I want to see a show of hands, or comments, Sisters and Brothers. How many of you have had a Milky Way candy bar from Mars? You know the "rich chocolate, creamy caramel, smooth nougat" on the label Milky Way. How many of you have had the Milky Way Midnight Dark variation that came out a few years back just as the hype about darker chocolate being healthier was beginning? I've had one a while back but I found these on sale, two for the price of one, at my local Kroger and decided it was time to do another comparison of the dark versus milk chocolate candy bar reviews.
First thing to note is that these bars are not the same size. The Milky Way is 2.05 oz versus the Midnight Dark's 1.76 oz. So the nutritional information on the darker variety better have fewer calories, saturated fat and other differences simply because of size difference. Also remember that these bars will cost you the same but you are getting less, about 15% less candy for the dark version. The regular has 40 more calories, 1g more saturated fat, 20mg more sodium, 5g more sugars, 1g more protein, 3X the calcium but no iron. Out of all of that difference, the only honest one I see that can reflect the dark versus milk and not the size difference is the iron and calcium content. Aside from semi-sweet versus milk chocolate as the first ingredient on the appropriate label, the ingredients are identical. If it get this because it is healthier, it must be because the bar is smaller which you can't see in the photo above, can you? Difference between shape and weight though in the next photo you can see the darker variety is shorter.
So if you aren't buying it for the health, what about the tastes? We'll start with the regular Milk Way. The outer coating is thick and snaps when I bite into it and it tastes chocolate, not like cocoa and wax. The nougat is creamy and fluffy while the caramel is a bit sticky and sweetly tart. Just what I expect from this candy bar. The Midnight Dark version looks different as you can see inside and out. The white nougat sets off the darker color of the coating but it also saps some of the darker chocolate's scent for some odd reason but the cocoa scent is pretty strong still. Midnight Dark is softer to bite into and very squishy to chew. The nougat is vanilla tasting and not as fluffy which makes the caramel seem more tangy but the dark chocolate has a nice bitter essence to it.
I think given the two I personally like the darker version. I just have to remind myself that a slightly smaller candy bar is still a candy bar and I'm not wasting my money if it's on sale and I have it rarely as a treat in place of the regular Milk Way.
Sisters and Brothers, may you, too, take the time to slowly appreciate what the Divine and human ingenuity have offered you in chocolate.