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.
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