Even Your Dentist Doesn't Know for Sure
In my youth, it had been noted in many a commercial that four out of five dentists recommended a particular brand of gum for no discernible reason. It was an odd advertising angle since most parents of the time subscribed to the belief that gum would pull out your fillings, rot your teeth and lead to all-around decay, both molar and moral. Simply put, in their minds, the only good candy was no candy.
Still, we children, as connoisseurs of everything sweet, took a more pragmatic view. The remaining dentist, who remained apart from that earlier, misguided group was a hero and a trendsetter for us. He had seen the truth. Hallelujah! In our minds, he, the lone dissenter, would gleefully “prescribe” two to three excellent candy bars per day. This saint among dentists, though graciously serving our ends, also knew the obvious truth of where his own bread was buttered.
The faux dentist (or adman) in question, albeit unknowingly, had set us a task. It was, namely, to determine the greatest candy bars in the world. Not just any candy bars but the ones that were delicious AND dentist approved.
So we set about our task diligently and tried every variety of candy bar. We excluded from the list any pure chocolate bars per se, which would require an entirely different tack. Instead, we concentrated on simply listing the best, absolutely delicious midday snacks that any man, woman and child in North America could and should try every day. As an afterthought, we determined that it’s OK if you eat them in Hawaii too.
To eliminate some of the more egregious bickering that our audience is partial to, we established some ground rules. To wit:
To qualify, the candy bar must be readily available in all 50 states, have more than just chocolate as a component and be affordable to everyone with a dollar or so in their pocket. Pretty simple and yet supremely sublime. Here are they are:
Being loved by the Allman Brothers (their band was once named the Allman Joys) and spoofed by The Simpsons is an excellent record for any candy bar. This particular one is a signature blend of coconut, almonds and milk chocolate and is revered by those who love the refreshing tang and crunch of the coconut center. No other product produces quite the same Caribbean flair as this inimitable taste sensation.
Almost 100 years after its development, most devotees of this singular candy bar still have no idea what goes into a nougat. We loved them as kids because we didn’t understand the concept of volume. All we could see was that this tasty treat was twice as long as any other candy bar. That and the fact that nothing was better than freezing these confections, shattering them into a million pieces and then enjoying the resulting gastronomical paradise.
Many unwitting consumers still understand this icon of Americana to be manufactured in England. It is not and that has never been the case. The Heath bar has been produced solely in the United States for almost a century. Introduced by the Heath brothers in their confectionary shop in 1913, the bar was an instant success and the brothers went into full scale production the following year. A smooth toffee filling with minced almonds is surrounded by a creamy milk chocolate exterior. The bar is as famous for its distinctive snap as for its excellent flavor.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
While technically not a “bar” and though there are dozens of varieties, the standard version of this candy cup still packs one heck of a combination. Ever since an unknown John Travolta walked into some still unknown actor and proclaimed, “You got peanut butter on my chocolate,” this candy has been loved almost universally. Even people with peanut allergies have been known to try one on occasion.
This candy bar was also of dubious merit until we realized that “old” people liked them. Once we realized that our parents liked a candy “fix,” albeit layered in a cookie crisp center, we had them. No candy before meals, ask for a Kit Kat. No candy after nine o’clock, ask, demurely, if you should get a Kit Kat for mom. Dad never said no, he was no fool. Still, this candy survives on its own merits. Its combination of chocolate and crunch is one for the ages.
Undoubtedly, the favorite of our previously mentioned dentist, this delicious concoction of…well, it’s hard to tell. It is certainly covered in chocolate but the insides are a curiously flaky admixture of the tastes of butter, caramel and peanuts. In fact, it is decidedly difficult to precisely pinpoint the actual flavor. Nevertheless, it is absolutely mouth watering. In addition, it has the a remarkable ability to infiltrate every crook and cranny of the eater’s mouth. It takes no vast leap in logic to conclude that this candy is on the list of no-nos from those first four dentists.
The top, the best, the pinnacle, the absolute acme when it comes to candy bars, the Snickers bar has seen an unprecedented popularity throughout its entire existence. It is not even surprising that this candy bar generates two billion dollars in annual sales. To say that this is the most popular candy bar that the world has ever seen is the elephant in the room.
Get it? Elephant? Peanuts? Never mind. Just pick up one of these beauties in any of its fifteen different flavors and enjoy the visceral thrill of what is the best candy bar in the world.
As you can tell, this article was written while under the influence of chocolate and, for that, I make no apologies. Instead, I heartily ask that you indulge yourself and your children with what are, undeniably, some of the greatest taste sensations in the world. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you get peanut butter on my chocolate and sometimes a candy bar is the one thing that can heal all wounds.