^
Keep Dallas Observer Free
4

If Memory Serves: Zero Candy Bars

If Memory Serves chronicles moments from my dining past, perhaps explaining what's wrong with me.

It has been dismissed as a white Snickers. The company that makes them has changed hands so many times it's near impossible to keep track. And when I went to the 7-Eleven by our posh, teak-lined office suites to pick one up, the clerk told me they didn't bother to reorder.

Seems few people buy Zero bars anymore.

But when I was a kid, the strip of nougat, caramel and white chocolate was so different than anything else on the market that you just had to love it. Zeros were, in fact, my favorite candy bar--and not only because for the unique luster when you first ripped into that space age wrapper.

Under that rippled blanket of white was a sensation unlike any other. Instead of chocolate a wave of malt, soft caramel and mellow flavors emerged. There were hints of peanut and almond wrapped into one indistinct whole--it was beautiful. Some people would freeze the bars, making the white chocolate (they now call it white fudge) coating seem logical, but I preferred them at room temperature.

The bar first appeared on the market around 1920 as the Double-Zero, produced by Hollywood Candy Company out of Minnesota--the same outfit that introduced PayDays. In 1934 they shortened the name. And the rest should have been history.

Hollywood Candy Company, however, was bought up by another operation, which was purchased by another--and so on until it ended up as part of Hershey.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

Zeros were always sweet, but now the white "fudge" coating smacks of sugared corn syrup (and there's a reason, as you'll see below). Your teeth tremble for several minutes after finishing even part of a bar. And I can't say this for certain, but I'd venture that the earlier non-Hershey version did not contain soy "pieces."

Otherwise the flavor of nutty nougat and malted milk is familiar--though I'm comparing to memory, which is always an iffy prospect.

As I said at the top, some people refer to Zero bars as a white chocolate Snickers. The two are hardly similar, though: Snickers lists milk chocolate as its first ingredient, followed by peanuts--and the flavor is dominated by cheap chocolate and nuts. Zeros, on the other hand, are carried by sugar and corn syrup, with vegetable oil in third.

Great. I hope they really were better way back when.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.

 

Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.