From the closing days of the 19th century, an on through most of the 20th, the candy bar has been as much a part of American modern history and culture as the automobile, baseball, apple pie, and eventually, jazz and rock and roll. While the term ‘favorite’ can more than likely spark a plethora of debates when it comes to candy bars, this collection of the top five choices is drawn from the unique heritage wrapped within each candy bar’s history, as well as just how long these chocolate-covered icons have maintained their steadfast presence on the candy store shelves, from one sweet-craving generation to the next.
As an appropriate introduction, a nod of recognition must be given to two pioneers in the confectionery world most responsible for bringing these delightful creations to the global appetite of chocolate-covered consciousness. The first was a candle maker from Vevey, Switzerland named Daniel Peter, who brought the process of making milk chocolate into existence in 1857. By 1875, and with the help of Henri Nestlé, the first milk chocolate bar was created, and the two went on to establish the Nestlé Company four years later. Because of the dedicated labors of these inventors, emerged the beginnings of a craftsmanship and passion that would take hold in the hearts and minds of candy empire-builders like Frank C. Mars, Milton Hershey, Otto Schnering, and Peter Paul Halajian.
The following is a compilation of their crowning achievements, and the basis for the choice of ‘top five’ candy bars: American-made, and how long each product has captured the taste fascinations of untold millions, from all over the world, since they first appeared so invitingly wrapped, and nestled within the glass display counters of our neighborhood five-and-dimes.
- Hershey’s Chocolate Candy Bar – 1900 – 112 years old; Hershey’s Company
- Baby Ruth Candy Bar – 1920 – 92 years old; Curtis Candy Company (Nestlé)
- Mounds Candy Bar – 1920 – 92 years old; Peter Paul Candy Company, (Hershey’s)
- Milky Way Candy Bar – 1923 – 89 years old; Mars, Incorporated
- Snickers Candy Bar – 1930 – 82 years old; Mars, Incorporated
And what better way to describe the delight-inspired feelings often generated by these particular chocolate choices, than with the jingled words created by Leon Carr back in the early 1970s . . .“Sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don’t”.