Candy barsEverybody loves a candy bar. Candy is the one constant that ties together the ages. Whether or not you are five or 55, a good candy bar is certain to elicit joy. It doesn't matter the brand, the flavor, or the contents, a candy bar is always great.

Really, there isn't much to say about any individual candy bar other than that it tastes good. There really can't be a way to disparage a chocolately treat, can there?

The answer is no. Every candy bar is an amazing parcel of goodness, and nothing negative can be said about any of them.

Ben & Hurley share a candy bar on "Lost"



Like everything, however, some candy bars get more credit than they deserve. All are great, but some simply aren't that great. Other bars are rarely consumed or scarcely found on store shelves despite being some of the tastiest morsels on the planet.

Here are the five most overrated/underrated candy bars available in the USA:

UNDERRATED

5. Heath Bar (Hershey)

How underrated is the Heath Bar? When Hershey acquired the candy from a rival, they never stopped producing their Skor Bar, which was designed to compete with the Heath for chocolate-coated toffee superiority. The Heath is a very fine bar with a rich toffee center surrounded by decadent chocolate. It harkens back to turn-of-the-century English Candy Shoppes with cloth-wrapped treats given to boys in knickers and tweed hats. Just try finding it in the supermarket checkout.

4. Krackel (Hershey)

When you are better than a more well-known competitor you're bound to be underrated. That fate has befallen Krackel, which despite a better taste and size than the similar Nestle Crunch has never received comparable acclaim. The Krackel's crisp rice brings a great bit of fun to eating plain chocolate without distracting from the taste. It's sort of the candy equivalent to putting shredded lettuce on a burger just for the added texture, a great innovation that may have started with the Crunch but was perfected by the Krackel.

3. Symphony Bar (Hershey)

The plain Hershey Bar is a staple of any candy lover's diet. Nothing but plain, delicious milk chocolate. Yum. But Hershey also produces a similar product that has the original beat. The Symphony features the same plain chocolate idea but with a twist: the chocolate is incredibly rich and creamy. This is almost like European candy in that it is sweeter than the chocolate normally found in stateside candy bars, but it's more than just that. It's the creaminess and the overwhelming indulgence in one bite of the Symphony. Few have sampled it, but it's a must for any chocolate lover.


2. Caramello (Cadbury)

Such a simple concept: chocolate and caramel, that's it. You can't find it anywhere else, except for the bite-sized Rolo. Candy companies frequently come between these two delicious confections with things like nuts, nougat, and even fruit. The Caramello sticks to just the good stuff, providing an absolute flavor burst in every bite. Plus, it's very fun to break the pieces apart and watch the sticky caramel linger in between.


1. 5th Avenue (Hershey)

Much like the Krackel, the 5th Avenue is pushed aside by a more famous competitor, the Butterfinger. Unlike the Krackel, however, the gap is far more substantial in both recognition and quality for the latter two bars. The 5th Avenue improves on every single shortcoming of the Butterfinger: The chocolate is better, the peanut butter is tastier, and it doesn't get stuck in your teeth. It's much easier to eat and tastes a lot better too. Anybody who's a fan of the Butterfinger needs to open up a 5th Avenue sometime and taste the true star of the hard peanut-butter filled candy world. If you can find it.

OVERRATED

5. Almond Joy/Mounds (Hershey)

Sometimes you feel like a nut, and sometimes you don't, but has anybody anywhere ever felt like sticky pseudo-coconut coated with bitter dark chocolate? The Almond Joy/Mounds Bar is the runt of any variety bag and one that a consumer of fun size bars invariably forces themselves to integrate into a dessert combo simply so they won't be left with a bunch of blue and red wrappers in the bottom of the bag only to throw them away. Despite this, these bars (the Almond Joy especially) remain immensely popular and are far more available than many of their tastier colleagues.


4. Pay Day (Hershey)

What? No Chocolate? Just peanuts and caramel? What is this, health food? This doesn't even belong in the candy bar aisle, let alone the official candy of Major League Baseball and whatever else it's sponsoring. Yes, this is pure advertising dollars and does not speak to its quality or popularity, but the Pay Day is much more readily available than other bars that at least include chocolate.


3. York Peppermint Pattie (Hershey)

Making an after-dinner mint larger does not make it a candy bar, but the York Patties are as recognizable as any real candy bar on the planet. They look like a Klondike bar on the outside, so that's disappointing, and they aren't as good as a handful of junior mints. Shrink 'em down, and leave 'em where they belong: In a bowl on the maitre d's table.


2. Toblerone (Toblerone)

Ah, the triangle chocolate you get in the airport. Isn't it amazing? Isn't it so much better than anything available in the United States? The answer? No. It's the same. It's the same stuff. It tastes the same. Sure, it has some nougat and some nuts, but 900 other candy bars do as well. People treat it like it's Godiva or some other fine chocolate when it's just a candy bar like several others with a funny name and in a funny shape.

1. Snickers (Mars, Inc.)

On nearly every list of favorite candy bars, you'll find Snickers at the top. It's arguably the most popular candy bar in the country. The reason is very mysterious. It's not really the best candy bar by any stretch of the imagination. The chocolate is lacking and the peanut/caramel/nougat interior is very busy. Too many competing flavors resulting in an overall mess. When it comes to candy, simple is usually best, and the Snickers flies right in the face of that. Despite that, its candy is the most popular of them all.

Check back next week for the most overrated and underrated characters on "The Simpsons."

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Andrew Payne
Story by Andrew Payne
Starpulse contributing writer


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