Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Oh Henry!s

Oh Henry!The Oh Henry! bar is one of oldest extant candy bars in North America. There are two stories of the origin of the bar. The first is that the bar was invented by Tom Henry in 1919, who ran the Peerless Candy Company (known for their hard candies) where the bar was known as the Tom Henry Bar. He sold the recipe for the bar to Williamson Candy Store in Chicago.

Oh Henry (American & Canadian)The other story is that it was actually invented by the Williamson Candy Store and named for a helpful customer whom the female clerks would often ask favors of, by saying “Oh, Henry, could you move that heavy box.”

It was often billed as “the ten cent piece of dollar candy” and became popular in Chicago eventually expanding as a national candy bar through the tenacious efforts of John Glossinger (whom Glosettes are named after). Williamson Candy, at some point, sold out to Ward-Johnson which was swallowed up by Nabisco in 1981 (which was also holding the Curtiss bars - Baby Ruth & Butterfinger included- at that time). Finally in 1990 Nestle bought the Curtiss bars, SnoCaps, Goobers & Raisinets from Nabisco. (Some of this is a bit murky and I traced it mostly through trademark registrations, and probably matters very little in the end.)

Oh Henry (American & Canadian)The bar is simple enough, a vanilla fudge center with caramel & peanuts then covered in chocolate. It’s gone through some changes over the years besides ownership. This is where things get interesting from an evolutionary standpoint. In 1987 Hershey Canada got the rights to produce the bar (through Nabisco which owned Canadian confectioner Lowney). The Hershey’s Oh Henry! is more than a little different from the American bar, as we’ll see.

Though the American bar used to be a single, it has now morphed into a double bar (a la Mounds) while the Canadian version remains pretty much the same as it was 30 years ago.

The package on the Nestle version says: 2 peanutty * caramel * fudge bars in milk chocolate. It weighs 1.8 ounces (51 grams). It comes sealed in a simple yellow plasticized wrapper.

The package on the Hershey version says: crunchy peanuts, chewy fudge, creamy caramel, covered in a chocolaty coating. It weighs 2.2 ounces (62.5 grams). It comes in a mylar wrapper with a small folded paperboard tray.

Oh Henry (American & Canadian)

The innards of the two Oh Henrys! tell more about them. The American Oh Henry! is rather organized and stratified.

The Nestle one has a caramel base then a fudge mixed with peanuts. It’s all covered in what they call real milk chocolate. It has a nice roasted peanut flavor, but the difference between the caramel and the fudge is minimal. The fudge is a bit saltier, but caramel is short and grainy instead of being chewy and creamy. At first I thought it was just a not-so-fresh bar, so I bought another. And another. This is the third I’ve bought and second I’ve photographed for this review.

The two pieces are nicely sized and the flavor balance overall is good. I would prefer some really good creamy chocolate to pull it together, but that’s just not Nestle’s style.

The Hershey one reminds me a bit of a narrow Payday Chocolatey Avalanche. The fudge is at the center here and much lighter in color (reminding me quite a bit of a nougat except there are no eggs in it). On top of the fudge is a thin layer of caramel which holds the peanuts. The whole thing is covered in a chocolatey coating (which actually contains real chocolate with cocoa butter, but it also has modified palm oil in it, which takes it out of the real chocolate column).

The nuts play a much bigger role here, probably because they mingle with both the (mock)chocolate and the caramel. For fake chocolate, it does a much better job of being creamy and tasty than Nestle’s real stuff. The caramel has a kind of fake butter flavor to it, but this is only noticeable if you take the bar apart and try to eat the elements separately (now why would you wanna do that?).

Canadian Oh Henry! (Hershey)

While Nestle just lets the Oh Henry! bar do its thing here in the States, up in the Great White North it’s another story entirely. Hershey goes to down with the bar. First, it’s one of the largest single-serve bars in Canada, so it’s known as a good value. Hershey also does limited editions and other versions of the bar. I got a hold of a few.

Oh Henry DarkOh Henry! Dark is exactly what you’d think: the same Oh Henry! bar but with real dark chocolate.

It’s not quite as sweet as the regular Oh Henry! and really quite a nice bar. The dark chocolate gives it a bigger chocolate pop instead of all that dairy-tasting milk chocolate. I could use a dash of salt, but, that’s just me, eh.

All of the variation bars are slightly smaller, at only 60 grams (2.12 ounces).

Oh Henry Reese'sThe Peanut Butter Oh Henry! (with Reese (r) Peanut Butter) swaps out the fudge with a peanut butter mass in the center.

It’s a bit flatter than the other bars. It’s also a bit greasy. This one also has a mockolate coating which isn’t as creamy and just a bit bloomed.

It’s really peanutty. It’s also pleasantly salty ... or unpleasantly so if you think that 115 mg is a little much for a candy bar (the standard Hershey Oh Henry! has 50 mg).

The peanut center also made the caramel more noticeable, probably because it isn’t as dense and chewy as the fudge. (This one is not a limited edition but appears to be a permanent variation.)

Oh Henry Oh CanadaThe final limited edition item is the Oh Henry! Oh Canada. It first appeared last year for Canada Day (July 1st) so mine is a bit past its prime (the expiration says January 2008).

The bar is described on the wrapper: Crunchy peanuts, red chewy fudge, white creamy caramel, covered in a chocolatey coating. This combo results in red and white in every bite!.

Yes, that fudge center there is actually red. And maple flavored.

Even if it is expired, it was still pretty tasty. I liked the intense maple flavor that permeated the bar. It was like toasted, caramelized pecans.

Overally, I much prefer the Canadian Oh Henry! from Hershey, even if it does have mockolate on it. The Dark Oh Henry! is superior to all the others, but since it was a Limited Edition, the original (which by the way, better reflects the American original anyway) will do in a pinch. But given a choice, I’d probably opt for the whole thing sans (mock)chocolate and get a Payday.

Related Candies

  1. Caramilk Maple
  2. Payday Fresh from the Factory
  3. Eat-More
  4. Payday Avalanches
  5. Pearson’s Nut Roll
Name: Oh Henry! (American & Canadian)
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 4 BENIGN
Brand: Nestle & Hershey
Place Purchased: Walgreen's (Echo Park) & WalMart (Canada) - thanks Amber!
Price: $.85 each (approx)
Size: 1.8 ounces & 2.2 ounces
Calories per ounce: 127 & 136
Categories: Chocolate, Mockolate, Caramel, Peanuts, United States, Canada, Hershey, Nestle, Kosher

POSTED BY Cybele AT 11:15 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

  1. The Reese’s Oh Henry bar sounds to me as the best of the bunch.  A little salt goes a long way to bring out the sweetness in the other ingredients.

    Comment by Jusrin on 6/04/08 at 12:31 pm #
  2. I agree with Justin the Reese’s version sounds the one I would best like…infact it sounds (and looks!) remarkably like a nutrageous…i cant see too much off a diff myself.

    Im slightly put off by the colours of the ‘oh Canada’...the red simply just dosent look right to me!

    Comment by Jim on 6/04/08 at 1:06 pm #
  3. Do they have the Rocky Road Oh Henry in the US? It’s the best of the limited edition Oh Henry’s IMO.

    Comment by Kyle on 6/05/08 at 8:11 am #
  4. That red center is freaky, but maple + chocolate = yum. Putting mother in Bellingham on the hunt now…

    Comment by liz/pdx on 6/05/08 at 10:01 am #
  5. Funny how you said you kept getting “bad” ones. I swear ever Oh Henry I’ve bought has been bloomed. Bad luck, I guess!

    That red maple one sounds so good!

    Comment by Sera on 6/05/08 at 10:12 am #
  6. Huh.. who knew there’s be such a difference.

    I love the idea that ‘the American’ version comes in 2 pieces…. I like the option of just a half of an Oh Henry at a time.

    Comment by Amber on 6/05/08 at 10:47 am #
  7. Wow, that red center is trippy!

    Comment by Lisa on 6/06/08 at 6:04 am #
  8. I hadn’t any these in years. So I tried the Nestle Oh Henry (US) version with the layered fillings and was pleased ecxept that I desired a little more fudgeiness in the middle. Everything else was great.

    Comment by Peg on 6/06/08 at 11:29 am #
  9. My favourite of the Canadian Oh Henry variations was the Honey Roasted Peanut version.  They came in a shiny gold wrapper, and they were to normal Oh Henrys as the prom queen makeover at the end of a teen movie is to the glasses-sporting unlikely heroine of the first reel.

    that is, the best possible Oh Henry it could be, while remaining true to itself.  Only bolder, and yeah, maybe a bit trashier.

    Comment by emily on 6/06/08 at 8:59 pm #
  10. Maple! I want that one. Hmmm, I’m not that far from Canada. I can see it now, customs agent asks “Why are you traveling to Canada today ma’am?” I reply “to buy some candy bars.” That’ll go over well…

    Comment by Tricia on 6/11/08 at 5:32 pm #
  11. That looks so good! i want one so bad!!!

    Comment by Candy Lover on 7/10/08 at 5:34 am #
  12. i thnk you ppl need a life other than tastin some friekin candy. who cares?

    Comment by daniel giralico on 10/14/08 at 6:37 am #
  13. daniel giralico - you’re funny! How did you get here if you weren’t looking for something about candy?

    Comment by cybele on 10/14/08 at 6:39 am #
  14. Clearly Daniel has found ‘life’ in going to blogs and being insulting, a far better use of time than exploring a fun interest…

    Comment by Justin on 10/21/08 at 1:15 am #
  15. k i will answer ur questions:
    I was looking up oh henry for a school project not for fun
    and yes, insulting ppl who like candy as an interst is more fun than whatever you do

    Comment by daniel giralico on 11/03/08 at 7:40 am #
  16. Oh, Daniel, a school report on candy is much more noble than writing about candy for fun and profit.

    And I’m glad that education is teaching your proper English.

    Comment by cybele on 11/03/08 at 7:52 am #
  17. hmm all right, heres the thing:

    I was doing a school report.  It was an advertisment on whatever you want.  And if my grammar is not good enough for you, cybele, maybe the schools are at fault.  Oh, wait, now my grammar’s good, isn’t it?

    Comment by daniel giralico on 12/10/08 at 11:09 am #
  18. Cybele's avatar

    daniel giralico - so what you’re saying is that you know how to spell and write properly ... but to come here and ridicule folks, you don’t need to?

    What you’re saying that your school project was to do an advertisement on anything you wanted, but you chose this candy ... and searched the internet, I’m guessing for perhaps a photo to use in your project. And wasn’t it nice that someone didn’t have a life, that someone had a page that had something you were looking for? Instead you want to heap abuse on people for having something that you wanted?

    Tell me, what grade did you get on this project? Did you use anything from this page? (Perhaps a photo?)

    Comment by Cybele on 12/10/08 at 11:20 am #
  19. Visiting the Hershey Chocolate World in Hershey, PA on Sunday 03/07/09 I saw packages of ‘Rally’ bars on special. 4 X 2 oz bars for $2.00. Being a Canadian I loved Oh Henry, had I known that this was the same bar in the states I would have bought the whole stock. I only settled for two packages. The packaging was not very informative so I was hesitant about the contents.
    Now I am in withdrawal.

    Comment by Mano Werapitiya on 3/17/09 at 10:20 am #
  20. funny you should say, cybele, i DID use a picture from here.

    Comment by daniel giralicp on 4/04/09 at 2:59 am #
  21. Haha I totally agree with Daniel on this. XD I realize that this is waaay after the actual conversations, but it cracked me up…

    Comment by Giblets Doopoo on 11/04/09 at 2:09 pm #
  22. I haven’t seen this bar for years and didn’t think anyone made it anymore.

    Comment by jMo on 11/17/09 at 6:55 am #
  23. Where in the Boston, Massachusetts area are Oh Henry (any variation) and/or Rally bars on sale? Are they available in any super market chains?

    Comment by Howard Allen on 11/03/10 at 11:52 am #
  24. Oh Henry bars have got to be my favorite candy bar. Luckily, they are very available in our area.

    Comment by Suzanne on 5/10/12 at 8:23 pm #
  25. I’m sorry to contradict you, but as much as I enjoyed seeing my great unkle’s name mentioned in your history of the Oh Henry candy bar, the Glossettes were not named after him!

    Comment by Ann on 6/09/12 at 3:56 pm #
  26. I have one of the original old oh henry boxes ..they were wrapped in a small red box not a wrapper….it is in great shape….anyone know of a collector?

    Comment by Linda on 9/27/12 at 12:18 am #
  27. Linda, everyone should know it’s not worth anything without the O’Henry bar in it.

    Comment by Ray on 10/24/12 at 2:15 pm #
  28. They’re so hard to find. So whenever I do find them, I buy a bunch

    Comment by Jt on 12/14/12 at 9:31 pm #
  29. I am researching this candy for my project..i never acutually tried this bar before

    Comment by Tight on 5/17/13 at 4:20 pm #
  30. I have one of the first oh henry bar original boxes…it is in excellent so cool ..yup a box not a wrapper….very old. Anyone know of a place to sell it at or any way to find collectors of such things? thx

    Comment by Linda on 5/18/13 at 2:33 am #

    Comment by JUSTESE on 9/28/13 at 5:17 pm #
  32. I am C.Kenneth Crocker, the eldest (95+) son of Charles Henry Crocker.  My father and my god parents, Mae and George Williamson, started the candy company.  The stories of the naming of the bar are untrue! 
    The bar had to be wrapped before it was named!

    My father and George were out to lunch and midway through the lunch my father called to the waiter for a refill—“Oh Henry”.  “That’s the name of the bar”, my father said.

    I hope this will clarify the age old story (false) about the naming of the bar.

    Sincerely,  Ken Crocker

    Comment by Charles Kenneth Crocker on 11/23/13 at 10:23 am #
  33. This is my favorite candy bar since I was little. I am disappointed that I am not able to purchase it at the local stores. I will continue to get some online. I usually get a box and put them in the freezer. A box of 36 and that lasts about 6 months. The best candy bar ever. The other candy that is an old favorite is good n plenty. I am glad they are still around after all these years.

    Comment by Cynthia ferguson on 12/28/13 at 11:34 am #
  34. Does anyone remember seeing an Oh Henry advertising poster in the 80s or 90s which was bright yellow and had a list of Irish names (I don’t remember all of them- just mine, “O’Grady”) with “Oh Henry” being the last name?  I would love to find one of these posters!

    Comment by Catherine O'Grady on 3/08/14 at 5:09 pm #
  35. I love these chocolate bars! Sadly they don’t sell them in my country. :( I wish they did!

    Comment by Catia on 6/12/14 at 6:26 am #
  36. MAN!  i ask the question, what happened the oh henry candy bar.  i live in detroit and nowadays they are not sold anywhere in detroit.  if they are discontinue, why?  i love this candy bar second to snickers, of course.  nobody seems to know what became of the oh henry candy bar.  please bring it back to detroit.  pretty plase.  thank you.  i hope to hear from whomever.

    Comment by monica parham on 3/23/15 at 1:01 pm #
  37. in I think 1979 or 1980, i won a radio contest - i got called and I had to say the slogan (oh henry is the candy bar that’s mostly nuts) Among other prizes, I won a 1 foot long oh henry bar!

    Comment by karen on 9/12/15 at 12:50 pm #
  38. O’Henry bars are for sale in the bulk candy section of Wegman’s at $4.99 per pound.  Just bought a bunch in the Burlington MA store.

    Comment by Karen on 10/14/15 at 1:17 pm #
  39. My local Kroger store, in strict accordance with their policy of discontinuing brands that I buy and love, has not stocked Oh Henry bars in “fun size” for Halloween since 2012.  Rotters!

    Comment by Roger on 10/26/15 at 10:52 am #
  40. I am from MB, Canada and am actually amazed and some of the bars we have that aren’t in the USA. Talking about Oh Henry I just picked up the Nestle version and was rather disappointented
    but that is pure preference. I LOVE Reese PB cups but I find that Oh Henry and Reese don’t quite mix, and I don’t like maple flavour so that discards of the Oh Canada one.

    Comment by Nathanael on 10/28/15 at 8:57 pm #
  41. You are incorrect in calling Nestle’s chocolate “real” and Hershey’s mock. In truth they are virtually identical. The difference was never in ingredients of the chocolate, but in the respective countries’ food labelling laws. In Canada, if it contains palm oil or other unnatural ingredients it cannot be called chocolate. In the states, food laws are much more lax. As such, the American chocolate is often less “real” than Canadian “chocolate coating” as it actually has much more fillers in it. Many American foods cannot be sold in Canada as they are not considered food by our standards (take for example spray cheese).

    Comment by Jay on 10/30/15 at 1:12 am #
  42. I always thought that the name came from the original M.Night Shymalan surprise-ending author, 19th century author O.Henry.

    Comment by SJCarras on 1/17/16 at 7:57 pm #
  43. Ken Crocker, very nice to see a descenant of the candy makers here on the blog.

    Comment by SJCarras on 1/17/16 at 7:59 pm #
  44. Good morning:

    My daughter and family live in Johannesburg, South Africa and the O’Henry chocolate bars are unavailable. They certainly enjoy the peanut butter ones, couldn’t any in a Minnie size, only the large. Are they made and if so, where would they be found. Have searched several stores; but to no avail

    Comment by martin d.fletcher on 9/30/16 at 4:49 pm #
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