What do you get when you take one abandoned ice cream parlor, a healthy measure of Robinson Illinois, a jigger of the nineteen teens, one quart traveling salesman, essence of mysterious Greek confectioner, four parts family intrigue, the phrase “America’s Finest!” and coat it in milk chocolate? The answer is the Heath Bar, an English Style Toffee from the heartland of America that boasts a history as complex and nuanced as the War of the Roses. Read about it all in Bittersweet: The Story of the Heath Candy Co., for I’ve naugh’ the time, nor space here to spin the tale.
If you’ve read my review of SKOR, you may think, “I already know what he’s going to say, since that product is a veritable facsimile of this one.” Not So! At least not entirely… See, if you had in fact read that review, you would know that SKOR suffers from classic Eighties-itis – a sad syndrome in which the affected party’s prevailing assumption becomes “more is better!” Most notably, it resulted in the series of tragic flubs that came to exemplify the eponymous decade, ie: the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the music of Kenny Loggins, the E-Wok Adventures, the actions of the IMF, etc. So while SKOR undeniably takes its cues from the Heath Bar, it also exaggerates them to louder, more neon-drenched proportions as part of “The Mannheim Steamroller Approach,” indicative of its origins.
“HeatH,” as it used to be known, is more demure. While this may not suit everybody, it does me. Butter Toffee can be a heavenly treat, but should be consumed responsibly. Perhaps the key to Heath’s more balanced flavor are the almonds mixed with the toffee? Whereas SKOR lacks any kind of countervailing force against the dizzying richness of the Milk-Chocolate / Butter Toffee, Heath’s almonds keep your lunch in your stomach where it belongs with a muted and much needed baseline flavor.
Tragically, if the result of Citizens United V. FEC is any indication, Eighties-itis may be on the rise. Do your part to help keep the swelling down by enjoying Heath Bar, which (on this site, anyway) will never indicate political preference. Though, for the record, it does believe that Man got us into Global Warming and Man is going to have to get us out.