I was walking through a small convenience store in downtown Sydney the other day when a Milky Way Chocolate bar caught my eye. The classic Milky Way is smaller and lighter then the average chocolate bar for sale in Australia, so is often just right to give you the sugar-chocolate hit you crave without filling you up. However this Milky Way that caught my eye, in it’s different packaging was larger, the same size as a regular Mars Bar or similar. And upon picking it up, in its unusual green/brown packaging it was decidedly heavier than the usual Milky Way. A quick scan of the shelves and a short distance away there was the regular Milky Way in it’s white/blue packaging.
The thing that makes a Milky Way what it is, is its light fluffy nougat. That's what differentiates it in a market flooded with heavy chocolate choices. So what was this chunky thing masquerading as a light and fluffy Milky Way? Holding one of each of these Milky Ways in my hand I soon discovered a key point; the larger heavier green/brown packaged Milky Way was imported from the USA! Who would have thought a chocolate bar made by an American company (Milky Way’s are produced by the Mars Company) would be different in different parts of the world!
Returning home from the city I unwrapped the American version of the Milky Way to find it was essentially a Mars Bar. So if Americans call Mars Bars Milky Ways, what do they call a Mars Bar? And for that matter what do they call a REAL Milky Way?? A quick bit of googling discovered that indeed the American Milky Way was essentially what everyone else calls a Mars Bar, and in the US the REAL Milky Way goes by the name of a “3 Musketeers” and to confuse it all the American Mars Bar has almonds in it! Chocablog.com, the Chocolate Blog put it perfectly when they wrote the following;
“But firstly, a quick note to our American readers. What you know as ‘Milky Way’ is what the rest of the world knows as a ‘Mars Bar’. And what the rest of the world calls a ‘Milky Way’, you call ’3 Musketeers’. I don’t know why – it just is.”
So the great USA who buy milk by the gallon, drive in miles per hour, grow by the foot even name their chocolate bars differently! Who would have thought………I don’t know why – it just is……. A bit of further reading on the Mars Company website showed that Mars company founder, Frank Mars sent his son Forrest Mars (Snr) off to the UK in the 1930’s with a few thousand bucks and the recipe for Milky Ways. He started producing them in the UK under the name Mars Bar. It didn’t say why he didn’t just call them Milky Way bars as well……
- So if you are in the rest of the world and you want to try the American Milky Way (aka the rest of the world’s Mars Bar) or the 3 Musketeer (aka the rest of the world's Milky Way) and can’t find them in your local shop, try a web search for an online American Chocolate shop in your country. In Australia, USA Foods and the Sugar Station are good examples. Robin Food Industries is the importer of US made Mars products into Australia. Or you can buy from regular sites in the US like Amazon and have them shipped to you.
- If you are in the US and want to try what the rest of the world calls a Mars Bar (aka the US Milky Way) or the rest of the world’s Milky Way (aka the US 3 Musketeer) try a web search for British or Australian Chocolate shops. Britstore and the Brit Super Store are examples.
- Or of course you can just eat a Milky Way in the US and pretend its a Mars Bar from elsewhere, eat a Mars Bar from elsewhere and pretend its a Milky Way from the US, eat a 3 Musketeer in the US and pretend its a Milky Way from elsewhere, or eat a Milky Way from elsewhere and pretend its a 3 Musketeer from the US. OK?