Heath bar is a bar of English toffee covered in milk chocolate.
English in this context means the recipe includes:
The Heath family entered the candy business in 1913, when L.S. Heath purchased an existing confectionery shop in Robinson Illinois.
And they began making this toffee bar in 1928.
By some accounts, the family may have acquired the recipe from a Greek confectioner in another Illinois town by way of a traveling salesman.
The bar was included in the U.S. Army's World War II rations after 1942. Probably aided by the Army's finding that it had a longer than average shelf life.
In 1989 the Heath family sold out to a Finnish company, Leaf.
And in 1996 Leaf in turn was acquired by Hershey, who produce the Heath bar now.
Ingredients and Nutrition
In the context of popular chocolate ingredient lists, this is one of the better ones.
• There is a little palm oil - that is to say, it's toward the bottom of the list. But there's so much controversy surrounding palm oil that it's hard to know whether it's good or bad.
• There's artificial flavor. There are virtually countless chemicals that can be labeled artificial flavor, and we have no way of knowing which are in this bar. But at least it's the second-to-last item. Which means it's present in the second-smallest quantity of any ingredient.
• Sunflower oil. Popularly believed to be a healthy oil. Actually there is wide variation in how healthy it is, depending mainly on how it's processed. The list does not give details, and the healthier versions are more expensive. Hmmm. Still, at worst a small negative here because there is not much of it.
One other note on the ingredients list. Although one of the characteristic features of English toffee is a generous amount of butter, the toffee here has more palm oil than butter.
MILK CHOCOLATE (
CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF:
Ingredient quantity = 15
This bar has 210 calories, with 110 of them (52%) from fat.
Hershey had introduced their own milk chocolate covered toffee bar, Skor, in 1981 specifically to compete with the Heath bar. But after acquiring Heath in 1996, Hershey continued to make both bars.
Frankly, I prefer the Skor bar - details on the Skor page.
The Skor page includes a chart comparing Heath vs Skor ingredients.
I paid $1.09 for this 1.4 ounce bar. For comparison purposes, that's $12.46 per pound. Just a little above average pricing for popular chocolate candy.
I'm giving this my personal score of 3.6 out of 5 stars for Overall Enjoyment, 3.8 for Nutrition, and 3.7 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 Heath bar is.
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According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the word toffee was derived from the word taffy and was first used in 1825.