3 Musketeers
Whipped Up, Fluffy Chocolate-on-Chocolate Taste

3 Musketeers was invented by Mars Candy Company in 1932, and they still make it.

Originally there were 3 pieces (hence the name) with chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry innards.  It was advertised as one of the largest chocolate bars on the market.  Big enough to be shared by 3 friends.  Again, hence the name.

So, how did it manage to be bigger and still sell for a nickel? Hmmm. Ignoring the "less than 2%" list, most of the bar (the inside) is basically a sugar and hydrogenated palm oil foam.  Foam is less dense, so here's our formula:

Same Weight   times   Less Dense                         equals   Bigger Bulkier Bar

Today it's a single piece, no more strawberry or vanilla section, and much longer and narrower than the original.

I do know however that this was a gradual transition (like most of life).

Because I remember in the fifties (no, I'm not nearly that old - I went there in my DeLorean) the bar was pretty much like the current one in appearance, except for shape. 

That is, it had the  present format of all chocolatey foam in the center, covered by milk chocolate on the outside. 

The difference that I recall is that the bar was only about one and a half times as long as it was wide, and there were two grooves across the top chocolate layer.  To show where you could divide your bar into three pieces so as to share with your two friends.

From June 1932 to June 2013, the U.S. Dollar lost over 94% of its value.  So that nickel price in 1932 equates, after inflation, to about 85 cents in today's money.

Some reviewers of this bar describe the inside as nougat, but that is not correct.  The definition of nougat includes nuts, and there are no nuts in 3 Musketeers' ingredients list.  Also there is no mention of nougat on the wrapper.  Instead 3 Musketeers describes itself as having "whipped up, fluffy chocolate-on-chocolate taste."


Ingredients and Nutrition

Yes, I know the nutrition info above is illegible.  My scanner doesn't like light blue ink on aluminum. 

Here's what it says:

Nutrition Facts Serv size: 1 bar, Amount per serving: Calories 240, Fat Cal. 70, Total Fat 7 g (11%DV), Sat. Fat 5g (25%DV), Trans Fat 0g, Cholest, 5mg (2%DV), Sodium 90mg (4%DV), Total Carb. 42g (14%DV), Fiber 1g (4%DV), Sugars 36g, Protein 1g, Vitamin A (0%DV), Vitamin C (0%DV), Calcium (2%DV), Iron (2%DV).  Percent Daily Values (DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Ingredients:

My 1.92 ounce bar has 240 calories, with 70 of them (29%) from fat.  I think this does justify 3 Musketeers' claim of "45% less fat than average of the leading chocolate brands."

Interesting.

But let's stop and think about this for a moment.  We've been programmed to think that low fat is automatically good, but is it?  The first part of this is the question, "if there is less fat, what is there more of?"  The answer, pretty much, is sugar and variations thereof.  That's good for the maker - sugar is cheaper than chocolate.  Maybe not so good for us. 

Chocolate is a healthy food - as long as you don't run amok with it.  Sugar - not so much. 

The second question - what kind of fat.                  And yes, it does make a difference. 
There are three fats in this bar -
    •    cocoa butter (by itself, and also found within chocolate and a little in cocoa powder
    •    milkfat (from a cow)
    •    hydrogenated palm-derived oils.

Ingredients

MILK CHOCOLATE (
    •    SUGAR,
    •    CHOCOLATE,
    •    COCOA BUTTER,
    •    SKIM MILK,
    •    LACTOSE,
    •    MILKFAT,
    •    SOY LECITHIN),

SUGAR,
CORN SYRUP,
HYDROGENATED PALM KERNEL OIL AND/OR PALM OIL,

LESS THAN 2% -
    •    COCOA POWDER PROCESSED             WITH ALKALI,
    •    SALT,
    •    EGG WHITES,
    •    ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL                 FLAVORS

ALLERGY INFORMATION: MAY CONTAIN PEANUTS.

Cocoa butter is pretty healthy, milk fat perhaps a little less so (more people are allergic or intolerant), and any hydrogenated oil is definitely unhealthy.

I like 3 Musketeers bars, and like most folks I tend to think of it as a chocolate bar.  But when we look closer, it's really basically a soft sugar/oil foam wrapped in a relatively small amount of not-very-dark chocolate.  Tasty, but not too great on nutrition as a regular thing.

So for myself, I have somewhat regretfully reserved this bar a place on my "enjoy very occasionally" list, right next to cream-stuffed frosted pastries.


I paid $1.00 for this 1.92 ounce bar.  For comparison purposes, that's $8.29 per pound, a little below the average pricing for popular chocolate candies. 

I'm giving this my personal score of 3.1 out of 5 stars for Overall Enjoyment, 2.2 for Nutrition, and 3.5 for Value. Keep in mind this is just my personal opinion.  Your mileage may vary, and there's no accounting for taste.

Now you know what a 3 Musketeers Bar is.  Any questions?
You know where my Contact Page is!


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Alexandre Dumas's novel The Three Musketeers, starring the musketeers Athos, Aramis and Porthos, was published in 1844.