Candy bars and sports heroes have a long history together. Many greats have had candy bars named in their honor, from Muhammad Ali to Reggie Jackson to The San Diego Chicken himself. The tradition continues with another athlete-inspired bar that will be hitting shelves this winter: the Big Mo’ bar, named in honor of Moorestown, North Carolina and its most famous resident: NASCAR star Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
The bar is produced by the R.M. Palmer company, which is a nice change of pace, as Palmer chocolate is very different than the chocolate produced by other leading candy companies. Palmer chocolate is thick and dense, with a smooth finish that coats the throat upon swallowing and often requires a milk chaser to wash it down completely. It is a chocolate experience that is loved by some and loathed by others.
Most of you have probably experienced this Palmer phenomenon during the time of year when the company truly shines: Easter, when Palmer Double Crisp, Big Ears, and Big Foot bunnies compete with various Cadbury eggs and Marshmallow Peeps for basket superiority. Anyone who has ever eaten a chocolate bunny can understand the wide spectrum of emotions that goes in to eating such candy, and it is that type of chocolate bunny-esque, “Oh, I love this chocolate but dear god I can’t breathe” goodness that coats the Big Mo’.
The chocolate component of the Big Mo’ bar is offset by a simple creamy filling. There are currently two flavors that fill the Big Mo’ bar: Creamy Caramel and Peanut Butter.
The Peanut Butter Mo’ is vastly superior: the super creamy peanut butter filling is unlike any other peanut butter bar out there today, due mainly to the fact that most peanut butter-infused candy bars on the market are Reeses’ related and contain the glorious, slightly granulated and powerfully distinct flavor of Reeses’ peanut butter. The Big Mo’ offers a different peanut butter/chocolate experience, one that I enjoyed quite a bit, as the peanut butter had a richer, slightly roasted taste that blended wonderfully with the sweet, thick chocolate coating.
Sadly, I was not a big fan of the Creamy Caramel Mo’. The caramel was way too sweet, and had a strong maple sugar taste, which didn’t mix well at all with the already overwhelming sweetness of the chocolate. There was no anchor to either ingredient: either the caramel is going to be sweet, or the chocolate, but when both elements of a two element bar are sweeter than a litter of golden retriever puppies laying on a rainbow made of sugar-coated unicorns, the bar just doesn’t work. It’s a shame, too, because I adore caramel, and would love to see another caramel/chocolate bar (akin to the Caramello) come into the market.
As I mentioned earlier: these bars are super dense. I actually think the Big Mo’ would work better in wrapped form, a la Dove Promises, as one piece of a Big Mo’ is quite rich and satisfying. A few Big Mo’ squares might also be a tasty addition to a standard S’mores. Of course, you can always just eat the entire bar, but I’d recommend a glass of milk, a deep breath, and, like Dale Earnhardt, Jr. himself, the determination to take the wheel, buckle up, and finish the race, no matter what.