Friday, 7 December 2007

It's older than you think

I had a Mars Bar a few weeks ago. I don’t think it was past its sell by date but I was amazed to discover that the Mars Bar itself was 74 years old. According to Wikipedia, the Mars Bar was invented in Britain (Slough, of all places) by an American - Forrest Mars - in 1932. Historical documents show that it is the only interesting thing ever to have happened in Slough.

Indeed I was surprised that many of our traditional confectionary bars were older than me - the Milky Way (1923), Crunchie (1929), Snickers (1930), Mars Bar (1933), Aero and Kit Kat (1935); Maltesers and Blue Riband (1936); Smarties and Rolos (1937) and even Polo mints (1948) are older than me. Younger than me are the Bounty (1951); Yorkie and Lion Bar (1976) and Twix (1979).

We still had sweet rationing when I was born – it didn’t end until 1953. But all I can recall in the sweet shop that we sometimes visited on the way home from school were Fruit Salads, Blackjacks, Chewing Gum (banned by Mum) and Bubble Gum (banned by Mum and Dad!); Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Chocolate Bar; and the good old Fruit and Nut and Whole Nut. But all those chocolate bars were big and expensive and for adults - we had Cadbury’s animal bars which were a mere penny or two. (What a whole eight farthings – too much!)

I should explain to American readers that what the rest of the world knows as a Mars Bar – the (proper!) Mars Bar is similar to - but not exactly the same as - what you know as Milky Way in the U.S. And what the rest of the world knows as a Milky Way is more like your 3 Musketeers bar… which in turn, is quite like our Mars Flyte.

And now my head hurts. It’s not just that the chocolate sets off my migraines it's all just too complicated for me - but luckily (!) someone has made a web site devoted to showing the differences: The Visible Mars Bar Project


  1. mmmmmmm...mars(drool) bars. they were different years ago, or my jaw has got immeasurably stronger. must be all that incessant talking.
    Anyway, re quiz. I know how old you are, it's plainly obvious to all who visit this blog etc that you're not thick, so maybe you are exhausted. You have ages before any nominal closing date is even set let alone stuck to. So have a stab at a few more when you're feeling up to it as a little birdie here tells you that your answers to question Y have put you in a strong position so far. Nobody does Latin. Hope to hear from you soon. Rex

  2. What I remember from the shop is Ducks (?) Green Peas and New Potatoes. I'm sure there were other things too but I can never think when I need too!

  3. Ah yes - ducks, green peas and new potatoes. I was not thinking of things in jars sold by the ounce. I'll have a think about those and do another blog some time! In the meantime did we have Cadbury's buttons as a child?


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