One of the first things that come to mind when reminiscing about Chunky candy bars is the old saying, “if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” Sure, it is still a wonderful and tasty candy bar with a loyal following. Oh but in its glory days, Chunky was truly something special; a classic.
The Chunky bar was introduced in the late 30s by Philip Silvershein and remains one of the oldest candy bars on the market. In its original grandeur, it contained milk chocolate, cashews, raisins and Brazilian nuts, and was just one big hunk of uniquely-shaped chocolate. Legend has it that the original shape of the candy was a pyramid, which left the manufacturers with a packaging problem, one that was eventually solved by chopping the top off, giving Chunky its unique trapezoidal shape.
To the dismay of purists, the ingredients have changed throughout the years, more than likely to cut the costs associated with the use of more exotic nuts, and we currently find Chunky (now owned by Nestle) made from milk chocolate, peanuts and raisins. If raisins just aren’t your cup of tea, Chunky has also offered other variations throughout the years, including one that was simply pure chocolate.
In the 60’s, actor Arnold Stang (voice of Hanna Barbera’s Top Cat,) pitched the candy on television and you may recall his catch phrase: “Chunky, what a chunk of chocolate!” Eventually however, that big chunk o’ chocolate became subdivided into four smaller breakaway squares. It still retains the same overall shape for the most part, but it is a bit easier to share with friends (or ration, if you aren’t much interested in sharing your chocolate with others.)
It can be hard to explain to younger generations that not everything improves over time. A side-by-side comparison of new vs. old Chunky should be all the convincing that one needs, however. Yes, Chunky is still a great candy bar and, yes, it still has a loyal following of fans, but some things just cannot be improved upon and Chunky was one of them.
If you have fond memories of this candy bar, especially if you remember the pre-Nestle era, we’d love to hear your recollections in our comments section, as we tip our hats to one of the oldest candy bars around.