March 12th is National Milky Way Day! Celebrate with this creamy chocolate-caramel martini and, of course, a Milky Way bar. Read on for the story of this popular two-faced Mars confection, which has a different makeup entirely depending on what country you buy it in.
The American version of the Milky Way bar, pictured here, is a chocolate-malt nougat topped with caramel and enrobed in milk chocolate. It was created in 1923 by Frank C. Mars in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The original chocolate coating was supplied by now competitor Hershey’s. The name and taste were based on a popular malted milkshake flavor not, as widely believed, after the galaxy. The milkshake was named after the galaxy though! In 1924, the Milky Way was introduced nationally and sold well. In 1926, a version called ‘Forever Yours’ using vanilla nougat and dark chocolate coating was released. It would vanish in 1979 and then reappear in 1989 as Milky Way Dark. It is currently sold under the name Milky Way Midnight. In 2010, Milky Way Simply Caramel was released without nougat. The American Milky Way is known as the Mars bar elsewhere in the world.
And now for the elsewheres version of the Milky Way. It lacks caramel topping and has a much lighter nougat filling. In fact, the density of the bar is slow, it floats when placed in milk. The bar is available in chocolate, vanilla, banana, mango and strawberry flavors. Mars released a number of Milky Way-inspired treats in Europe. Milky Way Crispy Rolls are chocolate-covered wafer rolls with a creamy filling. Milky Way Magic Stars are small aerated chocolate stars sold in small bags.
Here are the two versions; the American version is on the left and the British version on the right. Look at that insane difference in size! But, as they say, size isn’t everything. Without the caramel layer, the filling is also quite different.
Other Milky Way Celebrations!
Milky Way Martini
2 oz half and half or cream
1 oz chocolate-flavored vodka
1 oz caramel-flavored vodka
Combine half and half and vodka.
Pour over ice.
Serve with candy bar.