I enjoy meandering through candy shops painted with old-fashioned style or a spritz of vintage feel. It is both the atmospheric quality of shops like these and the chance to try some out-of-the-ordinary candies that I revel in. Whilst visiting the Old Town district of San Diego, California, I was charmed by the historical environment, in whose shops I could purchase such not-so-touristy items as a pair of handmade black lace gloves. Passing by the candy shop on the first evening but being unable to step inside, I made certain to return the next day.
After witnessing adherence to period style elsewhere in the area, I was a bit disappointed as I began browsing typical collections of rock candy and handmade taffy, interspersed with licorice and lollipops. I’ve seen more interesting shops, ones that tempt your mind back in time better. Yet I could hardly leave with nothing, selecting as my victim a plain silver-wrapped bar of chocolate by the name of U-No. It fits the basic requirement: I definitely don’t see it on a daily basis. And while U-No perhaps does not take you back in time, it does feel like a bar with a vintage background.
The company that now owns U-No, Annabelle Candy, is based out of Hayward, California – the history of the bar itself is supposed to go back to the twenties. Its description is “a smooth, rich chocolate truffle-like center with crushed almonds, covered by creamy rich milk chocolate, guaranteed to melt in your mouth.” Fluffy is the word I would use to describe the nougat/mousse center. Much fluffier than what you get inside a 3 Musketeers, it is also filled with more essence of chocolate, which does make it truthfully melt in your mouth instead of simply dissipating because of all the airy texture. What I most want to compare U-No to is a Hostess product, perhaps the tube-shaped rolls of cake and cream known as Ho Hos. The words “rich” and “creamy” do apply here, though strictly adhering to their confectionary connotations.
The suggestion to put the bar in the freezer I tried and was not impressed by. To me, the distinctive texture is what makes this bar and freezing it just gives it an awkward feel. (Carrying it in the car across the state border and then storing it in an eighty-degree room probably did nothing for it, either, but let’s just disregard that fact.) The gist of the matter: U-No is a fun bar and maybe even a tad better than some of the more widely available ones.