Christine Langley Gooey, Gooey, and Sometimes Chewy: The Candy Bar After school, when I know I will be staying for awhile, I usually wander to the vending machines to choose some sustenance to fuel my body until I drag myself home for dinner. Although chips and cookies do occasionally catch my eye, a candy bar almost always wins out. There is something about a candy bar that just lures hungry people. It satisfies the grumbling of one s stomach while bestowing a sweet taste to the mouth. But what qualifications make a candy bar a candy bar As far as I am concerned, a candy bar must have chocolate in it or surrounding it.

Of course this leads to my second qualification of a candy bar having very little nutritional value. A candy bar should make people want to eat it, not strip the fat off their bodies with a bland taste. On Halloween for example, candy bars are the treats kids love to get in their pillow cases. I know when I went trick-or-treating I liked the houses that gave me a Snickers or Butterfinger better than those who gave me Smartees or the dreaded healthy apple.

Do not get me wrong, Smartees and other forms of candy are good, but they just do not instill the gratification, the sweet sensation that coats your stomach with sugary goodness, eating a candy bar does. The bar shape of a candy bar prolongs the enjoyment by stretching it out, while the chocolate meshes with any other gooey or crunchy ingredients. I remember I used to hate Snickers. I never ate one because my sister loved them, and being the younger sister I couldn t like anything she liked.

After a few years though, I grew out of that stage and consumed my first Snickers bar. After stripping away the wrapper I gazed at the silky smooth chocolate coating, small ripples decorating the top. I took a courageous bite-a whole quarter of the candy bar in my mouth- and pulled the rest of the Snickers away. Caramel refused to part until drawn-out, finally breaking to wrap around the bottom of my chin. I quickly wiped the excess caramel off my chin to avoid embarrassment and began to chew.

I did not know the exact makeup of the nougat, but I knew my mouth enjoyed it. The nougat, caramel, and chocolate could be enough to satisfy- proven by the Milky Way candy bar- but Snickers added an extra bonus of peanuts as a fourth delicious ingredient. The creamy caramel / nougat mix, combined with the subtle crunch of the nuts, all surrounded by milk chocolate is the reason Snickers candy bars are so popular today. I am glad I eventually decided to try one, I might have missed out on a great flavor fiesta.

Though a candy bar must contain chocolate somehow, it cannot be entirely chocolate. A Hershey's Chocolate Bar is just that, a chocolate bar. There is no candy aspect to it, just rich milk chocolate. Therefore it is not a candy bar so to speak. Most candy bars consist of a mix of chocolate, caramel, nougat, wafer, or nuts, but some, like a Butterfinger, go for something completely different. It has a bar shape, and it does have a chocolate covering, but the inside of a Butterfinger is a crispy yet flaky concoction of ground roasted peanuts, corn flakes, and molasses.

Not a traditional candy bar filling, but wonderful in its uniqueness. A Nestle Crunch bar is another non-conventional treat, but this bar is not quite a candy bar. It is mainly chocolate, but there is crisped rice mixed in. The little pieces of rice always remind me of Rice Kris pies, and they do Snap, Crackle, and Pop in your mouth- adding some excitement to a normally boring chocolate bar. A Hershey s Bar with Almonds or A Cookies and Creme Hershey s Bar are also borderline. All three are just some form of chocolate with an extra component thrown in, so they don t quite fit my definition of a candy bar.

If the extra component was surrounded by chocolate, or reversed, then I would put it in the candy bar running. 3 Musketeers, Twin, Kit-Kat, Snickers, Butterfinger, and Milky Way are all popular candy bars for their delectable mix of chocolate and other exotic tastes. I know these and other candy bars will continue to satisfy my hunger and delight my sense of taste until I don t have any real teeth to chew them with. Although candy like Airheads are good, and chocolate will will always hold a place in my heart, a candy bar is my choice any day, any time.