Superficially, everything about Hershey’s Skor bar shouts “dignity!” from its sleek, streamlined shape, sexy black label, bold crimson typeface and regal, tri-corned crown logo. Inside, you find a thin, very crispy piece of toffee coated in a thinner drizzling of milk chocolate, swirled appealingly on top (where it’s laid on slightly thicker) and stamped with diamond-shaped hatching on bottom– also pretty refined. I puzzled over this strangely familiar pattern when, while looking over my notes for this review, it hit me—shoeprints! Apparently “skor” is the Swedish word for “shoes.” Cool! I’m not sure what significance shoes (or Sweden) have in the history of the candy bar, but they certainly add to the mystique of the product.
In fact, mystique may be the greatest asset Skor has going for it—all the gimmicks perhaps intended to distract from the truth that, well, Skor just ain’t that good.
Don’t get me wrong, Skor certainly has good qualities, maybe even too good. The chocolate coating (almost a leaf) is sweet and creamy, well blended and attractively textured to both the eye and the palette, while the toffee is incredibly buttery with a nicely contrasting brittleness. The first few bites I took were marvelously flavorful and balanced; all seemed right with the world. Yet as I made my way across the bar it started to turn on me. The chocolate turned to liquid sugar in my mouth, the toffee became the kind of buttery you only usually experience accidentally or as part of a dare. By the time I was done with the tiny bar I was panting, thirsty and fairly certain that I’d injured myself somehow.
I realized what had happened.
In the early 1980s, a brain trust of zealous Hershey chocolatiers, obsessed with out-heathing then competitor “heath bar,” created a confectionery super-soldier which, like all super-soldiers, would prove too powerful and turn on its masters. I should have known… The screaming excess of sweet and creamy/salty was so 80′s I could practically feel the blaring, neon pink assault of Cyndi Lauper’s voice as I chewed on bravely.
Above all else, a great confection must be subtle, and if you pause to reflect, I think you’ll agree that Skor may have outgrown its red eye make-up.