100 Grand: The Overlooked and Forgotten Treasure

Sydney Leahy, Editor

In the world of Halloween candy, there’s a predetermined hierarchy. Reeses’s Peanut Butter Cups, Kit Kats, Twix, and Butterfingers are the usual star players, with Three Musketeers and Milky Ways following closely at their tails. Those who prefer a more fruity experience hail Starbursts and Skittles. Some heathens even enjoy a handful or two of Candy Corn. Because of this societally-accepted lineup, as I read through The Cut’s “Halloween Candy, Ranked” article, I wasn’t surprised to find these commonly held beliefs mirrored in their list. In the beginning, their order seemed expected, with Raisinets, Welch’s Fruit Snacks, and Laffy Taffy holding the lowest spots. But as I made my way to the end, I was shocked to find that they had the audacity to leave out one of the most enjoyable candies ever created: the 100 Grand.

The 100 Grand, originally called the $100,000 Bar, is a unique combination of a milk chocolate exterior interspersed with crispy rice puffs that surrounds a gooey caramel center. Created in 1964 by Nestle and recently sold to Ferrero, this candy bar encapsulates the perfect eating experience. After breaking through the crunchy chocolate shell, your teeth are slowly immersed in the decedent caramel center, only to be reunited with the chocolate exterior once again as you conclude your bite. While chewing, the rice puffs serve as a crunchy texture that pairs beautifully with the soft caramel. The caramel’s somewhat nutty notes create a perfect harmony with the rich milk chocolate. Taking approximately 28 chews to complete one bite, 100 Grands are a candy that forces the eater to slow down and truly relish each mouthful. 

A minority of eaters even take it so far as to consume the outer shell first before simply sucking on the center to further prolong the affair. These people usually rationalize their eating method by citing the annoyance of the sticky caramel grasping to their teeth but little do they know that all their problems could be solved by placing their candy in the freezer. Once frozen, the 100 Grand takes on a drastically different texture. The hardened chocolate coating provides a satisfying snap before you bite into the solidified middle, which breaks off nicely with an audible crack. Unlike many of its frozen competitors that become almost dauntingly solid, 100 Grand manages to maintain an edible texture when frozen. I’m not suggesting you brazenly bite down on one though. A certain level of caution is still recommended, but the likelihood of breaking a tooth when consuming one properly (slowly with your back teeth) is quite small. 

Not only does the texture have more than one application, but the name does as well. In 2005, a Cumulus Media Inc. radio broadcaster announced a competition where the tenth caller to their show would win $100,000. Norreasha Gill, the supposed “big winner,” was outraged to discover they meant the candy bar. She later filed a lawsuit claiming that they breached their contract. The station later offered Gill $5,000 as a form of monetary compensation, but she has been quoted as saying, “I wanted $95,000 more.” No matter how hard I try I can’t think of another candy bar that could have been used in such an incredible showing of tomfoolery. If my descriptions of the ethereal flavor and texture were not enough to convince you to promptly purchase one yourself, I hope that amusing anecdote did the trick.

Tragically, The Cut is not alone in overlooking this remarkable candy bar. In a self-conducted survey, many of my friends stated that they had never felt the joy of consuming a 100 Grand. When I widened the scope of my investigation to an older audience, I found that all of them had had at least one in their life. It appears that the candy gained notoriety in a time before my own. I feel we must bring back this fondness and adoration for the betterment of our species as a whole. After reading this, I hope you take it upon yourself to enlighten others of the delightful little morsels that are 100 Grands, and while you’re at it, buy one for yourself, too.