Candy Bars by Zingerman’s and See’s

Once in a while a product comes along that’s in a class by itself.  How amazing, then, to find four candy bars that are each scrumptious, unique, and designed for adult palates. 

See’s Candies, a very old American company, is fairly traditional in their offerings, but their candy bars give you the chance to savor a couple of their more delicious individual pieces very economically.  The Awesome Nut & Chew Bar is 1.5 ounces of chewy nougat with almonds and honey enrobed in dark chocolate. (Eight individually wrapped bars are $7.80.)  There are plenty of nuts, well-textured nougat, and a decent amount of chocolate. It’s a very satisfying experience if you’re looking for something that speaks to both the little child inside and the food-savvy adult.  Their Awesome Walnut Square Bar is the same weight and price, but has a chewier caramel center chock full of walnuts and enrobed in dark chocolate.  The balance between caramel and nuts is pretty perfect, and the dark chocolate sets both off to their advantage.  

Zingerman’s,  a food emporium with a funky web presence, has two house-created candy bars: ZZang! Cashew Cow and ZZang! Original.  They are as different as they could be. The Cashew Cow weighs in at 2.5 ounces and is a crunchy bar full of milk chocolate, cashew butter, cashew brittle, and roasted cashews, all dipped in dark chocolate.   Clearly, if you’re a cashew lover, this is for you.  It’s more of an indulgence (at $7.00 per bar) than the See’s offerings, but it’s a completely different experience.  I especially appreciated the adult, not-too-sweet aspects of this candy.  Their ZZang! Original bar, at 3 ounces,  is a dark chocolate wrapped extravaganza of butter-roasted peanuts in a caramel and peanut butter honey nougat.  It’s much sweeter, and the textures are completely different from the Cashew Cow: creamy, slightly chewy nougat with the fabulous crunch of buttery peanuts.

All four candy bars have the three basic food groups: dark chocolate, nuts, and something that makes them linger on the palate: caramel or nougat.  It’s virtually impossible to make something bad when you start with that triumvirate.  The Zingerman’s varieties are clearly more innovative, but sometimes you want something classic like See’s.   

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