Friday, May 25, 2012

Naughts and Zeds: Chocolate Edition

Naughts and Zeds is an ongoing series of posts on the differences between language, culture, and everyday items in America and in Britain. For a list of previous posts, go here.

In a new country, it's not surprising to discover candy bars you've never heard of before, like Wispa or Twirl. Maybe you'd even expect to see a few old favorites from your home country. But what if a candy bar has the same name but is a different bar? I recent bought what I thought were three favorites from back home, but only one was the same as in the United States. Can you guess which one of these chocolate bars is exactly the same in the U.S. and in the U.K.?

If you based your guess on the label and said to yourself, "The Snickers label is just like an American label, but the others are different from their American counterparts," you would have made the right guess. Snickers are packed with peanuts and nougaty goodness on both sides of the Pond.

The U.K. Mars Bar has no almonds in it. It has the nougat and caramel, resulting in a bar just like the American Milky Way bar.

So what is a U.K. Milky Way bar like? It's like an American Milky Way, except it doesn't have the caramel. Which means that it is just like an American Three Musketeers bar. I guess the British don't want a Three Musketeers bar since Athos, Porthos, and Aramis are French characters. French!?! Can't have that.

I have not found a U.K. equivalent for the American Mars Bar, but rest assured I will keep researching the issue. For science! For my readers!


  1. That's interesting, when I lived over there in the 80s, Snickers had a different name. I can't recall what it was. Same 'colours' and pattern on the label. I remember discussing it with the guy I was seeing over there and he thought I was saying Sneakers as in the athletic shoe. I told him Snicker like a little laugh.

  2. In Germany, we have three types of Mars bars: the "normal" Mars, which is just like the UK one, the Almond Mars, which contains - who would have guessed it! - Almonds, and the "dark" type, which is covered not in the sweet dairy milk choccy of the other two types but in a semi-sweet, darker variety.

  3. In the past couple of years, quite a few American chocolate bar makers have been "diversifying" their offerings by offering the same bar with dark chocolate and even with white chocolate! I remember trying a white chocolate Reeses Peanut Butter Cup that was pretty tasty. Also, if they can offer it in pastel colors at Easter time, they will try it out.

    We need to go on another Germany trip!