I've built up a personal stockpile of Butterfingers the way my parents collected granola bars and canned tuna ahead of Y2K.
They say if you love someone, let them go, but I’m pretty sure the same rules don’t apply to candy. Last year, Ferrara, the company that makes Butterfinger bars in the U.S., announced that they were updating the classic recipe, with the new bars rolling out on shelves early this year. In normal circumstances change can be a good thing, but in this case, I was apprehensive to try a new formulation of my favorite chocolate bar, because if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, you know?
My relationship with the crispy, peanut-buttery bar is a personal one. When I was younger, my mom introduced me to Butterfingers the way all responsible parents introduce their children to something truly great—by telling me it was the best. When we were on a road trip and stopped for snacks, my mom usually came out of the gas station convenience store holding that familiar yellow wrapper. At a movie? We’d share a box of Butterfinger pieces, because everyone knows it’s the perfect sweet balance to salty, buttery, movie theater popcorn. When “inspecting” my Halloween candy to “make sure none of the neighbors poisoned it?” She confiscated most of the mini Butterfinger bars for herself.
As a new mom, I feel a strong strong sense of maternal responsibility to pass this knowledge on to my daughter. If not for me, who else will make sure she knows that this is the only chocolate bar that really matters? (For what it’s worth, she is only 5 months old, and doesn’t even know what solid foods are yet.) My concern is that by the time she’s ready to indulge—given that this is my first kid, the exact timing is still a mystery to me—the candy bar that I grew up loving will have been replaced with a smoother, more truly cocoa-flavored version in a flashier and fresher package.
Will this newer, admittedly less saccharine version fulfill all her hopes and dreams for what a chocolatey treat can be? I can’t be sure, so like any sleep-deprived new mom with an irrational obsession, I took matters into my own hands and built up a personal stockpile the way my own parents collected granola bars and canned tuna ahead of Y2K.
Days after finding a home in my tiny kitchen for all of these chocolate bars, and countless cups of coffee later, I can’t help but feel that I might be overreacting. According to a Ferrara rep, the recommended shelf life for the bars is 10 months, so this stash will last me approximately until the end of this year. And after that, who am I to stand in the way of anyone’s right to candy that stays fresher in it’s updated double-layer packaging? If the taste test that my colleagues and I conducted is any indication, she’ll probably prefer it, and honestly, after the staggering amount of Butterfinger bars I’ve had over the last month of so, I think I might, too.