Thursday, March 10, 2011

See's Nut & Chew Bar and the "Dark" Horse in the See's Candies' Counter

I’ve always felt a little sad for See’s Dark Nougat chocolate. It – as well as many of the other delightful See’s confections like the Peanut Nougat, the Chelsea, and the Milk and Dark Patties – are so often overshadowed by the cult favorite Scotchmallow. It’s always the first chocolate that anyone mentions when I bring up See’s.

“Oh I loooove the Scotchmallow!” They exclaim, usually with a twinkle in their eye that tells me the item has some sentimental value, as well.

It’s hard to not love the bulbous See’s dark chocolate-covered confection with its sweet ribbon of buttery caramel layered beneath a fluffy mass of honey marshmallow. When I buy custom boxes of the chocolates for myself (I maintain a well-stocked stash of chocolate), I always include at least three of the delightful candies.

But I also include three of the Dark Nougat, seemingly the dark horse amongst the rows of neatly stacked chocolates in each See’s Candies shop. I love the chewiness of the honey nougat, the crunchy pieces of roasted almonds, and the delicate slivers of coconut hidden throughout. It’s not as cloying as many of the other chocolates – the dark chocolate lends the treat just the right amount of bitterness and the almonds help temper the sweetness of the honey nougat.

So when I stumbled into the pop-up See’s shop at the Grove one night a couple weeks ago, I was thrilled to see that even though they don’t have the glorious counter filled with chocolates, they do carry the Awesome Nut and Chew Bars, the bar version of the Dark Nougat .

I’d been wanting to try the confection for some time. While the solidly packed, inch-long piece is plenty satisfying on its own accord, I was intrigued by the notion of eating a three-inch version. Logic would seem to suggest that if one inch is amazing, three inches would be even more amazing.

Or, as the label would suggest, “Awesome.”

While the glossy bar obviously tasted very similar to the individual chocolates I’m so fond of, the ratio of almonds to nougat to chocolate was not quite to my particular fancy. It’s a great candy bar, but it’s approximately half the height of the actual Dark Nougat pieces – likely because it lacks girth from the sizable hunks of almonds. By the time I’d reached the tail end of the 200 calorie bar, I was experiencing sugar overload. The higher proportions of chocolate and nougat were too sweet without the almonds to temper them.

That said, I wouldn’t be all that disinclined to purchase a Nut & Chew Bar again. Especially after I get through these next 45 days of a dessert-free Lent.


Gastronomer said...

Giving up dessert? Not again! Good luck, my friend. You are going to need it. Btw, does ordering french toast at brunch count as desert?

Esi said...

I need to try the one inch version!

Anna A. said...

I've been dying to try this awesomeness. R.I.P. Chocolate. PS. TALF, coming back to So Cal June 12-ish for a week. Ortica??

Monet said...

Now I want chocolate :-) Thank you for sharing this tempting review. I hope you have a beautiful weekend. Thanks for getting mine off to a sweet start!

Diana said...

Cathy - Yes, French toast counts. :( I am staying far far away from Canele!

Esi - One inch is the way to go. ;)

Anna - Yes please! We deserve a fab meal together after all our sacrifices for Lent!

Monet - I hope you had a wonderful weekend too!

The Duo Dishes said...

Didn't you do chocolate free last year? And this year is now all desserts? You're a champ.