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Retro Candy Review: Look!

Categories: Candy,Candy Reviews,Chocolate Candy,Classic and Retro Candy,Oddly-Named Candy

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Annabelle

Hey everybody, Look! It’s the second candy bar in my four-bar round-up of some oddly named candy that includes Oh Henry!, 5th Avenue, and U-No.

Look! candy bars are made by the Annabelle Candy Company, a San Francisco bay-area concern founded in 1917 by Russian immigrant Sam Altshuler, and named after his daughter (the company, not the bar. His daughter’s name was not “Look!”). (And yes, you’re right, there was a spot of bother that year in Russia.)

Annabelle candy bars are best-sellers in western states, and include the Rocky Road, Big Hunk, Abba-Zabba and U-No bars. Today’s item, Look!, was invented in the 1950’s by the Golden Nugget Candy Co., which Annabelle acquired in 1972. I doubt you’ve ever had a candy bar quite like this. And there may be a good reason.

Here’s how Annabelle describes these bars: “Thick chewy nougat sweetened with molasses,” with “roasted peanuts covered with mouth watering rich dark chocolate.”

We’ll see.

Having just reviewed the Oh Henry! bar, I was keen to compare Look!, since both 1) have peanuts and chocolate, 2) have nougat-like qualities, and 3) use exclamation points in their name for some annoying reason.

And yet, these bars are extremely different. While Oh Henry! has a traditional candy bar shape and texture, Look! bars are thin flat rectangles, and far more dense. In fact, they’re very chewy – kind of like chocolate-covered taffy with nuts in it. And though the wrapper describes the candy as “chocolate covered nougat with peanuts,” and they list egg whites as an ingredient, this is the hardest nougat you’re likely ever to meet. I’m not saying it’s bad, I’m just saying it’s different.

Also different to this bar are two rare ingredients in the mass-produced candy-bar world of 2008: honey and molasses.

So what’s all this mean for the flavor? Well, this candy bar is kinda weird, and I don’t really like it. Very important to know: the molasses is quite noticeable, and gives the bar a rounded flavor. But if you don’t like that flavor, you probably won’t like the Look! bar. On the other hand, it works pretty well with the thin layer of chocolate coating by masking it. (If you just lick that coating, it tastes really terrible – as bitter and cheap as a bottle of Thurderbird.)

The verdict: Look! is sort of a screwy version of a Big Hunk (a candy bar I really like, probably because it doesn’t have a horrible-tasting chocolate coating). The molasses flavor is interesting, and I like the chew factor, but the ‘dark chocolate’ coating brings unhappiness to all. In fact, I’m chucking the rest of this bar.

(By the way, I couldn’t find out why this bar is called “Look!,” so let’s just presume it represents the lowest form of a marketing strategy to garner attention. Of course, maybe they’d have a bigger seller on their hands if they called it “Buy!” And if they fixed the taste.…)

Look! Online:



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3 Responses to “Retro Candy Review: Look!”

  1. 1
    Mark says:

    Heh! We have such completely different opinions of this candy bar. I just purchased a huge bag of Annabelle candies in the post-Halloween aftermath. It has Look, Big Hunk, and Abba-Zabba bars. Although I like the Big Hunk bars, it’s the dark chocolate coating of the Look which really grabs me. I love its flavor! As you note, nougat is very hard and difficult to chew. The chocolate and peanuts serve to soften it a bit. I’m a huge Look fan!

    At the same time, I bought a bag of Rocky Road bars. They have sooo little chocolate, and it doesn’t feel or taste like chocolate. Not the way I remember the Rocky Road bar. I was disappointed.

  2. 2
    Technosquid says:

    Just a fun side note – the japanese also have a bar called LOOK (without the exclamation point.) It’s totally different, though. It’s a liquid or creme filled chocolate bar you break pieces off of as you eat.

  3. 3
    Bettyann says:

    Look! You gotta know the way to approach a “Look” bar: Before you unwrap it, you whack it on a hard surface … your dashboard, the kitchen counter, the check-out check-writing shelf. If you have the knack, you get bite-size chews, a thin coating of dark chocolate, and peanut pieces at the perfect texture. My childhood favorite – not always available at every over-Hersheyed, ubiquitous Mars bars candy counter. Look!

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