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:
That is, it had the present format of all chocolatey foam in the center, covered by milk chocolate on the outside.
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.
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."
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?
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Alexandre Dumas's novel The Three Musketeers, starring the musketeers Athos, Aramis and Porthos, was published in 1844.