Friday, November 20, 2009

The Twin Bing

I was really hoping that I would like the Twin Bing.  The Bing has been made since 1923 by the Palmer Candy Co. in Sioux City, Iowa, one of the oldest candy companies in America.  On the outside, the Twin Bing sports an eye-catching, authentically retro red and white package.  But on the inside, I found one of the oddest candy bars I've ever laid my eyes on.  The Twin Bing comes packaged as two chunky looking brown lumps, conjoined at the bottom by a thin bridge of the coating.  The brown coating covering the lumps is a combination of "chocolate compound" mixed up with finely chopped bits of salty peanuts.  This surrounds another lump of sweet and chewy cherry filling.  I'm not sure how to categorize the cherry filling.  It's not fluffy or viscous or creamy, but rather solid almost like a nougat or fondant.

As I alluded to earlier, I can't say I enjoyed the Twin Bing.  The "chocolate compound" coating is waxy and flavorless.  The cherry center does not taste bad, but when taken in a bite with the coating, it's just a weird mix of textures and flavors.  The best feature of this candy bar is the peanuts.  I like how the tiny chopped bits appear in every bite and their saltiness helps to cut the sweetness of the cherry and lend some flavor to the chocolate coating.

I think if real chocolate was used and the cherry lump was just a little more creamy, I would find the Twin Bing much more appealing.  Obviously, this is just my opinion.  The Twin Bing must have its fans, otherwise it would not have survived since 1923.  In 1923, the Twin Bing was actually just the "Bing" and each package only contained one lump of candy.  It was not until 1973 that the second lump was added and the Twin Bing was born.  Because two just wasn't enough, the Palmer Candy Co. introduced the triple lump King Bing in 1986.  Although cherry is the original Bing flavor, the company also makes the Crispy Peanut Butter Caramel Bing.  This Bing has a peanut butter caramel center covered by a coating of chocolate and crispy rice.  This Bing sounds interesting, but I worry that the same fake chocolate coating would ruin it as well.

For additional info on the Twin Bing, check out the book Candy Freak.  In it, author Steve Almond visits the Palmer Candy Co. and witnesses the Bing's creation first hand.  You can also read more about the company's history on their website


Anonymous said...

I LOVE the Twin BING!!! it is my favorite candy! I remember getting it when I was little in Minnesota, but now I live in California and just remembered how good it was, my mom is sending me a package of them, and my friends are definitely trying them also!!

Lisette said...

I loved them growing up in South Dakota. I was saddened to find out that they were only sold in the midwest when I joined the Army. I just received a care package from my mom with a bunch of twin bings and triple king bings and all I have to say is YUMMMMMM (furby style) :)

Anonymous said...

You need to clarify when you say "fake" when referring to the chocolate coating, cocoa powder is in the ingredient list along with sugar and milk. That makes chocolate where I'm from.