Last week I saw the new commercial from Mars, advertising the new Milky Way bar, Simply Caramel. This was an event! Bar none, the Milky Way is the greatest candy bar in the existence of existence. Unfortunately the advertisement failed to mention that the new Milky Way Simply Caramel was not available in all stores yet. Even my beloved Wegman's failed to stock what might be the confectionery event of my lifetime! Like any lost soul, I would need to journey to Mecca. Carla and I set our sights to the cultural fountain of New York City. Simply Caramel here we come!
Actually, we went to New York for work. And I found the candy bar at the CVS across from the NJ train station. But I was certain NYC would have it, if no where else. Aside from that, everything else is true. What is most true is that the Milky Way fills me with a passion unmatched by any other candy or snack food.
Growing up, my Mom bought Snickers for our family. Snickers were crunchy, sweet, and good for filling up three hungry boys and a husband. Plus, Snickers aren't pure sugar like a Sugar Daddy or Bit O' Honey. So granted, Snickers is the candy bar of my childhood. But the Milky Way is just so indulgent! Soft, soothing milk chocolate coats rich, gooey caramel, all floating on a bed of whipped cocoa nougat. No peanuts or almonds to get in the way of all that lusciousness. It's like soaking a slice of pound cake in hot chocolate and drizzling the whole thing with caramel sauce.
So to have a fully comprehensive understanding of the Milky Way Simply Caramel, I also picked up a classic Milky Way and a Milky Way Midnight Dark. This would allow me to enjoy the full spectrum of Milky Way goodness.
The first thing was to rule out the Milky Way Midnight Dark. I've had it before and never really enjoyed it. For decades it was sold under the moniker Forever Yours, free of the Milky Way family. It's not a bad bar, but it doesn't have the same capacity for deliciousness as the classic bar. The dark chocolate doesn't meld seamlessly with the caramel, as it does with the original. And the vanilla nougat just can't find a proper spot in the flavor profile.
As I tasted the classic and Simply Caramel side by side, I gained a new found respect for the puffy, fluffy layer of nougat. I always thought the caramel was king, but then why didn't I become a fan of another pure caramel chocolate bar, such as Caramello or Rolos? The nougat seems to almost aerate the dense, gooey caramel, lightening it and allowing you to enjoy the blend of chocolate and caramel in greater depth. The nougat allows the flavors of the bar to fully open up on your palate, like an enrichment of cream thinning out a thick, concentrated broth. Once again, the classic was king.