Thursday, July 9, 2015

Compare and contrast: thing I shouldn't eat edition.

Something I was quite surprised to find in my local supermarket:

What is that thing? Some kinda bait?

No way, man! It's chocolate! Moreover, it's chocolate and caramel! Hey, wait---it's chocolate, caramel, and crispy rice!

Say, wait a minute, that sounds a little familiar...


Of course, the Nestle $100,000 bar (which Wiki tells us got its name from "a series of successful game shows," which tells us very little*) is now the $100 Grand bar. Still rocks the house, though.

Let's have a look at the Catch bar, seated on my knee,

Not... not ooey gooey caramel, for one thing.

But I ate it.** It was okay. It really was like a poor man's $100,000 bar. In fact, that's almost exactly what the Catch bar is.

It may have been born in Ireland in 1976, as this site says, but is now produced in Trinidad & Tobago and is shipped to lots of other countries. That could account for a bit of the disappointment I felt -- we all know that the better the chocolate, the lower the melting point, so the more difficult and expensive it is to ship. (There's a lot about Hershey history linked to this---if you don't know the history of Milton Hershey's chocolate, I recommend you find out---very odd story***.)

Anyway, the Catch bar was chocolate---how bad could it be? So maybe it's just a $10,000 bar---that's still pretty good in my book.


*Speaking of poor: The $100,000 bar was introduced in 1966, and the only game show with a name anything like that was the flopperoo 100 Grand (3 episodes in 1963); Wiki tells us that "it would be over a decade more before six-figure jackpots returned to television." So I unless Nestle adapted the name from a Swiss game show or something, I have no idea where the name of the candy actually came from. 


***In a nutshell: Hershey, who'd had multiple and awful failures already, was so taken with the new Swiss milk chocolate that he sold his successful caramel company to go into business making it---and he didn't even know how. The Swiss wouldn't tell anyone. (How hard is it to make milk chocolate from cocoa beans? You'd be amazed.) Hershey had to reinvent the wheel, as it were, coming up with his own unique method, which gives the Hershey's chocolate its distinct tang---it was not intended. Hershey's chocolate could ship well, but even it could not survive fighting in the South Pacific; what the GIs got was rather different from what we know of as the Hershey bar. For one thing, it was heat-resistant to 120F.

No comments: