I grew up in the 1970s, and there were so many different types of sweets and chocolate to satisfy my sweet tooth. Here are some of my favourite candy bars from the 1970s.
I love chocolate, in all its forms; white, milk and dark. It’s all good. In the 1970s we were spoiled for choice. I remember these bars with great fondness and a sense of nostalgia. Twix, Mars bar, Marathon (now called Snickers) Bounty, Aero, Kit Kat. Most of these are still available now, but somehow they don’t taste the same as they did when I was younger.
We used to have a travelling shop that came round to our street twice a week. My mum referred to it as ‘the bus.’ Jim, a middle-aged Scotsman, sold just about everything; me and my brother spent our pocket money in there on sweets, crisps, fizzy drinks and of course, chocolate.
Here are my top ten chocolate bars from the 1970s.
This was a sweet and sticky concoction of nougat and caramel covered in thick milk chocolate. It’s still available today, but unless it’s my imagination, it’s a lot smaller than it used to be. Although maybe that’s because I was looking at it with the eyes of a child back then!
This came in a milk chocolate version, and a dark chocolate version. As a child, I preferred the milk chocolate one but now I like the dark chocolate one better. Bounty was made from shredded coconut in a light syrup, and covered in chocolate. The ads on TV showed young, beautiful people on a tropical island, lying in a hammock and eating chocolate. I loved it!
Marathon (a.k.a Snickers)
Marathon changed its name to Snickers a while back, in 1990 in fact. This was because Snickers was the common name for it in the USA and other countries, so the manufacturers decided to change the name to align with other nations. This wasn’t one of my favourite candy bars; I wasn’t keen on peanuts. It was similar to a Mars bar but with peanuts in the caramel. My mum loved it though.
This came in a two-finger or four-finger size bar. It was made from wafers covered in milk chocolate. I enjoyed the ‘snap’ sound when I broke off a finger to eat. It made a great snack in between lunch and dinner.
Now you can buy Kit Kat in various different flavours, and in milk and dark versions. But I still prefer the original.
This came in a dazzling orange-gold wrapper, a rectangle of crisp honeycomb coated in milk chocolate. Its appeal was in the way that the honeycomb melted on your tongue. This is still available today but I’m sure it’s smaller than I remember!
In the 1970s, this was available in milk chocolate, orange, and mint flavours. It was a very chunky chocolate bar, with a filling that had been aerated, forming tiny bubbles. The effect was produced by introducing gas bubbles into the liquid chocolate to make it into a foam. Once set, there were all these little bubbles that popped and melted on the tongue. Delicious!
Although these are not actually a candy bar, I felt they still deserved a mention. Smarties came in a cardboard tube with a little plastic lid and were small buttons of chocolate coated in a sugar shell. They came in all different colours, although they tasted the same regardless of the colour of the shell. Once the tube was opened, it was almost impossible to stop eating the smarties until the tube was empty.
Again, not a candy bar but still a fond memory. Maltesers got their name from the aerated, malt-flavoured centre, which was then covered in a thin milk chocolate shell. As I was half Maltese, I felt that it was my duty to eat at least one bag of Maltesers a week.
Maltesers were advertised as being a healthier option, the light centre meaning fewer calories (supposedly) than solid chocolate. The centre would melt in your mouth, leaving a pleasant malted-milk taste that was very moreish.
A very satisfying sweet, Twix consisted of 2 finger-shaped biscuits, covered in caramel and wrapped in milk chocolate. The name came from the fact that there were 2 bars per pack.
I used to eat the first biscuit, promising myself I would save the second one for when I got home, but by the time I was halfway there I had eaten the second biscuit too. And I had (guiltily) disposed of the wrapper in the neighbour’s bin, hoping that my mum wouldn’t know I had eaten a whole bar of chocolate when I was supposed to be coming home for my dinner.
This bar came in a bright red wrapper and promised ‘a hazelnut in every bite.’ Or so said the marketing people. It was a bar made from soft nougat. whole hazelnuts and a layer of caramel, wrapped in milk chocolate.
I loved the taste of the hazelnuts; they reminded me of Christmas time, when there would be a dish of whole nuts set out on a side table and a pair of nutcrackers to get past the shells. The hazelnuts were the ones I always went for first. Adding chocolate and caramel to the hazelnuts was inspired.
I know this was meant to be a top ten list, but as I’ve included some sweets that aren’t actually bars, I’m going to show you a couple more of my favourites.
This was a sublime blend of dark and milk chocolate, filled with rum-soaked raisins. I used to love the ads, featuring a very wicked-looking pirate. This bar is no longer available, which is a shame as it was one of my favourites and it tasted delicious. I haven’t even been able to find a picture of it anywhere.
A very smooth, creamy chocolate, Galaxy came in a blue and cream wrapper and was chunky and sweet, but not overly sweet. It had an almost caramel-like taste, which is still popular today. The smooth, almost silky texture came from grinding the cocoa nibs to an exceptionally fine grain, giving Galaxy chocolate its characteristic smoothness in the mouth.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article, maybe you have fond memories of these chocolate bars from your own childhood. If you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.
To find out more about the origins and history of chocolate please go to this article, where does chocolate originate from?
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