In my formative years I loved strawberry Charleston Chew candy bars, just due to their sheer size (I was always a quantity over quality person when I was younger). As an adult, I have become somewhat of a Zero man when it comes to candy bars, as I can’t find a strawberry Charleston Chew anywhere, add that to the fact I’d look ridiculous eating such a big candy bar now. As a child living in the days of adults thinking candy bars are a good source of energy, I can tell you I’ve had my share of them. These were never offered by my mother as after school type snacks, but rather something to eat before football, hockey practice, camping, hiking and weightlifting tournaments.
As children often are without jobs, and therefore penniless vagabonds, I wasn’t always the decision maker in what got bought as a snack for such arduous activities. Invariably I had to bend to the whims of my mother with regards to the world of candy. Her go to candy bar of choice was the Snickers bar.
The Snickers bar was never my favorite. I didn’t hate it, as I love most any candy that has nuts as a main ingredient. But with chocolate having such a unique flavor, and peanuts likewise having their own distinct flavor, it always seemed as though the two tastes in one candy bar sort of competed with each other. Leaving a sort of stinging sweet aftertaste to linger in the back of my throat, long after the bar was eaten.
I never complained to my mother, and she kept buying Snickers bars. My reasoning was thus, I’m getting to eat chocolate and caramel. The peanuts are a small price to pay for the privilege of eating something, that would in any other circumstances be considered fare more suitable for Beelzebub. So I continued to eat them until I left home to strike out on my own.
I haven’t really been much of a candy bar eater since I left home except for the occasional sugar fix maybe once or twice a year. I became aware of the Snickers with almonds about 2002 or so and thought; finally somebody fixed the damned thing. Too bad it was fixed twenty plus years after it would have been useful to me. But as I was more or less set in my ways, I’d always reach for a Zero or Milky Way bar when it came time for my bi-annual sugarfest.
I was grocery shopping with my mother yesterday and we happened to be standing in the check-out line talking about the candy bars in front of us. I already knew her favorite and couldn’t help but confide in her that it was never my favorite. She laughed and said “well you sure ate enough of them!” I explained that they weren’t horrible and that it was the peanuts that were the issue, she saw the Snickers Almond and picked one up telling me, “problem solved.”
I laughed and went to put the bar back and she said. Well, aren’t you going to see if almonds make it better? She did have a point, and it had been a while since I’ve had a candy bar so I decided to try one. We threw it onto the belt to be bagged with the rest of her groceries, and I drove her back to my childhood home to try.
Snickers, owned by Mars, Inc. has been around since 1930 and was named after the favorite horse of the Mars family. It wasn’t available in the UK or Ireland until 1990 as it was called a Marathon bar. This is all fine and well as when I was in the UK in the late 80’s I was too busy being perplexed at why the Milky Way Bar wasn’t a Milky Way Bar, and what the heck was a Lion Bar anyway?! Can’t they standardize candy worldwide for my own personal convenience?!
The Snickers Almond has been out since 2002 and is exactly the same as the regular Snickers except for the choice of nuts. What can I say, it was the problem. From the first bite to the last, everything was great about the Snickers Almond. The toasted almonds complimented the caramel and then hints of nougat and milk chocolate danced around, then took a bow and disappeared. Overall, very satisfying.
I’ll never be a candy bar man in a way candy bar manufacturers would like me to be. But from now on when I’m looking to have my own personal sugar-palooza, it’ll definitely be a toss-up between a Zero and Snickers Almond. Now if only I could find a damned strawberry Charleston Chew.