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"Snickers Mixed Nuts" is a candy bar released as a limited edition (read: market research test run) by the M&M's/Mars chocolate conglomerate in late 2015/early 2016. As its name suggests, it combines several types of nuts, including the peanuts found in a common Snickers bar, the Almonds found in the Almonds Snicker bar, and a third type of previously unused nut, the Hazelnut.

I have known for years, ever since my misspent youth wandering around on cold nights with little solace, of the candy bar continuum, the fact that candy bars, while being a fun food, can still provide nourishment, or an illusion thereof. This hasn't been lost on the Snickers marketers: a recent Snickers ad campaign has focused on the ability of a Snickers bar to revitalize flagging energy. Bars even have such statements as "loopy", "grouchy" and "whiny", suggesting that a quick dose of chocolate, nougat and peanuts can cure this condition. I am surprised that this has not become a bigger issue and that Snickers has not had to include an asterisk with the disclaimer that Snickers is "not intended to cure, treat or diagnose any medical condition". Neither have we yet got to the point where ads show attractive, active seniors walking along the beach, revealing that their life took a turn for the better when they talked to their neurologist about using Snickers as a cure for syncope.

I digress: but not without cause. The fact of the matter is that in a world where foodies are triumphant, even the consuming of a candy bar must be an exercise in culture and connoisseurship. The sophisticated palate of the consumer of 2016 demands the rich textures that only three different types of nuts can provide. As David Brooks predicted, even our indulgences must be exercises in self-improvement: not just a candy bar, but a mixture of different, natural ingredients with a complex flavor and texture.

So, as a way to diagnose our Zeitgeist, I would rate the Snickers Mixed Nuts highly. As a candy bar, I would rate it as maybe a C+, basically being a Snickers with a somewhat discordant, meaty taste introduced by the hazelnuts. Still, perhaps it is something that you should experience, just to say you were there, in those waxing days of 2016 when we thought that the road to perfection was paved with hazelnutty snickers.

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