Fringe Candy: A Wunderbar by any other name…

An Irish candy with a German name from Canada. What’s not fringe about that?
You’re looking at the business end of a Wunderbar, one of many candy treasures I brought back from Canada for, um, research purposes. I don’t write candy bars that often, but the Canada trip offered me the chance to try some new stuff, and I jumped at it. Take a good look at that picture. Delicious chocolate shell, gooey caramel, and a peanut buttery crunch that isn’t visible in the photo…I guess it’s shy.

And why wouldn’t it be shy? After all, this candy bar is living in a foreign country under an assumed identity.

Cue the dramatic music.

The sweetly sordid tale begins thusly: born in Ireland sometime in the mid-sixties to proud mother Linda Allison and a powerful sugar daddy by the name of Cadbury, it was initially given the name Star Bar. The proud parents proclaimed it to be the “Munchiest Bar Ever.” Personally, I can’t verify that any regulatory committee checks on that kind of claim, but it was enough to make the young Irish bar pretty popular in the 70’s.

Then, perhaps questioning its own identity as all young adults do, Star Bar became the Nudge Bar. Then in 1986 this bright, young candy started running with a different crowd and became the peanut version of the Boost Bar. While Boost is still about, the Star Bar eventually went back to its roots and original name for a while.

Except, that is, when travelling abroad. In Germany, this blend of peanuty-caramel goodness is sold under the name Wunderbar. Ok. Great. Very German. I can understand that. What confounds me is that it’s also sold as Wunderbar in Canada as well, perhaps to appeal to all those German Canadians. I don’t know. It doesn’t much matter as now it’s called Moro Peanut, and in Sweden (where it’s made by Marabou Chocolates) as the Starbar.

With that many name changes in less than a half-century, I’d expect to see some bodies buried somewhere. No evidence yet, but it’s only a matter of time.

So, Mr. History, how does the bar measure up?

In many ways, I’d compare the Wunderbar to the Twix or perhaps the long-gone Marathon Bar from Willy Wonka. The core is a decently dense caramel, but not so strong it’s going to rip out teeth. The texture is just about ideal. There is a crunchy peanuty layer in there that reminds me of the Whatchmacallit Bar or a Bar None, with the peanuts just fine enough to be almost crispy. And as with all Cadbury bars, the chocolate is top notch. I gotta give it to those bastards. They really do make a smooth milk chocolate. I’m sure it’s made on the backs of orphan slave children or something as most non-fair-trade chocolate is, but it sure is tasty.

If you’re in Canada, pick one up. The yellow wrapper is easy to spot. As is the letter “B” which, for some reason is wearing a horned Viking helmet. Kinda wish I was making that up, but I’m not.

And to think, I have two more Canadian bars stashed for future reviews!

One thought on “Fringe Candy: A Wunderbar by any other name…

  1. My favourite comment was the one you made outside of this post about the bar being in the witness protection program. As for your review, the idea of a bar made on the backs of orphan slave children has a certain appeal. I wonder if I can’t somehow mitigate my 1st World guilt buy making a donation to a children’s charity each time I enjoy one of these Wunderbars?

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