends. Spend them wisely and skip the Zero Bar.