Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Blog #1: Baby Ruth, why?
Sorry to start off this blog with a downer, but this is what inspired me to write this blog. Those of you that know me well, know that I love food in general, but that I also like candy very much. So I was sitting around one day and I was reading an issue of FLEX magazine. In it there was a part where former Mr. Olympia, Dexter Jackson, gave his thoughts on what candy he liked. One of the bullet points read, "Baby Ruth sucks." and I was thinking, "I agree with this man."
I can't imagine a candy bar that I've disliked as much as the Baby Ruth. Hell, Paydays, which I used to think were terrible, have grown on me. Baby Ruth seems like it has all the elements to be a winner. As from my own experience of eating it, from reading the wrapper, and from Wikipedia, Baby Ruth consists of chocolate, peanuts, caramel, and nougat. You know what else has all those things? Snickers, but I actually like Snickers. Where in the process did the Nestle go wrong? It's like if you told two chefs to make a particular dish, you gave them the exact same ingredients, and you gave them the same kitchen appliance. You know what happened? One of them gave you the dish done perfectly, and one of them went off in a corner and started diddling themselves (Snickers is the one that did it perfectly by the way).
Let's explore where Baby Ruth goes wrong. For one, the peanuts are far too pronounced. Within a Snickers bar the peanuts are subtle and the flow well with the rest of the bar. In a Baby Ruth they're like bumps on a what could have been a delicious candy bar. The peanuts don't even add any flavor. In a Baby Ruth they're the candy bar equivalent of one of my least favorite foods, water chestnuts. They're there for texture purposes only, and it's like chewing pebbles with no reward. If you're going to have peanuts that are that pronounced in a candy bar, please have the decency to flavor them at least.
It can't be just the fault of the peanuts though; some candy bars, like Pay Day are just salted peanuts and caramel. Let's take a look at another candy bar, Mr. Goodbar. A Halloween favorite of my brother, Mr. Goodbar is just peanuts and chocolate. Despite being so simple, it manages to be a delicious part of the Hershey collection. In a Baby Ruth the chocolate seems like an afterthought. It's as if they were trying to make Paydays and they realized that the peanuts were unsalted so they lightly coated it with chocolate. No way Kimosabe. When I eat a candy bar that has chocolate I want the chocolate to be a key component of the candy bar. I don't want to eat a candy bar with chocolate on it and think, "Oh, there's chocolate..." Same goes for the nougat.
Despite listing the faults of the Baby Ruth candy bar, words can't truly express the disappointment I have when I see or even think of a Baby Ruth. It's the equivalent of drafting a highly coveted player, with all his silver wrapping and false promises on the wrapper, as your first pick and then he turns out to be a dud. I think it could also be comparable to Edward James Olmos' character in "Stand And Deliver". Let me tell you something, as "Stand And Deliver" has taught us, you can teach innercity kids calculus, but you can't teach a candy bar how to taste good. I can't imagine why this candy bar is more prevalent than Whatchamacallits, Mr. Goodbars, or even Krackel. I'm going to say that Krackel doesn't get as much attention because it's the ricier enemy of a Nestle Crunch Bar. So when you go out and buy candy for Halloween, if you really want them to take only one or play a cruel joke on them, get them fun-sized Baby Ruths. And for kids, if one person in your Trick or Treating group really likes Baby Ruth, you know who to shun for the rest of the night.