Thursday, January 12, 2006

Zero Bar

It looks like a bar of the future. Something that robots would eat. Or maybe robots would bring them to us. They’d enter the room through the shooshing automatic door with a tray full of snacks that we munch on while watching TV beamed directly into our optic nerve.

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I don’t think I’ve ever had a Zero bar before, but I know I’ve seen them. They haven’t been a Hershey’s product for very long and if you go to the page on Hershey’s site you’ll see a long and detail history of who’s made the bar over the years.

It’s a fascinating bar, billed as “Caramel, Peanut and Almond Nougat covered with White Fudge.” But that really doesn’t describe it properly. The nougat is malted and there are peanuts and almonds and possibly soy nuts in there. But it was the malted part that surprised me. If you want me to buy this bar, you might want to mention that!

So, you’ve got this nougat that has an assortment of crunchy nuts in it with a dash of malt. On top of that is a caramel stripe and the whole bar is enrobed in “white fudge” which I’m guessing is like “white chocolate.”

It’s a very pretty bar.

And I was surprised to like it as much as I did. There must be a reason that it’s survived to this day and I’m guessing it’s partly its originality. I’m guessing the other reason might be its packaging and name. If you were to alphabetize your candy display, the Zero would be there with the Zagnut. The malt really stands out because there isn’t any chocolate to overpower it. I think I can taste the soy nuts in the nougat, which doesn’t upset me or anything, but it is a little odd for a “candy bar” (but expected in a nutrition bar).

If Hershey’s has a mind to improve the bar, I’d say a real “white chocolate” that has cocoa butter on it instead of the slightly chalky “white fudge” would make this one a real winner. (I just can’t get into all those hydrogenated oils.)

Name: Zero
    RATING:
  • 10 SUPERB
  • 9 YUMMY
  • 8 TASTY
  • 7 WORTH IT
  • 6 TEMPTING
  • 5 PLEASANT
  • 4 BENIGN
  • 3 UNAPPEALING
  • 2 APPALLING
  • 1 INEDIBLE
Brand: Hershey's
Place Purchased: gift
Price: unknown
Size: 1.85 ounces
Calories per ounce: 130
Categories: Peanuts, Nuts, Malt, Caramel, Hershey's, United States

POSTED BY Cybele AT 10:15 am Tracker Pixel for Entry    

Comments
  1. Interesting - in re: your post that mentioned how you love almonds but not almond flavor (e.g. amaretto, and I’m assuming those Italian cookies that come in the square red tin), I find the faint, faint almond flavor in the Zero bar is enough to turn me off. This is a shame b/c I love the other components of that candy.

    Comment by Cory on 1/12/06 at 10:56 am #
  2. Cybele's avatar

    Our family always used to have those Italian amaretto cookies during the holidays and I think my mother must have thought I had a great deal of restraint for not eating them all (as I did with most things).

    I didn’t detect any amaretto in this Zero bar, just that malty taste and more of the soy nuts than I think they’d like.

    I’d certainly NOT like it if there were an amaretto hint to it! Maybe the quality/freshness of the almonds makes a difference.

    I eat a lot of almonds, usually raw ones because I find that they have less of that amaretto hint to them.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/12/06 at 11:06 am #
  3. Hmm, indeed, maybe the almonds themselves were a little off in the Zero bar I had recently. I will attempt again, because as I mentioned, I do love all other components of the bar (including the actual almonds).

    Comment by Cory on 1/12/06 at 11:36 am #
  4. i too have passed this bar by, many a time. but ya only hadda say the one word: malt. insert dreamy sigh here

    Comment by tg on 1/12/06 at 1:51 pm #
  5. Man, all you needed was a Charleston Chew reference and you have the candy of my childhood.  I seemed to get one or the other as a child…and haven’t bought either in years.

    Comment by The Matt on 1/12/06 at 2:21 pm #
  6. Cybele's avatar

    tg - I wish it were maltier, but I’m not sure if there is a bar that satisfies my malt-craving.

    The Matt - I haven’t had a Charleston Chew in EONS! It should pick one up (as long as it’s fresh ... nothing worse than a tacky CC).

    Comment by Cybele on 1/12/06 at 3:35 pm #
  7. I think you can find “mini” Charleston Chews now.  They are probably a little better for you, and you can eat one in a sitting.

    Also, if you ever have a chance, I recommend Enstrom’s toffee (http://www.enstrom.com/).  So good, so addictive.

    Comment by The Matt on 1/12/06 at 6:12 pm #
  8. Weird name for a candy bar when it’s not diet… I got a free Coke Zero which is what I thought of immediately for the Zero bar.

    Man, I must agree with Charleston Chew comments.  I used to get that all the time at Payless when i was a kid!

    Comment by Bryan on 1/13/06 at 11:36 am #
  9. Cybele's avatar

    The Matt - thanks for the heads up on Enstrom ... gotta love any company that can use their ingredients list as their tagline.

    I think I saw some mini-Charleston Chews the other day at the drug store. I’ll definitely pick them up. The thing that always bothered me about Charleston Chews is when you bend it, all the chocolate falls off. Well, it didn’t used to bother me. Now that I do my own laundry, it does.

    Comment by Cybele on 1/22/06 at 6:26 pm #
  10. I can’t find the almonds and peanuts! But I like the flavour!

    Comment by siue on 2/15/06 at 12:23 pm #
  11. Cybele's avatar

    Siue - I think the nuts are a ground up paste in the filling. I had a hard time figuring out this bar at first.

    Comment by Cybele on 2/15/06 at 12:31 pm #
  12. My son loves Charleston Chews and I find them at Walgreen’s and Big Lots. Big Lots has also been known to have Zero Bars—My all time favorite bar. At Halloween, I sometimes find mini Zeros at Sav-a-Lot and Big Lots. I buy 4 or 5 bags to hide and savor all year long.

    Comment by KatB on 7/12/06 at 10:26 am #
  13. best candy bar around! bomb.com

    Comment by McCandy on 9/03/06 at 9:07 am #
  14. ohh gosh, i HAVE to try this…i can’t figure out why i haven’t seen a lot of the bars here…like the Pearson’s Nut Roll, which i have to try.
    the white part turned me off when i saw the pic but when you said malt…yeah, i’m gonna go candy hunting (:

    Comment by EMiLY on 9/24/06 at 6:19 pm #
  15. HI I WAS WONDERING ALONG WITH FRIENDS .DID THE ZERO CANDY BAR EVER HAVE A WHITE POLAR BEAR ON THE WRAPPER?

    Comment by RAY SMITH on 6/09/07 at 3:36 pm #
  16. i found this bar to be disgusting. it did have an amaretto taste to it, which was a gross combination with the malt flavor. overall, i would never eat this again. yeck.

    Comment by kristine on 6/14/07 at 10:43 am #
  17. anybody know where to get Zero bar?

    Comment by Annabelle on 8/30/07 at 7:46 pm #
  18. I was wondering what happened to the three candy bars I loved as a kid( yes, a long time ago) Cup O Gold, Mountain Bar and the Zero Bar…....... I couldn’t believe that all three of my favorites did not stand the test of time. I see they still make all three but for some reason they are not stocked in any place in Southern Ca. I read where Cup O Gold was the #3 selling bar in Ca. during the 50’s and 60’s. but I guess, like De Soto, nothing lasts forever

    Comment by joe wilkerson on 10/14/07 at 12:46 pm #
  19. I got a zero bar at my local wal-mart last night.

    they seem to be rather popular in Indiana, they’re in almost every vending machine i see, i recently tried one and was really surprised at how good it was. However i didn’t pick up any amaretto taste to it.

    Comment by Erica on 10/23/07 at 3:57 am #
  20. Anyone know of any recipes to use the ZERO bars in.

    Comment by Doni Ward on 12/05/07 at 8:12 am #
  21. we were wondering if there’s a way to make a cake out of Zero bars. Any ideas? Or how could we make a cake that is LIKE a Zero bar?

    Comment by Jamie on 12/15/07 at 6:34 pm #
  22. your bars rock the world

    Comment by nikki on 3/20/08 at 5:23 am #
  23. ZERO RULES!!! ...they have ALWAYS been my favorite candy bar since I was a little kid…and that’s a lot of decades ago. Yeah, they used to have a polar bear on the wrapper. I find them every once and a while at Wal-mart, but not often.

    Comment by chip on 3/21/08 at 8:25 am #
  24. I have made a zero bar cake. You just take a plain white cake mix and chunk at least one or two zero bars into it. Then while it’s baking you just make a butter cream icing. After it cools you just ice it. Of course I always thought of melting zero bars for the icing it self too.

    I sold it at a bake sale and heard from the woman who ate it, that it was so good it didn’t last very long.

    Comment by Alicia Reardon on 3/31/08 at 2:14 am #
  25. I love the zero bar, but what I am looking for is a mini version of the bar.  I was told by the markers of bar there is one, I have never found it.  If anyone knows of this item I would greatfully welcome the information

    Comment by donna stonecipher on 6/11/08 at 6:50 am #
  26. The Zero bar is awesome.  Yea, I have never seen a mini zero either, but I have seen the King Size one!  In an earlier post, someone said that Save-a-Lot or Big Lots had mini zero bars, I am totally going to check it out.  I tried to see if I could get a gift basket or something filled with Zero bars from the Hershey website, but no such luck.

    Comment by jesperanzacs on 10/31/08 at 7:38 am #
  27. Way back when, Zero did have a polar bear on the wrapper.  http://www.oldtimecandy.com/zero.htm The name came from the snow-like white fudge coating, as in ZERO degrees temp.  They actual had bits of real almonds in them. 
      It is quite disheartening to remember a taste and not being able to recapture that with the ingredients that are currently being used to manufacture the same candy today.

    Comment by Brent Alexander on 12/05/08 at 2:58 am #
  28. Yes,there was a polar bear on the Zero Bar wrapper during the 1960’s.I own a box that the bars came in for the store’s during the 60’s and the box has a polar bear on it as well.

    Comment by Keith Freeland on 1/21/09 at 1:33 pm #
  29. Best candy bar ever!!! but very hard to find.

    Comment by Liz on 2/22/09 at 11:13 am #
  30. My dad used to own a convient/fishing supplies store, and we used to get candy all the time. and he one candy I always got was a Zero bar.
    and Well, maybe a Reese’s or a Crunch bar. But Zero is one of mine and my dad’s most favorite foods. Thank you for reviewing it! And I can agree on a 7 now, as I have tried lots of other candies and have acquired a taste to those.

    Comment by Maddie on 3/29/09 at 3:47 am #
  31. where can i buy a zero bar??? and not a website, i mean a store, i doing this for a friend, he can’t find them anywhere

    Comment by Alexis on 7/20/09 at 6:17 am #
  32. Remember the polar bear?

    Comment by Buddy on 11/27/09 at 5:18 pm #
  33. I picked up my first ZERO when I was just a kid and fell in love. I do remember large pieces of almonds from back in the day,but was surprised to find out today that there was peanuts included in the mix.I loved the malt flavor and still do. I bought one in Florida a few years back while looking on a 7-11 shelf for candy for my daughter. When I unwrapped it, my daughter turned her nose up to it because it didn’t look “right”,being white.I finished it in the car on the way home, and turned right around to buy another for the next day. When I unwrapped the second bar, my daughters curiosity got the best of her and she tried a piece.She too is a fan and always asks for the ZERO on our “candy binges”.If there’s none available,she’ll stick with a plain hershey milk chocolate bar.She does’t like snickers,reeses,3 muskateers,etc. What a crazy kid I got.

    Comment by Rob on 2/01/10 at 8:09 pm #
  34. The ZERO bar is probably the weirdest candy bar I have ever seen in the USA. The only part that I don’t like is the White Fudge which I call white chocolate. I am not a big fan of the ZERO bar but, if you like snickers and white chocolate than you would probably be a big fan of the ZERO bar.
    The reason why I am not a big fan of it is because I hate white chocolate. Otherwise I like the ZERO bar.

    Comment by Sage on 2/14/10 at 2:14 pm #
  35. I had never seen this candy bar before. I bought two, yesterday from Wal*Mart, because it looked interesting. It is very pretty when taken out of the package. But, I can’t get past the taste. There’s something off-putting about the chalky flavor of the “White Fudge,” which isn’t really “White Chocolate” at all, just some kind of waxy, sugary coating.
    The nut-filled, nougat filling reminded me of some kind of awful diet bar from the 1980s. Like when everyone started to eat carob chips in place of chocolate…It could have used some sort of aromatic addition, like vanilla or amoretto. I found it bland, sticky and chunky. I would eat it if I were trapped in a snow pocket after an avalanche, and needed to eat a Zero bar to survive. But, otherwise, I’m going to skip it, next time.

    Comment by Amber on 3/07/10 at 5:07 am #
  36. I work at the Hershey Plant in Robinson Illinois, home of the Zero Bar. It says Penn on the package, but we make them in Robinson. They are a big hit !

    Comment by Karen Bowman on 3/09/10 at 8:53 pm #
  37. Hooray for Hollywood, Hollywood Brands candy company of Minneapolis, MN. that is. Frank Martoccio, founder of the F.A. Martoccio Macaroni Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota, purchased the Pratt and Langhoft Candy Company in 1911. In 1928, Martoccio acquired the assets of the Pendergast Candy Company of Minneapolis. In 1933, Martoccio changed the company name to Hollywood Brands, Inc. Growth of the business required a larger building and the company relocated to Centralia, Illinois. Martoccio manufactured and sold numerous products, including ZERO, launched in 1920.

    The Martoccio family sold Hollywood Brands to Consolidated Foods Corporation (later to become Sara Lee) in 1967. Business was good when a fire destroyed the Centralia plant in 1980. With the assistance of the L.S. Heath and Sons Company and the ingenuity and hard work of the Centralia employees, Hollywood Brands continued production until a new facility could be constructed. The new building was opened in 1983. In 1988, Hollywood Brands was purchased by Huhtamaki Oy and became part of Leaf, Inc. Hershey Foods Corporation acquired the Leaf North America confectionery operations from Huhtamaki Oy of Helsinki, Finland in 1996.

    Since 1931 the ZERO candy bar has developed a very loyal consumer base. The unique combination of ingredients makes this bar a one of a kind. The name ZERO is believed to come from the bar being originally marketed as a cool, tasty treat; or as cool as Zero degrees. Some consumers still today enjoy ZERO candy bars frozen.

    Ref: http://www.hersheys.com/products/details/zero.asp

    Comment by Mike Singleton on 4/15/10 at 3:50 pm #
  38. I LOVE & ADORE Zero candy bars. I buy them (kingsize) from WalMart as well as my local grocery shop. I get all sizes of Charleston chews too. I like the vanilla ones best. Frozen or fresh the Charleston chew is amazing. I will check my local Big Lots for the mini bars and if I find them then will buy everything I can get. I’ve loved them since I was a little kid. from the 70’s on up I have been able to find them and in all the states i have lived as well. I’m a fan of the white fudge, the nougat and the caramel. Zero bars rock. And like others I’m a fan of the malt. Its why i love Ovaltine in the chocolate malt flavor.

    The only new candy bar they’ve made is the Take 5, its a layer of salty pretzels with peanut butter on top then caramel and covered in chocolate.

    Comment by Elvenbeads on 8/14/11 at 10:58 am #
  39. To me, it looked and tasted EXACTLY like one of those carb-free diet bars. Sweet sawdust Batman! This one is not for me.

    Comment by Jeff on 2/10/13 at 8:59 pm #
  40. Zero bars are really nice cold out of the fridge. We got them like that from the concession stands at our city swimming pool when I was growing up. Great on a hot, sunny summer’s day at the pool!

    Comment by mike on 6/07/13 at 8:29 pm #
  41. My grandma use to have candy it was clear with the wrap was also clear with a polar bear on it. I would love to find these candys

    Comment by Brandi on 7/13/13 at 11:37 am #
  42. Absolutely love the Zero, always! My grandfather worked in a small town “service station” in southern MN, after retiring from delivering fuel oil with a team of horses, and as a kid that was the treat he would bring for us when we were there to visit. Loved them then and even more now cuz I can always still see him with some in the pocket of his stripped work overalls. Can find them at local grocery stores and Holiday stations for sure around here, thankfully. Hope they NEVER change anything about them cept for maybe making them in a bite size!

    Comment by Kathy on 12/25/13 at 9:19 am #

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