Being of a certain age, I remember when Mars Bars were gigantic. I mean seriously big. So big that getting to the end of one could have potentially bring upon a diabetic coma. And they only 10p too…
To be honest, I hadn’t really given much thought to Mars Bars recently until they started showing a tv ad for the Mars Slim all the time. The Mars Slim, as its slogan helpfully explains, is the same legendary Mars Bar, only slimmer as if the only thing that was stopping some people from having a Mars was its girth. But it did make me wonder what other kinds of Mars are on Canadian shelves, so I present for you the Canadian Mars Family.
First up is the classic Mars Bar, weighing in at 58g. It really isn’t too different from the Mars Bar I remember from all those years ago – lots of not very special chocolate, a decent amount of chewy caramel and the nondescript nougat to take up the remaining space. It’s far too sweet for my palate these days, but not an unpleasant experience. It does makes me smile to see that it is labelled as an “Energy Bar” though, because I’m pretty sure that nobody is really eating it for that reason.
Next, the afore-mentioned Mars Slim, which is a mere 40g. Not only has the bar been reworked to less intimidating dimensions, it has also been split into two pieces which are more or less bite-sized if you have an average-sized mouth. Obviously it is being marketed as one of those calorie-counted portions because nothing else could explain its pointless existence. And don’t worry if you can’t find them in shops because you could just cut a normal Mars in half to get a similar effect, especially if you do it long ways.
Continuing the Canadian habit of making dark chocolate versions of bars, there’s also the Mars Dark. And just like every other dark bar, it is just a little bit smaller than the normal bar – 50g in this case. This is the real surprise because the dark chocolate of an undisclosed percentage makes for a nice contrast to the usual contents, with an almost almondy undercurrent. It really doesn’t seem so sweet anymore and if I felt the urge to eat a Mars, I could quite happily pick up one of these again.
Finally, there’s the unexpected Mars Caramel. At 45g, it just gets rid of the nougat to make a chewier, more aerodynamic bar that was my second favourite behind the dark. I’ve never really cared for that nougat because it always made me think of Milky Ways which I thought were the dullest childhood chocolate bar. Mars decided to make these as competition for Cadbury’s Caramilk bars, but it is far too Mars-like to be a valid alternative. I suspect these will disappear from the shelves relatively quickly.
So there you have it – Mars Slim is a stupid idea, but covering anything in dark chocolate makes it better. Now you’ll have to excuse me because I have the inexplicable urge to work, rest and play…