Do you like to go trick-or-treating at Halloween? Of course! Who doesn’t? It’s so much fun to dress up as a clown, a superhero, a ghoul, or a tiger and parade around the neighborhood, begging for sweet treats from your friends and neighbors.
When you get home, you probably head straight to the kitchen to dump your bag of goodies on the table to inspect your haul. Amongst the apples, pencils, and pennies, a wide variety of sweet treats in colorful packages capture your attention. Your eyes quickly scan for those sweetest of treats craved more than any other. What are we talking about? Candy bars!
Candy bars have been a favorite snack of people around the world for over a century. If you’ve ever stood in line at the grocery store waiting to check out, you’re well aware of the wide variety of candy bars available today. Combining chocolate with a host of other tasty ingredients, there seems to be a candy bar for every taste.
Who first came up with the fantastic idea of forming chocolate into an easy-to-eat bar? Historians believe the candy bar dates all the way back to 1847. It was in that year in Great Britain when Joseph Fry and his son first pressed a paste made up of cocoa powder and sugar into a bar shape.
Before that time, chocolate had mainly been used to make sweet drinks. Fry’s bar-shaped chocolate treat was so handy and portable that people soon began to think of chocolate as a food rather than a drink.
Two years later, John Cadbury developed his own unique brand of chocolate bar. Fry and Cadbury eventually joined forces to become famous candy bar confectioners. Their earliest bars probably didn’t taste like the ones you’re familiar with.
The earliest chocolate candy bars were mainly made with bittersweet chocolate that wasn’t nearly as sweet as today’s candy bars. Smoother, creamier, and sweeter milk chocolate bars were first created when Henry Nestle and Daniel Peter began adding milk to the traditional chocolate mixture in 1875.
In the United States, chocolate candy bars became especially popular during and after World War I. During the war, the U.S. government bought large quantities of chocolate to produce candy bars for troops fighting overseas.
Upon their return, soldiers who had become fond of candy bars helped to introduce them to their family and friends back home. The popularity of candy bars took off. It wasn’t long before a wide variety of candy bars was available with all sorts of added ingredients, such as cherries, nuts, marshmallows, caramel, nougat, and toffee.
Some experts believe that there have been tens of thousands of different kinds of candy bars developed over the last century. Some of the most popular candy bars over history include the traditional chocolate Hershey bar, Snickers, Kit Kat, Butterfinger, Milky Way, and Baby Ruth.
Today, candy bars remain a very popular sweet treat for kids and adults of all ages. In addition to a standalone snack, many candy bars have also become popular ingredients in other desserts. Have you ever added candy bar pieces to your ice cream creations?
Candy bars are undeniably delicious, but they’re not necessarily the healthiest snack. Doctors and dentists will tell you they hold very little nutritional value and are high in both fat and calories. While you might want to treat yourself to a candy bar every once in a while, it’s probably best not to make them a regular part of your diet!