Nineteen Hundred and Twelve CE; Squaw Man, the first motion picture to come out of Hollywood, California is still two solar revolutions down the road while Hollywood, Minnesota gives birth to the “Hollywood Candy Company.” By the time the “Double” Zero Bar rolls out in 1920, the left coast Hollywood has pretty much supplanted its middle-American sister as the Hollywood by blossoming the film capital of the United States, though small but loyal generations of quietly delighted Zero bar buyers may still contest which city is more significant.
Never had a Zero bar? You’re not alone. While it’s been on the shelves relatively unchanged since its 1920 release (except for dropping the second Zero in 1934) despite numerous moves between distributors, the Zero bar doesn’t seem to have made much of an impact. In a scene historically dominated by variations on the chocolate/caramel/peanut schema, its unfortunate to see a candy bar that boasts white-fudge, nougat, almond and malted milk as principal ingredients receive so little attention. The Zero bar is different, see, but variety is the spice of life.
The white fudge, while not as melty or malleable as most chocolate coating, is at once creamier and more textured. Bites are smooth, but there’s a slight resistance that (to me) is a welcome departure from the super-soft consistency of many chocolate bars. A thin layer of caramel beneath the fudge top-coat sweetens the pot and provides perfect contrast with the almond studded, malty, vaguely amaretto-tasting nougat core. The flavors are complex (some describe them as off-putting) but if you give the Zero bar a chance, you may just find you enjoy their rich blend and the uniquely tactile experience the combination offers. The Zero bar is also particularly delicious after a few hours in the freezer— a practice which was once wide-spread during the bar’s heyday and which Hollywood Candy Company encouraged by the name they chose for it (yeah, that’s right 0 degrees C baby; freezing point) and the bar’s original mascot—a polar bear!
Tell your friends, bring Zero back to number one!