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Urban legend has it that some industrial candy snafu botched the names of 3 Musketeers and Milky Way. The tale has a certain logic. 3 Musketeers doesn't have three ingredients but Milky Way does. And the very name Milky Way recalls the smooth, uninterrupted creaminess found in 3 Musketeers. Somehow, each candy bar wound up swaddled in the wrapper meant for the other, and Americans have lived a case of mistaken candy bar identity ever since.
What a load of bunk.
Those kinds of wonky urban legends ran amok in the eighties, but we have the internet now, so let's clear this stuff up. It's not a tasty tabloid tale of "Switched at Birth!" but rather "Murder, She Wrote."
Back in the 30s, the candy bars (not bar) debuted as the aptly named 3 Musketeers. Each packaged contained three separate candy bars made of nougat. One chocolate, one vanilla, and one strawberry; each covered in chocolate. They took the markets by storm and swash-buckled through candy stores, making a name for themselves (in true Musketeer style) as a candy for friends. Three pieces of candy in each package made sharing easy.
The golden age of literary confectionery spanned a decade. The Neapolitan noms. All for one, one for alhhh! Run for your lives!
But too late. In 1945, America was at war and so were the candy bars. Chocolate (a sort of Bizarro world Athos) let its chocolatey power go to its head. It started to think that with both a chocolate coating and a chocolate filling, it had more honor than Aramis and Porthos. Errr, Vanilla and Strawberry.
The "official story" says that the popularity of vanilla and strawberry had waned and with war-time rationing, it made sense to cut production back and focus on the most popular and profitable flavor. But we all know the kind of violence Athos can muster when he feels his honor at stake (hint: he hanged his wife). Vanilla and Strawberry were cut down in cold chocolate.
I for one (and one for I) would like to bring back the vanilla and strawberry Musketeers, but that adventure shall have to wait for another day. For now, content yourselves with this homemade version of the most sinister Musketeer.
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About the Author: Stella Parks suffers from an unhealthy obsession with recreating the mass produced snacks of her childhood, but ironically is employed by a Frenchman to make the high brow desserts of his childhood. She blogs that dichotomy at bravetart.com and can be followed on Twitter at @thebravetart.