ZERO… the candy bar, was my favorite when I was a child. That was in the 1960’s. Zero Bars were different. Different as in the strangest candy bar around. It didn’t have the traditional chocolate coating. The Zero is made up of caramel, peanut, and almond nougat and covered with, of all things… white chocolate fudge. Strange! But, that is where my love affair of white chocolate fudge started. I don’t recall anyone in the family eating them. I don’t recall my friends clamoring over them. I really don’t recall anyone else liking them like I did. I didn’t know it at the time, but the Zero candy bar was introduced in the 1920’s. And yet, in the 60’s it was a brand new bar to me, when I first found it on the shelf.
Our family lived in Spring Glen, a small rural community that had only one place to shop. The Blue Cut Service was the town’s only gas station, but it was much more to me. It was a candy store! Chores in the summer time offered a great opportunity to earn some money – I’m talking 25 cents for a morning’s worth of dusting, cleaning the bathroom, washing dishes, hanging clothes on the line, etc. And that’s all that was needed to buy a candy bar. A big one… like the Zero. As soon as the chores were done, us kids, with coins in hand, would walk… or rather run, or ride our bikes down the lane (about a mile), go under the old railroad trestle, and cross the road to the Blue Cut Service. Penny candy galore lined the bottom row of the shelf, but my eyes were always fixed upon the Zero. The other kids often got a small paper bag full of penny candy. I left with my one and only bar in hand. But I loved it like no other and savored every last bite!
In the late 1970’s, the Blue Cut Service closed its doors for good, and I never saw a Zero after that. I married and moved a few times to places that surely would carry the Zero candy bar. And still, I never ran across a Zero candy bar. I finally gave up on the hopes of ever having one again. I thought Hershey’s surely must have retired it.
In 2009, I was visiting my daughter, who lived in a nearby rural community. I went to the only gas station in town to get a refill on a pop. I glanced down the candy isle.. and lo and behold, what to my wondering eyes did appear? The ZERO candy bar! It had been almost 30 years from when I last saw or ate a Zero. I couldn’t believe my eyes! I snatched it up before I could blink my eyes, for fear it would disappear once again. Hooking back up with my long lost candy bar was the best thing that happened to me that day! Oh…. the caramel, peanut and almond nougat and white fudge melted in my mouth like ice cream and hot fudge. It was so delicious! I had been deprived for such a long time. Since I found my ZERO once again, I’m not about to let it go. I make it a point to stop by the lone gas station in Bear River City, whenever I am there, and buy me a Zero candy bar. And, it’s still my favorite!
Writing prompt #2: A favorite candy when you were a child. Is it still a favorite?