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Retro Candy Review: Chunky Bar

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Chocolate Candy,Classic and Retro Candy

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Every year, the internet spews out a million lists of overrated and underrated things. This band isn’t as good as your brother thinks it is; this movie was tremendous, even though only four people saw it; this book may be a best seller, but it’s pretty lousy; nobody appreciates the greatness of slugs, and so on and so forth. These lists can be annoying, as some people tend to hate everything that is even remotely popular, but at times the lists can also be incredibly validating: sometimes it’s nice to see a popular-yet-stupid thing get ripped to shreds, and even nicer to see an underrated gem get its due.

It’s with this in mind that I tell you, Candy Addicts, that the Nestle Chunky bar is the most underrated candy bar of all time.

Let’s start with the basics: a Chunky bar, (which got its cringe-worthy name in the 1930s, after inventor Philip Silvershein decided to name the bar after his granddaughter, who apparently was also called “Chunky” – for obvious reasons), is a slab of creamy Nestle milk chocolate, raisins, and peanuts. It’s a bit like a giant Raisinet/Goober hybrid, as if someone left a box of Goobers and Raisinets to melt atop each other and then re-harden into a trapezoid of awesome.

A few weeks ago, I was talking to some friends about how much I loved the Chunky bar, and their first reaction was, “Do they still make those?” Like many an underrated candy, Chunky flies under the radar, content to sit on the lower half of pharmacy candy shelves, its 1980′s wrapper and odd shape giving it a low profile below flashier, slicker new products. I, myself, had not had a Chunky bar in ages, and though I knew they still existed, I felt terribly sorry for the poor Chunky and my lack of attention to it over the past few years. Needless to say, I went out and bought one that afternoon.

The Chunky bar is the kind of candy bar that tastes like a memory; even the wrapper looks the same as it did when I was a kid, which is a rarity nowadays, as many candies are upgrading their packaging and such. The best part of the Chunky bar, to me, is the equally underrated Nestle milk chocolate (the red Nestle bars are also an old school favorite of mine), which is milkier and sweeter than Hershey and provides the perfect compliment to the bitterness of the raisins and the roasted crunch of the peanuts.

The best way I can describe the Chunky bar is this: it tastes like a trick-or-treat bag from 1987, in the best possible way. If you were a serious trick-or-treater back in the day, then you’ll know what I mean: after a certain point, the candies in your pillowcase all seem to take on a similar taste, a sort of sweet, nutty, creamy, lovely phenomenon where a Crunch has elements of a Milky Way and a Butterfinger takes on a slight hint of Kit Kat. The Chunky bar is an embodiment of that phenomenon. It’s hard to pinpoint, but maybe it’s the combo of creaminess, crunch, chewiness, and chocolaty goodness that pulls it all together.

Whenever a new candy bar hits the market, I have two reactions: at first, I get extremely excited. New candy is awesome and fun and always welcome. But my second reaction is one of fear: for every new candy that takes off, there is one less spot on the shelf for an old standby. And I get a bit nervous when I think of the little ol’ Chunky bar, just hanging out in its dated wrapper, overlooked and underrated. So if you are so inclined, (and especially if you’re a fan of Raisinets or Goobers), perhaps you should pick up a Chunky bar and give it a whirl. And if you think I’ve overrated it, you can always come on the internet and tell me so.

Buy Chunky Online:

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19 Responses to “Retro Candy Review: Chunky Bar”

  1. 1
    Cat says:

    I looove Chunky bars. I bought one just out of curiousity a year ago (i’d never had one).

    A few months ago I brought home a couple of king sized ones.. and my mom’s eyes lit up when she saw them. She loves them but hadn’t had one in ages! I was shocked..

  2. 2
    The Mayor of Bethville says:

    How have I missed these? I love nuts, chocolates, and raisins all together.

  3. 3
    Monica says:

    “Trapezoid of awesome” may very well be my favorite candy description to date.

  4. 4
    katastic says:

    Okay, you know what? I am going to go buy a Chunky bar somewhere. I SWEAR TO GOD. I don’t know how to find it, but I shall.

  5. 5
    Jeni says:

    I love Goobers, and I LOVE Raisinets more than anything in the world. (Except maybe Kissables.) Where in the world did you find this?

  6. 6
    Robby says:

    If you’re looking for Chunky, in my experience just about all Rite Aids, CVS, and Walgreens stock them (each usually does in it’s own way. Sometimes it’s in the regular candy aisle, sometimes by the checkout, sometimes it’s put with the bulk/large/gourmet candy bars)

  7. 7
    DAVID KLEIN says:

    Great article…….One of the best I have ever read. March 4 1967 Chunky had to recall 7.5 million bars due to salmonella…..Their milk chocolate supplier was the reason… sad……the blow was devasting to the small company at that time…….

  8. 8
    Sea Hag says:

    Chunky is pretty awesome.

  9. 9
    Mandy P says:

    So I never thought about these as a “Raisinet/Goober hybrid” and that sounds freakin delicious. I will definatley pick one up next time I see them. And I am with you on the Nestle’s chocolate bar in the red wrapper. When I was a kid, that was always my grocery store checkout candy of choice. Can you still get those anywhere?

  10. 10
    Robby says:

    Large Nestle chocolate bars are pretty hard to come by on their own without having to peruse the internet. The easiest form to obtain them is in the miniature version that is currently being sold for Halloween in the Nestle mix bags.

  11. 11
    Amy says:

    The Chunky bar is my favorite candy bar. It’s the only way I’ll eat raisins! I’ve never had in trouble finding them in Florida and generally purchase mine at Walgreens.

  12. 12
    Rabrab says:

    Chunky’s have been my favorite candy bar since I was a wee child. You’re absolutely correct that the chocolate tastes different from any other candy bar, although I’ve never been able to decide if it’s really a different recipe or whether it’s simply the thick-chunk vs thin-slice thing (something that also occurs with sausages and many cheeses.) I also think that the amount of raisins has decreased over the years.

    I get mine at Walgreens — candy bar aisle, on either the lowest or second lowst shelf.

  13. 13
    Stephen says:

    Thank you for drawing my attention to a bar that I have seen countless times over my 34 years but never once thought to try. I picked one up (Giant Size) at a Walgreen’s in Chicago yesterday…hanging out on the very bottom shelf.

    I never would have made the connection in a million years, but your comparison to a bag of trick-or-treat candy absolutely nailed it. It has an interesting blend of hard-to-nail-down flavors. I am finding it to be a very well-constructed bar…each square has a perfect amount of both nuts and raisins. No dud squares (i.e. lacking nuts, raisins, or both) to be found.

    While this won’t become my bar of choice, in the future I will do my part to keep this humble bar on the market! :)

  14. 14
    DorothyZbornak says:

    OMG, I totally forgot about these! I love Chunky bars!
    And I have to agree, there’s something to be said for a product that maintains its old school wrapper/logo. And it’s so weird, but the old logos/wrappers look more “appetizing” to me. Does that make sense? Like when I see the old Pizza Hut logo, I’m like, “damn, I want some Pizza Hut pizza.” But the snazzy new logo? Nothing.

  15. 15
    Gracie says:

    When I was young, if we had any chunky bars in our Halloween treat bags, they were immediately to go our mother. She told us they were a “grown up” candy but it was actually her favorite and she just wanted to make sure she got them all!

  16. 16
    mrt says:

    Correct me if I[m wrong. At any point in the 1970′s did Chunky come in other ‘flavors’ or at least different color wrapping? I can barely recall deciding which Chunky bar I wanted. Almonds maybe?

  17. 17
    mrt says:

    Ah-ha. A bit of searching answered my question. Thanks:

    Original – Peanuts and Raisins – Silver wrapper
    Pecan – Just Pecans – Gold Wrapper
    Dark Chunky – Dark Chocolate with Peanuts and Raisins- Bronze Wrapper

  18. 18
    Rod says:

    I can’t believe any of you have memories that go back far enough to know that the current Chunky classic is a fraud!

    The original did not have peanuts, but cashews and brazil nuts. When I was a kid, in the 50s and 60s, it had cashews and raisins. Then in the late 90s or so, Nestlé bought out the rights and used peanuts.

    You people don’t know what you are missing. Chunky wasn’t just a classic. It was unique. The only candy bar with cashews, let alone nuts and raisins. And originally it had brazil nuts as well.

    Nestlé brought out the spin-offs later, but I won’t be impressed until they make the original one-and-only Chunky Candy Bar.

  19. 19
    LPez says:

    I agree with Rod, well the way I remembered Chunky Bars, it had all kinds of nuts, like pecans, walnuts, cashews and brazilian nuts with raisens. They were a favorite. Now it’s just peanuts and raisens. They got cheap on us. And too the size decreased by half! Now that they no longer make it the right way. I am planning on opening my candy business to make this the right way, but I will have to use a different shape and wrapper with a different name. Rod help me out, what should the name be? At the meantime, I’m gonna hunt for a recipe that would be mouth watering. Yes, Nestle will say.. with the cost of it all, it I won’t be able to sell it at his price. True, because the nuts went up in value, thus they now only use peanuts. This sucks. I’m gonna add another fruit, probably cranberries. YUM!

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