Monday, August 10, 2015



What's the Munch?

The Munch is essentially a peanut brittle bar, and, as you can see on the label, is made with all natural ingredients---and only six at that: peanuts, sugar, soy lecithin (yum!), corn syrup, butter, and salt. It is quite nice, a mild but delightful peanut flavor and a brittle that does not threaten to pull every filling out of your head while creating the need for new fillings.

The real mystery is, who makes it? I do not recall ever having seen it before, and I certainly had never eaten one. There are precious few American candies that I have not eaten.

The wrapper seems to be trying to keep its origin a mystery. In tiny print on the back---too tiny for my phone to photograph---it says it comes from the makers of the Snickers bar. Well, the Munch bar doesn't appear on, but Snickers is made by Mars. Sure enough, in microscopic print on the back of the Munch wrapper, you see the name Mars Inc. But the Munch bar does not appear on the list of brands on the Mars Web site either.

What the---? Did I get hold of a 40-year-old candy bar? Is there something toxic about the Munch bar that Mars wants to keep on the QT?

Wikipedia says that the Munch was introduced in 1970 as the Snickers Munch bar. They also link to the Munch Web site, which makes no bones about being a Mars candy. But here's where we see something interesting:
MUNCH® Peanut Bar is a snack food with a low Glycemic Index. What are the benefits of eating low-Glycemic Index snacks? They may keep you feeling fuller longer, be part of a balanced diet, and provide long lasting energy.
Indeed, the Munch wrapper makes mention of its low glycemic index as well. It got me to thinking that the Munch bar might be one of those candy bars that are recommended for diabetics. I don't know much about diabetes, but I know that candy is useful for diabetics when blood sugar crashes; not chocolate, though, which slows the sugar from getting in the bloodstream. So is that connected to the glycemic index?

Apparently not, says the American Diabetes Association, which tells us that for people on diabetes the GI does not really matter. Besides, hard candy is the way to go for low sugar crises, and I don't think peanut brittle counts.

In the lack of other evidence, I have to conclude that the Munch bar, which considers itself a healthy snack and makes fun of other candies with long lists of ingredients (hmm... the Snickers contains artificial flavor, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, lactose, and palm oil, I see), may not play well in the sandbox with the other Mars candies. So Mars sort of pushes it off into its own health ghetto.

And way off---I found this Munch bar on a trip to Pennsylvania. The product locator on the Munch site says that there are none for sale within 15 miles of my zip code; the closest Munch bar is 16 miles from here.

Too bad---it was pretty good.

No comments: