Editor's note: Every weekday in October, the Serious Eats editors and staff will chat about a candy they loved as kids (or love today). Artificial colors encouraged, no organic chocolate allowed.
Being allergic to peanuts sucks. Being allergic to peanuts AND chocolate sucks even more. Having a brother with these allergies, however, is awesome. Because that meant I only had to duke it out with my sister for the best candy in the peanut/chocolate family—Goldenberg's Peanut Chews.
Every Halloween after we'd collected all of our booty, we'd sit on the living room floor and dump the contents of our bags into big piles in front of us. The chocolate and peanut candies were immediately expunged from my brother's pile and left for me and my sister to sift through. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Peanut M&M's, and Mr. Goodbar were always appreciated, but Goldenberg's Peanut Chews were the most prized (and rare!)
Chock-full of roasted peanuts and enrobed in chocolate, these little candy bars are kind of like mini-Snickers without the distraction of a nougat layer. Instead of caramel, the chewiness of these chews comes from molasses, which is just sticky enough to bind together all those peanuts, but not so sticky that opening your jaw makes you think your molars will pop right out of your gums.
You can even fool yourself into thinking these are "healthy" because they were initially developed in 1917 by the Goldenberg Candy Company to be used as ration bars by the U.S. Military during World War I. Hey, it's just another high-energy protein bar—people eat those things for fitness.
The only downside to these guys is their new, flashy packaging. In 2003, Just Born purchased the Peanut Chews brand and "modernized" the wrapper design in the process. Why did they mess with a good thing? The only reason I knew Peanut Chews still existed is because I spotted them in their original red-and-brown packaging at Economy Candy in New York City. That familiar color combo caused such a strong emotional reaction that I bought not one, but three candy bars. I just can't see myself doing that with the new red-wrapped version, even though they're the same inside. (For the sake of "research", I bought and tasted all of the different types. The red "original dark" version, thankfully, is the same as the original. The blue "milk chocolatey" version is like peanut chews with training wheels.)
Who's with me? Any peanut chew fans out there?