My Hero Zero
Unofficial Fan Page for the Zero Candy Bar
Every summer when we pack up the kids and head to North Carolina from the Chicago 'burbs, my heart skips a beat. Is it the lush mountains that await? The soothing ocean waves? Well, sure. But long before we reach those picture-perfect spots, I'll be doing something almost as exciting: stocking up on Zero candy bars, tricky to find in the Windy City but ubiquitous in gas stations from southern Indiana on down.
What's so great about Zero?
The Zero bar--sometimes unfairly called the "albino Snickers"--features a thin sheet of caramel atop a thick layer of peanut and almond nougat, covered in "white fudge." Honestly, I can't tell you what white fudge is, except that its straight-up sweet and a nice contrast to the bar's nutty, chewy (but not TOO chewy) insides. The nougat is much darker and richer than you get with, say a Three Musketeers.
This isn't the only nutty candy bar I enjoy. Payday evokes strong childhood memories, just like the Zero bar; boasts an appealing sweet-salty contrast; and is actually nicely filling. Leftover Halloween Snickers are a dangerous thing for me. Almond Joy is delish. And sometimes nothing will do but a classic Hershey's with almonds.
But for some reason, I've harbored an unnatural attachment to Zero bars since around age 8. I can't even remember when and where I had my first one, but I've been chasing them ever since.
I like the retro-futuristic wrapper, too.
- Candy Snob review
Sounds like the folks at CS enjoy the bar as much as I do, and their point about sweetness is well taken.
- Another big fan, from Candy Addict
Even this nut hater loves Zero bars.
- Candy blogger admires the malted quality of the nougat
I never caught that, but it would help explain why I dig this candy so much, as I love malted sweets.
What's in a Name?
The Zero bar was launched in 1920 as "Double Zero" by the Hollywood candy company, which changed hands several times before being purchased by Hershey's in 1996. According to the Hershey's website, the name may have come from how the bar was originally marketed: a treat "as cool as zero degrees."
Hershey's adds that some fans still like it frozen, and you can count me among them! This approach is not for the faint of teeth, though. Zeros really firm up in the freezer, and you can't easily crack 'em like a frozen Charleston Chew.
I never really got into Smashing Pumpkins, despite the hometown-pride factor (go Chicago!). But I always secretly wondered if Billy Corgan's trademark was a nod to my fave candy bar. "Zero" shirt
More Zero Worship
Does anyone remember Schoolhouse Rock on Saturday a.m. TV? "My Hero Zero" is one of many fun math bits on this awesome DVD collection. A staple when my kids were younger!
Hooray for Hollywood!
What do you say? Have I whetted your appetite for the elusive Zero bar? Or do you have fierce candy loyalties elsewhere? Snack on!