Chocolate can be influential

Erin Smith

February 25, 2014

So the question was asked of me the other day, “What is the most influential chocolate bar in history?”

Now, knowing how much I love all things chocolate and having to do with chocolate, I thought and thought, and finally I gave what I thought was certainly the correct answer — a Hershey Bar, of course! WRONG! It seems that, according to Time magazine, the Kit Kat bar is the most influential chocolate bar in history.

I was somewhat bemused and even a little surprised.

Actually, the Hershey Bar came in second to the Kit Kat bar. It seems, according to Time magazine’s researchers, the Kit Kat bar is so popular because it is a social snack, meaning you can share those chocolate covered wafers with someone else, if you choose to do so.

I argued that it seemed like a little bit of a suspect reason since a Hershey bar, or any other chocolate confection for that matter, can be shared with anyone so long as there are enough pieces available to be shared.

When the weather turns ugly — like it did Friday afternoon here — sharing a piece or two of chocolate heaven could be just what the doctor ordered to settle frayed nerves or return one’s focus back to the tasks at hand. Chocolate just seems to have a soothing effect on some folks.

And speaking of soothing effects, around our office, chocolate is an absolute must have and, if the chocolate supply is allowed to dwindle down to nothing, well, that can become a major crisis. We have even discussed installing an emergency kit filled with chocolate for that occasional office crisis that occurs — whether it be the fax machine dying or that computer eating that all too important document you need for that meeting this afternoon. A little chocolate can certainly make the blow a little softer.

Did you know that chocolate fixes everything? It is what keeps the world in perfect harmony. It makes for a great apology and even goes a long way in establishing or renewing friendships. And it makes a good gift.

Yes, chocolate is by far the most perfect food in the world.

Time magazine didn’t stop with just listing the most influential candy bar in history. They named the top 13 most influential candy bars. The list was rather interesting, after all, and carried some familiar and not so familiar names. Sitting proudly in the No. 2 spot was the iconic Hershey Bar followed by Toblerone, Nestle’s Milk Chocolate, Snickers, Chicken Dinner by Sperry Candy Company, Grenada Chocolate, Scharffen Berger, Cadbury Milk Chocolate, Nestle’s Crunch, Baby Ruth, Milky Way, and the Wonka Bar.

Many names on the list I have tried at least once, but a few I had never heard of. Upon closer inspection they certainly sounded rather tasty. For example, the Chicken Dinner bar was apparently a precursor to the modern power bar, as it was billed to have been packed with a variety of nutritious nuts and of course chocolate, according to Time magazine. Unfortunately, the bar was discontinued in the 1960s.

Chocolate is by far very versatile. We use it to prepare drinks, we use to bake with, we eat it plain or with fruits and nuts. It comes in a couple of varieties— milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate. Each one has its own distinct flavor and uses.

No matter how you decide to slice it, spoon it up or simply hand it over, chocolate is definitely a treat worth exploring and, on occasion, sharing.

Erin Smith is a staff writer at the Bladen Journal. She can be reached by email at or by telephone at 910-862-4163.