Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Candy Review: Weird Roadside Candy Bars

There's nothing more American than the kitsch of a roadside attraction. I'm self-aware enough to know that most of these are tourist traps, and yet I'll admit I have a soft spot for them. On a recent trip we ran into Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium, which is exactly what you think it is. They have...lots of candy. Lots and lots of candy. And very little of it is of the mass-market kind. Here's a small sampling of what I found.

Since I occasionally do candy reviews, I generally like to peruse places like this to try out weird and new candy. And since it is, you know, a candy emporium, I was able to pick up a bunch of different candy bars. Unknowingly, four of the five are from a company called Annabelle's Candy, which the clerk told me was based out in the west. (I went back later to get the fifth.) I've never heard of any of these before, but perhaps out west they are more common.

Abba-Zabba: This is a chewy taffy bar with a thin layer of peanut butter in it. It's not bad--in total, it's certainly flavorful--but it didn't have a whole lot going on for it. The taffy itself was rather bland, but it was a good contrast with the PB.

Big Hunk:This candy bar was a little deceiving. Despite the fact that it comes in a dark brown wrapper and has a name that sounds like it should be a big hunk of chocolate, there is no chocolate to be seen here. It's basically a big bar of nougat with a lot of shaved peanuts pressed into it. While it wasn't bad, it wasn't particularly satisfying, either. It's worth a try but I wasn't a huge fan.

Look!: And yet, here we are with the Look! bar. Which is basically a Big Hunk dipped in chocolate. This is what I thought the Big Hunk was going to be, and it was pretty good. I'm not sure I like the whole "long strip of nougat" concept that both of these have, because they effectively are big bars of taffy...which is difficult to eat. The Big Hunk wasn't bad, but for this one there was chocolate everywhere. Still, this was one of the better of the bunch.

Rocky Road: This was an oddly satisfying candy bar. Most rocky road bars have a graham cracker, then just throw a thin layer of marshmallow and cover it with chocolate. Not so with this one; the graham cracker and marshmallow are chopped up and the entire thing is dipped in chocolate. This was by far my favorite candy bar of the lot, and I'm not normally a fan of marshmallow in candy bars.

U-No: (Not Pictured) When I realized that I only had 4 of the 5 members of the Annabelle candy line, I figured I might as well get it to try it. It's...ok. It's almost like a Three Musketeers Bar, only the chocolate inside tastes more solid and more like chocolate. The consistency, however, wasn't particularly appealing. Not bad but not to my taste.

Idaho Spud: This was the only non-Annabelle candy bar in the bunch, and...well, I don't know what they were thinking. First off, it claims that its the candy bar that makes Idaho famous"--uh, no. Nice try, but no. But the bar itself is made up of some unholy concoction of corn syrup that tries to pass itself off with the consistency of a potato, covered in chocolate. Kind of. It's hard to describe. No, it's easy to describe: disgusting. Even the coconut on the outside couldn't salvage this one.


  1. I love the Idaho Spud! I always thought of it as a sort of non-pink Snowball (remember Hostess Snowballs?).
    The only bad thing about the Rocky Road is how hard it is to find.

  2. The confectionery manufacturers are indeed coming up with the most handsome options for us and that is pretty proven with these Roadside candy bars with exquisite taste.