Saturday, April 14, 2012

Old Time Candy Part 3

Today is part 3 of our four part series looking at the variety available from Old Time Candy.  Today we'll look at 8 more chocolate candy bars because Easter was just last weekend.  Sisters and Brothers, that I'm sure some of you will recall and some of you may have eaten all ready this year but I hope you'll discover something "new" that is actually a fairly old candy.  Remember, that Old Time Candy's claim to fame is presenting candies from decades past.

You can't see it very well in the above photo, but you can get Hershey's Miniatures in two ways from Old Time Candy.  First you can buy it one piece at a time, allowing you to decide how many pieces you want for 25¢ each or you can get a 2 pound bag of them as well.   We were sent a 5oz bag that had 16 pieces in it including original Hershey's chocolate bars (black and silver wrapper), the Special Dark bars (brownish red wrapper), krackel (red wrapper), and mrGoodbar in the yellow wrappers.  The miniatures first appeared in 1939 and contained the most popular bars in tiny form, a tradition that continues today.  With the exception of the Special Dark these candy bars are old favorites.  The original bar was sold in 1900, mrGoodbar showed up in 1925 and what a clever name for the roaring 20s, huh, the krackel appeared in 1938, while the Special Dark only came out in 1971 decades before the craze for darker chocolate for the masses.  All of these 1.75 X 1 X 0.5 inch bars are made with chocolate, cocoa butter, and cocoa with no extra oils or fats but they do have added artificial flavors.  Of these it isn't surprising that the Special Dark has the greatest chocolate essence but the krackel has the least to my taste buds, the rice just takes up too much room compared even to the peanuts in mrGoodbar.  These certainly need to be in the Chocolate Lover's Box.

The Charleston Chew also has a connection to the roaring 20s, the name for the dance craze!  It was introduced in 1922 by the Fox-Cross Candy Company.  Over the decades the shape and flavors have changed as well as ownership with the Tootsie Roll Company holding title but manufacturing it under the Cambridge Brands, Inc, name.  The chocolate variety that we have today was introduced in 1958, I believe based on several internet sources.  I've never had a Charleston Chew and I suspect some of my comments might stir up the passions of some of you out there. Remember our focus is on CHOCOLATE and this falls far short.  Just look at hte ingredients, the only chocolate component is cocoa and it is 4th on the list after corn syrup, sugar, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. True it has a cocoa scent as soon as I opened it but it wasn't what I was expecting from descriptions.  First instead of being in four pieces it is merely only long piece measuring 8.5 X 7/8th X 05 inches.  The inside is this semi-soft sticky stuff that makes it difficult to pull apart.  Given the nutritional values of this there is no way I want to eat more than one bite so how can I perserve it to share without this inside getting hard?  I could freeze it, that's one way people eat these.  This one bite, yeah you know what this reminds me of?  Peeps in terms of flavor and texture.  I don't think this had enough chocolate anything in it to really be in this collection.

The timeline for the GooGoo Cluster was a bit shaky to determine -- some online resources place it as far back as 1899 but the official website for the candy treat claims it was created in 1912 at the Standard Candy Company, the same company that makes it today.  That is some feat given how frequently candy companies are sold or bought out or simply go under over the decades.  The original one is full of tree nuts but also cocoa butter, chocolate liquor, and cocoa powder so this is full of chocolate in at least three forms.  As you can see, it is arranged in layers with most of the chocolate on the coating but also in the top 1/2 of the treat.  This is a big treat at over 2.5 inches across and just over 1 inch thick.  I can smell the cashews and the sweetness as well as cocoa.  It is sticky to chew and the chocolate barely manages to be one of the flavors you taste.  I'm torn because this has three types of chocolate components but the flavors are just too much.

The Oh Henry! bar has a history full of fun stories and the years for it development range from 1920 to 1924.  Created in Chicago at the Williamson Candy Company it was supposedly named for a flirtatious boy who would pop into the shop to check out the pretty ladies working there making candy.  Even the official information provided by Nestlé online is short on historic facts but the story sounds charming, doesn't it, Sisters and Brothers?  I think I've had an Oh Henry! in the past but it has been so long this is like a new candy bar for your Chocolate Priestess to try out.  It is two bars, each 2.25 X 1 X 0.75 inches; makes it easy to share even though both pieces equals one serving.  It smells chocolaty and the ingredients say it is made from cocoa butter and chocolate.  It also smells like peanuts and you can see those in the top layer in the photo above as well as a lot of added ingredients, including extra oils.  It has a good blend of the peanuts, caramel, and chocolate though of these three, the chocolate is the weakness flavor.  I wonder if this might be better in terms of chocolate if it was dark chocolate that could compete with the other flavors or they could simply reduce the number of added sweeteners and oils and let the chocolate and cocoa butter do their job.

So far in this one feature review I've mentioned a candy bar named for a dance but how else might a candy bar get its name?  If you believe some sources on the Net, the Snickers was named for a favorite horse of the Mars family back in 1930.  Snickers claims to be the most popular candy bar in the world though how that claim is backed I'm unsure -- by the dollar amount or the number of bars?  This is a 4.25 X 1.25 X 0.75 inch bars covered in milk chocolate made with chocolate and cocoa butter but also some added oils and extras for the nougat that is one inside layer with the peanuts covered in this corn syrup rich caramel as the other half of the inside.  Chewy, sticky, and crunchy, you can taste a very creamy and sugary chocolate at first but it is quickly overpowered.  I'd put this in a peanut lover's box over a chocolate lover's one personally.

Nestlé introduced one of my favorite candy bars, Crunch, thirty-one years before I was born.  This simple twist on their milk chocolate bar in 1938 was a great idea because chocolate was going to be more difficult to get with WWII in the wings and well through the first part of the 1950s.  Why did I like this so much when I was growing up?  I think I always loved my mother's rice crispy treats especially when she melted in chocolate chips and these remind me of those.  5 3/8th inches long and 2 inches across this looks big is only 0.25 inches thick if you measure the majority of the bar and not the raised edges.  This is one of the purer chocolate candy bars in the feature today sugar chocolate, and cocoa butter are the first three ingredients and the list is shorter than many we've seen today.  It has a very strong vanilla flavor and the the chocolate is very creamy.  While this may have been a favorite of mine in the past, today it just isn't dark enough for me by a long shot but with less ingredients and two products from the cacao bean, it fits in this box.

In 1954, m&m's introduced their peanut variety that was at first only in a tan colored candy coating.  This was also the first appearance of the m&m characters on television; those little dudes are getting old, aren't they?  If you call, I looked at the original or plain m&m's in a previous feature from this online candy shop and I wasn't impressed.  I'm less impressed with these in terms of chocolate.  Why?  They candy coating is just as sugary plus there is the thin chocolate layer but the bulk are these fairly large peanuts.  Great for peanut lovers but in terms of chocolate these fall flat.  They shouldn't be in this box at all.

Finding the history of the 100 Grand bar was a challenge.  There were many stories about people suing radio stations for giveaways where they got the candy but not the money that they thought they'd get, but not a lot of facts.  I believe the bar was first called the $100,000 bar in 1966 but the name as changed to what we know now in the 1980s.  This comes in two pieces though the entire pack is one serving size just like the Oh Henry! also from Nestlé.  Unlike it's sister bar Crunch this has more added sugars and a sweeter scent.  The inside is very soft which the crispy rice is in the top coating only.  What this does is let more of the chocolaty flavor (courtesy of cocoa butter and chocolate) out because there is simply more material that is chocolate here.  This is necessary candy to include in this collection for this fact.

Of these eight a few fell short of what I'd want in a Chocolate Lover's Collection.  There are ten more candy bars to go from Old Time Candy so we'll see in May if those will add to or subtract from the ideal chocolate candy bars through the decades.  I hope you are looking forward to the final part of this series, Sisters and Brothers, because I love reading your comments about your own memories and these treats from the "Chocolate Lovers Collection."  Please note that they offer special shipping for hotter weather, we've all ready had temps in the 80s where your Chocolate Priestess lives, at no extra cost though it may take more time.


Guru Uru said...

I love learning about the history of chocolates - what a wonderful post :D

Choc Chip Uru

Kim Bee said...

I just tried goo recently. Oh my gosh, so good. And I have a thing for krackel.

TheChocolatePriestess said...

This post was the most difficult in terms of finding reliable historical information, Choc Chip Uru.

Kim, I know I used to love more of these candy bars than I do now. I think this journey with Chocolate is making me more aware of so many things that I hope my sharing with you all helps you make better decisions about what to eat/drink and spend money on.

Heidi {Young Grasshopper} said...

oh how I love $100,000 bars!!
fun post, look forward to more :)

TheChocolatePriestess said...

Thanks for reading and commenting, Heidi. If you look at the "Saturday Sacraments" and "Special Sacramental Reviews" you can see all of the features we've done over the years.

Pauline said...

Love this sort of post, history and sweeties! Ideally enjoyed the Cadbury book you flagged up swipe ago and I was surprised then when they mentioned how old m&m s are . Charlestone chew is a new one on me, seems they used to have more fun with their names :-)

Pauline said...

Sorry about some of predictive text for ideally read really and for swipe read awhile ago!!! iPad fingers.....

TammyJo Eckhart said...

No problem, Pauline, I'm thrilled when anyone is inspired enough to comment for us.

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