Thoughts on Mars

Some musings on the candy I’m gonna be giving the little buggers tomorrow.
Very rarely do I buy milk chocolate candy bars. More often if I get chocolate, it’s 70+% cocoa solids and comes in a snooty-looking wrapper. Come Halloween, though, when the kids in costume bypass my house because there are too many stairs to walk up to get to my front door, I usually have a couple of products from the Mars corporation on hand in case any of them actually do decide to make the vertical hike.

I think it’s interesting how Mars candy bars are variations on a theme: nougat and milk chocolate, which, interestingly enough, is sold as a Three Musketeers, not a Mars bar. Depending on how many additions you want, there’s most likely a variation that suits your taste.
Exactly what a Mars bar is, though, is up for debate because it doesn’t have a consistent identity throughout the global marketplace. Anywhere I’ve ever gotten a Mars bar from outside of the U.S. (Canada, U.K., Asia, Europe), it’s been milk chocolate and nougat plus caramel; the equivalent of what in the U.S. market is sold as a Milky Way.

The most popular variation off of the Milky Way/Mars is the Snickers, which takes the chocolate, nougat, and caramel, then adds peanuts. The result? More body and texture, plus a semblance of not being entirely junk calories.
In the States, a Mars does exist, though it’s not all that popular. It’s sort of like a Snickers-sub almonds, and really is pretty good. For some reason, though, even though everybody in the States knows that Mars makes Snickers, very few of us eat the bar that bears the company’s name in the U.S. I’m not even sure why the company does it that way, with an identical bar being named differently in various regions of the world. The only reference to the dichotomy of names on their website acknowledges the disparity but does not explain it,

It all started with Frank Mars back in 1911 when he and his wife Ethel started making and selling a variety of butter-cream candies from the spotless kitchen of their home in Tacoma, Washington. In 1920, after visiting a local drugstore with his son Forrest, he thought what a good idea it would be if they could produce a version of chocolate, malted milk that could be enjoyed anywhere. The result was the MILKY WAY bar - known in Europe as the MARS bar.”

Another thing I’m not sure of is if there’s a global equivalent of the U.S.-style Mars; a bar in Europe that’s a Mars-plus-Almonds. Anybody know? Please post a comment.

2 Responses to “Thoughts on Mars”

  1. Jim Says:

    Check this out:

  2. Rebecca Says:

    Very interesting post; did you know that for quite awhile in England they weren’t even calling “Snickers” by that name because it was too close to “knickers”? I haven’t eaten Mars products overseas but I have eaten Kitkats and they’re much better, the chocolate is thicker somehow, and more chocolatey.

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