Sky Bar was delivered onto this mortal coil by the sure hands of Necco candysmith Joseph Cangemi in the ominous days of 1938. An agglomeration of various venerable candy makers and merchants from across New England, Necco has been known for its innovation and enterprising and the Sky Bar may just represent the zenith of both for the historic company.
With 4 different flavor chambers concealed underneath the unassuming guise of molded, milk chocolate, the Sky Bar is a kind of candy “Game of Death” (but without the life threatening possibilities typically associated with having to face down Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and a gang of Korean underworld martial arts experts with only your fists, feet and feelings). This revolutionary candy bar was introduced to the public through as series of skywriting campaigns, which proved tremendously successful once the undoubtedly jittery, war-wary folks realized the aircraft buzzing the beaches and metropolitan centers were friendlys.
Though its popularity has waned over the decades since its release, Sky Bar is still pretty ubiquitous (at least in New England) and not having tasted one in a while, I decided to dance with the old grand-daddy variety bar once again.
First Chamber: Caramel. Ok, not bad. We’re talking your garden-variety caramel here; very soft, very sticky– not the get stuck on your molars and grow hair sticky, more the stretchy-as-hell, leaves-big-strands-on-your-chin-making-you-look-like-a-loveable-moron sticky. Pass!
Second Chamber: Vanilla. Hmm. I had a hard time actually tasting the vanilla I’m afraid. Despite the assurances of the packaging, there seems to be some dispute in the surprisingly vibrant online candy discussion community about whether or not the vanilla filling is a nougat, marshmallow, or some kind of Valo-Milk rip off. Whatever it is, it’s not bad, in fact it’s sweet and creamy, just not particularly Vanilla-ey. Thesis Statement needs revision.
Third Chamber: Peanut. GOAL! This is why the Sky Bar has survived, not peanut butter or even chopped nuts, but peanut caramel! It’s everything great about the sweetness and consistency of caramel with the added bonus of peanut flavoring. A brilliant and wholly unique blend I’ve yet to encounter anywhere else. A+.
Fourth Chamber: Fudge. A bit of a let down, though anything after the 3rd chamber was bound to be anti-climactic. The problem here is that the fudge is almost indistinguishable from the chocolate coating (except in consistency). This wouldn’t be a huge demerit, except for the fact that the chocolate coating isn’t exactly a deal-maker to begin with. One reviewer has compared it to cheap Christmas candy and as a proud survivor of many a holiday advent calendar, I heartily agree. Lacks originality—now look me in the eye fudge, did you cheat on this exam?
And there you have the Sky Bar, a bit of a dinosaur, but a loveable one. I sincerely hope it survives at least another 71 years and that at some point during that time, peanut caramel gets a spin-off. And how about another sky writing campaign Necco? Pretty please with whatever passes for vanilla around that factory on top?