Almonds are a fancy nut. They’re one of the first species of nut that gets picked clean in a public bowl of mixed nuts. They’re the “new” improvement that chocolate candy companies add or substitute for peanuts when they need to increase some market share.
Hershey’s started adding almonds to their products’ milk chocolate bars and “kisses,” around 1990. M&Ms also began adding almonds in the ’90s. Cadbury, Russel Stover, Ghiradellie, they’ve all got chocolate bars or clusters with almonds in them, and one or two of these companies might have actually been doing it for quite a bit longer than a decade, but do any of them come to mind when you think milk chocolate with almonds?
Let’s face it, when we think of milk chocolate with almonds, most of us add a little coconut into our mind’s equation because we’re thinking about the same blue and white wrapper. It’s true, “Sometimes You Feel Like a Nut.” That’s because Peter Paul candy company has been putting almonds in their coconut and milk chocolate bars since back in the 40’s. Canada’s Bounty Bar followed close behind in the 50’s with the same concept, but it never quite took here in The States.
Although almonds are not my favorite nut, an Almond Joy is one of my favorite “with nuts” chocolate bars. I admit, it might be because of the coconut, but a favorite is a favorite. If candy companies would do more with pecans, I’d likely trade up, and but quick. They don’t, though. Not outside of the occasional pecan cluster, anyway.
My recommendation, If you’re going to celebrate today with an Almond Joy, get yourself some extra almonds. Those token two they put in the bar seem to be motivated more by aesthetics than the palate.
See you Monday for National Sugar Cookie Day.